Heather Welch from Edx Education in conversation with Dawn Rigby
Episode 49: Heather Welch from Edx Education. Today we will be in Conversation with Dawn Rigby, Author, Early years teacher, and lecturer.
Dawn Is an educator passionate about early years children’s growth and development. Her recent book with Debra Hastings is Making play work in early years settings, tales from the sand pit.
She believes that young children need a special environment in which to grow and deserve to have practitioners who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective and passionate about their learning. In a positive environment, children thrive and grow, adopting positive attitudes to learning and the primary way to support this is through inspiring and motivating those who teach them.
Today we are chatting with Dawn about her latest book, passion for play and trends in the early years setting.
Highlights from this episode:
(04:04) Children are really innovative
(11:35) Tales from the Sand
(15:37) More choice and less instruction
(20:56) Children’s needs change constantly
(25:45) Realistic expectation setting
(28:00) Children have an innate drive to play
(32:54) The key to teaching is listening to the children
(36:00) Future projects
#talesfromasandpit #edxeducation #earlyyears
Welcome, everyone. I’m Heather Welch from edx education. And today we’ll be in conversation with Dawn Rigby author, early years, teacher and lecturer. Dawn is an educator passionate about early education, growth and development. Her recent book with Debra Hastings is “Making Play Work in the Early Years setting – Tales from the sandpit.”
She believes that young children need a special environment in which they grow and deserve to have practitioners who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective, and passionate about their learning in a positive environment, children thrive and grow by adopting positive attitudes to learning and the primary way to support this is inspiring.
Emotive motivating made motor motivating. Those who teach today. Chatting with Dawn about her latest book, passion for play and trends in the early years settings. Welcome Dawn. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Thank you so much for having me
Dawn, can I ask you to introduce your passion for play-based learning?
Yes, indeed. I think play is a very interesting word. It’s a term that’s widely used in early years, but it’s actually really difficult to define. That’s got a lot to do with the fact that we all have slightly different views on what. Actually is. Often think what my view of play is, might be different to yours and yours would be different to somebody else.
It’s quite a difficult one for me, play is about happiness for those children and joy for the children, but also freedom. And that’s really important to choose freedom for them to be creative and also for them to be imaginative. So I’m really passionate about playing the early years, because over the years I’ve really begun to come to understand that that is the way that children learn.
Learn. Right it provides them with some control over their choices, which is so empowering. You know, with childhood, they have very little choices. They’re all made for them by adults. Have a choice in what they would like to do in their play is really empowering. It’s really important. I think as well.
My passionhas have been greatly influenced by Frederick Froebel. Some people get a little bit scared by pioneers of play, but, and theory, but I really love it because I find it really helps me. And I love the fact that he believes that play is fundamental to children’s development. That’s a key for me and that they should be allowed to be children.
And that way they’re expressing themselves through play. And I just find really fascinating child development is so important that you’ve got practitioners who understand child development and what’s going on with those children. They’re in front of them. And I love the idea of children being able to express themselves to play so engaging in play with children.
That gives me a lot of joy. So that fuels the passion that I have for it. But having time to actually play with the children. Rather than maybe encouraging them to come and have to go inactivity of my choice. It reminds me of why I chose this profession. You know, that the joy that I get from playing with children, I think, yeah, this is why I got into, into working with children.
And I think as well, the idea that I have that children really are innovative. With their own, their own thoughts, their own ideas and their own passions. And they know what interests them, they know what excites them. And really it’s up to me to find out what those interests and those passions, uh, and that’s where play comes in.
That’s really where play opens up because you understand and learn about those children in front of you. So I think really that’s where my passion for play comes from.
It’s the emotions that they go through and watching them and the frustration it’s everything. When you watch.
I know when I watch my own children, for example, my four-year-old can be building something amazing, but you should see the frustration if it doesn’t work. He has to go through all these emotions, but he does get there in the end, but you kind of get the concentration and then it falls and you get the cross and it was whether he brings himself back and then get through.
The next process is to really have played really interesting, but you know how you were saying that our terminology for what play, is different for everyone. So I always think about it as an opportunity to explore and experiment. So the way these for play-based learning for me. for example, I could set up a sand tray of water play. My kids have ice water, all those things. You know, I could set it up with a whole theme or actually I generally just put a few things that they can pour and then they choose their toys that go in there. Or if they can go in there, sometimes they probably shouldn’t.
They do go explore and experiment. Sometimes we realize that that one won’t be coming back out. These really interesting it’s true. Plays different for everyone. And it is really nice.
For over a decade, you’ve been an early years teacher practitioner, and lecturer. I’d love to hear about how did you first come into this profession?
Well in a roundabout way I have done, I completed a degree in English and history. They were my passions at school, and I hadn’t really thought about teaching. And I was working in various different professions and my stepmother was working in a school and I went to just lend a hand one day. Um, had some free time, went to lend a hand, and I found that for some reason, I was able to connect with the children.
They seem to respond to me positively. And I actually found that I really enjoyed that. So I went from thinking I never want to work with children to, oh, this could be something I’d enjoy. And I was then offered a job at this particular school. Wasn’t sure about it because it wasn’t what I was doing at the time.
It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but. I’m going to go for it. It wasn’t, it didn’t really have a lot of joy in what I was doing. I thought let’s give it a go. And my first job was to work with a child who was going through the statementing process and it was to make her feel positive about school. It was to try and help with all of that emotional development for her.
That was where it started. Really. I really enjoyed it. I loved working with her. I loved the sense of achievement I got from working with her, seeing her achieve small things was fantastic. Seeing that spark suddenly happen or. As she starts to feel more positive about school, to build more positive relationships with her peers.
I just thought this is fantastic. I can’t think of another job where I would get so much satisfaction. So from that moment onwards, I decided I was going to train to, uh, to be a teacher. And, and that that’s, that’s where we were. That’s where we, where we started. But there’s also two strands to my teacher.
So I still work in the early years. I’ve actually been working in earliest for over 20 years, probably about 25 years. That obviously sort of ages me slightly. So maybe we won’t mention that too much but since 2010.
I’ve also been an early, early years lecturer and that’s another row that I just sort of fell into. I was doing some assessing because at that point I thought I could do a bit more than just teaching the children. Um, I could offer some, some guidance and support to other students, to people who want to come into the profession.
I felt I had something to offer to them. So I was working as an assessor. I trained to be an assessor and I was working to be an assessor going into. And assessing the students on the job and that’s great, cause I’m quite nosy. So I love to see what was going on and all the other settings. And from then I got offered a job as a, as a lecture at the college where I was assessing.
So I just sort of fed into that as well. And I found, I really enjoyed it with, with both age groups, really those very young children. Teenagers. It was very different, but just as rewarding and just as challenging. So, um, so yeah, that’s, what’s, what’s been happening with that. And at the moment I worked three days a week at a college where I teach level three, and I’m also hoping to do some degree teaching.
I did some degree teaching about four years ago, and that was lovely working with. So we’re hoping to go back and do that again as well.
So lovely to hear that because as a lecture, sometimes you don’t have a chance to see the actual day-to-day setting. It’s really nice to still be in there to be able to ha to be, you know, seeing how it’s working.
And then when you’re talking about the case studies, you’re actually thinking about all the different things you’re still currently doing, which I know some people.
And that’s, what’s really important for me actually, is that you know, I can stand up in front of them. I mean, on Wednesday and we’ll be teaching whatever topic it is.
And I know I could stand up in front of them and I understand what’s been going on with them. They’re in their, in their own placements on a Monday. So they come in and a Wednesday full of stories about what’s been happening to them. And I, I would have also been in setting those days. So it’s great. I can, I can totally empathize and understand where they’re coming from, but also when I’m teaching a specific topic, you know, we can discuss it together.
You know, our own experiences in practice. That’s important to me that I can stand there and do that. You know, they, they can listen to me obviously, and they respect what I have to say, but the fact that I’m actually doing it as well is really helpful. Plus it’s you say it’s important to me that I keep up to date and that I’m relevant.
Otherwise, I feel a bit of a fraud. If I wasn’t doing that
I know it’s and it’s nice for them to know that you still have these same experiences. Cause you do. I mean, when you’re working early years setting, sometimes you end up working in all parts. You have to deal with different. I mean, we say stakeholders in business, but really it’s parents you do with parents.
You deal with everyone. It’s not, it’s not as simple as it seems at times. I can definitely vouch for that. But talking about this, I want to talk, I want to, I would love to know the. The inspiration on your latest book. When I first saw your book, I assumed that you lived on the beach or somewhere exotic.
Cause it’s the title ended with tails from the sand pit and she must live on a beach somewhere. Anyway, I’d love to hear about your latest book.
Always the children are my inspiration. That’s always been true. And it’s still true now. And the tales from the sun. I mean, I actually grew up on Hayden island, so I grew up, so maybe, yeah, I did.
I grew up on the beach, I learned to swim in the sea and on Hayling island. And also one of my flats that I lived in when I was at university, my back garden was the beach. So I think it’s in there somewhere. It’s in my DNA, but it really comes from our fantastic sand pit. Wow. It was such a fantastic place to grow up. It really was as a child. My goodness. It was amazing. And to have the beach as your pretty much your backyard.
In the book, sorry, you were discussing the journey that you had as a setting ‘In the moment planning’. I mean, when I studied 20 plus years ago as a teacher, this wasn’t really a widely discussed concept in Australia. I’m not sure if it was in the UK, but can you tell us a little bit more about it?
This concept, because for me, it sounds brilliant because it’s absolutely more focused on the child rather than, you know, their needs and wants rather than always chasing your tail with paperwork and all of this and trying to set up the perfect setting, which doesn’t necessarily perfect for everyone.
It’s kind of allowing it a little bit more free flow.
It isn’t anything new, to be honest, it’s, it’s what us as practitioners have been doing always. It comes very naturally to us to work in this way. And it’s certainly something that parents do all the time and, and you will know that.
You’re not constantly planning for this particular learning outcome at home. Are you it’s whatever happens now, it is, it is completely. And that’s, that’s absolutely what in the moment planning is all about.
And I would advise anybody who’s starting their journey to, to make a start with Hubbard book because it details nice. And clearly what it is. You know, you, you start from the child. That’s the key. You start from the child. You go from their interests. It’s still planning using the planning cycles. So you’re still doing that, observing, assessing, and planning, but you’re doing it in a different way.
You’re doing it in that moment. So if we think about it, you observe a child show an interest in something, whatever that may be, you assess what it is that they need. In that moment. So you, you plan what you’re going to teach them or what you feel they’re going to learn from it. And then you assess what that outcome is.
What have they learned from you? What have they learned from the activity? So it’s suited to each unique child in that unique moment. So you just going in the moment you’re doing all the things you would normally do, but the right then right there, and now when it’s of most meaning and value to that child or children.
So they start to feel valued, which is really, really important. And the really wonderful thing for us as, as practitioners and teachers, when we’re planning in the moment is that because you’re not focused on outcomes because you’re not focused on paperwork, you’re focused on the child and the. You’ve got time to spend interacting with them, playing with them.
So you’re developing those really strong relationships and really, really getting to know them rather than spending all your time planning in advance. So if you think about it, what you’re doing is you’re, you’re playing with the children. You plan, as you go, you plan spontaneously and you’re being led by the child.
It sort of gives the child more choices and it’s less direct instruction.
Yes. Very much so. But, that doesn’t mean that the role of the adult is suddenly very passive. No, no. It’s, you know, you, you are, you’re observing and seeing all you needed.
Can you add something to that? Play of value? If you can, then you get involved and you’re looking for teachable moments, you’ll be sprinkling, higher level thinking skills over the top of that play, giving them new vocabulary and language. Posing and wondering with the children so that they’re problem solving and thinking things through.
But you are going from that child. So really you’ve got them stimulated and motivated to learn already. Cause we’re always going to be that way when it’s something we’re interested in.
Aren’t we, this is looking at mastery, would it be more looking at mastery over skills and things like that?
Instead of just looking at the baseline of it, you actually go quite a in depth with the high-level questioning of why they’re doing.
I think you judge it on the individual circumstance. And absolutely there is an opportunity for that. I always say to be really careful with questions because questions by their very nature can be stressful.
So there’s always that sense of. Oh, I might be right that, hang on a minute. I might be wrong. And even as an agile, I’m very, very conscious of that and conscious of it with my students. If I see them looking down desperate, not catching my eye, I know there’s some anxiety there, so we would be more pondering.
Ooh, I wonder what might happen if we then did such and such or, oh, I wonder what would happen if we looked at this? Well, what about if we try this and then you’re more engaging in chats with the child. But you’re, you’re demonstrating to them that you don’t actually have all the answers that they’ve got.
Say two. And that again is hugely empowering for children having a minute. You know, I’ve put the answer to this and Dawn doesn’t necessarily know that it’s brilliant. We can work it through together. And that’s the beauty of it. I think.
That’s very true. My son always had, we do a lot of open-ended play.
Like there’s no right or wrong. It’s just a continuous cycle, especially with building and everything like that. And he always says to me, things like, mommy, this is a chain reaction. Can you look at a new, show me something, building something, knocks it down. It’s his little, it’s his language. It’s how he’s learned over time of what.
It’s a chain reaction. And then he’ll say to me something like, it’s like electricity coming from the sun onto that person’s house. Mommy. So that’s like a reaction like this and he’ll knock it. He’ll knock a building down. It’s just interpretation, which there is some sense to it.
If you’re, I know you’ve gone through in your latest book, you went through the process of changing. Are you saying it’s a pack away setting? So there were some things, some challenges, but you were saying that you did go through to change to in the moment planning do.
And if you are another, do you want to talk about some of the things you learned and things that maybe went, went horribly wrong or went hard, amazing your height? You know, there’s always anything, any change. There’s always both.
Oh, gosh, absolutely. Well, I think the first thing is to say that you’ve got to make sure that everybody is on board with the vision and that they understand the vision.
So probably the first step is you’re going to have a conversation about it, talk it through, and make sure that everybody understands your idea. And that they then share it. So then training’s really important. We went on quite a bit of training.
That very visual connection was helpful so we then ran a pilot. In the summer term, before we fully implemented the, at the moment planning in September, that was really, really useful because then you can see. Right. This is going to work really well. This is going to go well, we all feel really comfortable with this, but then those challenges that will come up and a lot of challenges will come up as you start to go through the process that you won’t have considered at the beginning.
So to run it into pilot was, was so helpful because you can go, okay, hang on a minute. This isn’t working at all. We’re going to have to change this, or perhaps we didn’t quite understand. Part of in the moment planning. And one of the things that didn’t go quite so well, in the beginning, was the idea of focus weeks and observations.
We were perhaps in the mindset, we’ve got to write hundreds and hundreds of observations because that’s what is expected of us. Whereas I, in actual fact, that’s not what it’s expected at. There are no set amount of observations you have to write. And just because you’re not writing down something that you’ve observed that has happened doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean that you aren’t aware of it.
And I know that you could go into any setting and ask those staff members. Tell me about that child over there. And they will be able to do it because we’re using our professional judgment. So we definitely spent far too much time writing at the beginning. It felt really scary to step away from that and to respect our professional judgment a lot more.
We’ve, we’ve worked on that and we still, every now and again, we’re still writing too much. It’s, it’s definitely a journey. I don’t think we’re ever going to get to the end of it because children, things change when new children come. I always say, well, what works in September may well not be working now and probably won’t be working come July.
You’ve always got to be looking at your children, observing your children, checking your environment. It helped us. The pilot helps us to understand the process and it also really demonstrated to us the impact that it had on the children. Surprised at the most, but, really appealed to us the most because they loved it.
They reacted so positively to it that we just knew. We just knew it was right. We knew it was right. Parents. They’re crucial. So they’ve got to be. Yeah, they’ve got to be involved again, right from the start. They’ve got to understand the reasons that you’re moving to in the moment, panning. They really need to understand the benefits for their child because that’s, what’s important to them.
They want their children to be happy so they can see that. So again, we offer training, we ran training for the parents. They were able to ask me any questions. They could raise any concerns. We would talk through it. Invite them in when challenged with, COVID but things are getting better with that now.
Inviting the parents centre, they can see it happen. I’m a very visual learner. It’s really important for me to be able to see something and just keep talking, keep talking with your staff, keep talking with your. ’cause you’ll, you know, the children best, you know, your setting best. So your best place to, to work through any challenges that come up and to not beat yourself up about that, because you’re learning all the time,
Dawn with your setting, did you over a period of time, was it over a period of two to three years that it actually implemented or was it something that you could get quite quickly?
Yeah, we, we did it quite quickly in that. So we ran the pilot for the term leading up to September, and then we went through and started in the second. But yeah. I would say we’ve probably adapted as we’ve gone because just like every child is, is an individual and unique. Every setting is as well.
You have to go with what’s available to you. what’s going to work for a purpose-built setting is perhaps gonna throw out more. For us as a pack away setting. So our F grade talks about having your open-ended resources, which is fantastic to be easily accessible to all of the children all of the time.
And she recommends a workshop style way of having those resources accessible. Now for us as a pack-away setting, that was a challenge because firstly, we don’t have. The time to set everything out and then put it all away. At the end of the session, we’ve got people waiting to come in the hall, you know, after us getting quite cross, if it’s not clean and tidy, but we also don’t have the space to do all of that.
Making it work for you my book isn’t in any way, telling anybody what to do. It’s just giving some guidance and practical examples and, you know, you make a start, you see what happens and you adapt to it and you change it so that it works for you. There’s no one size fits all that.
Think all teachers have learned that after the last two or three years, it’s been something, one of the most flexible professions alive from being incarcerated and not, honestly, I was talking to my husband about this, teaching those things that you have to be so creative and especially our last two years, like I know with coming to online to offline the changes, making things more plate.
You do find that even young. Now I’ve got this funny story. When my youngest son was in nursery in, we lived as ex-pats overseas. We were leaving the country and we were going somewhere else, moving to Dubai. And he had, this is in Singapore. He had this report that came back and I think he probably was about two and a half, three,
And the report said to us, well, he really doesn’t know how to read also he doesn’t really like being teased. Well, I wouldn’t expect him to be honest. His language was delayed. So we were thinking, well, we didn’t really expect him to read this. It was quite an amazing thing because the concept
Well, that’s why child development is so important and practitioners that are coming in students training need to have that fundamental understanding child development so that we do get.
But we haven’t got those really unrealistic expectations for our children where we’re just setting them up to fail. You know, we need to go from where the children are at developmentally at that point.
All children are different. I mean, with the children over the years, one can be more physical nonverbal.
One can be not physical at all. And really verbal. Others can count one to 50, but not actually no at one to 50 years, you know, but they can see, it is really interesting we’ve lived in different countries and the expectations being really different in countries. It’s, it has been a really interesting when you’ve been teaching as well, we know English, maths science, you know, set a 1, 2, 3, or your ABC, you know, there’s just, we do it quite young in some, some country somewhere.
That’s right. That’s my play is so important. You know, it, it develops all of that. It’s about the child holistically. All of those skills. So that by the time they’re six, or seven, they are developmentally ready for all of that. More formal learning and teaching and, you know, they fly it’s, it’s very interesting.
The fact that we’re when there’s perhaps a lack of understanding of just how important players, which is another reason, another inspiration for writing the book, you know, to really
Advocate for play
Absolutely. Just buy two. It’s crucial.
Plays crucial for adults as well. So play is crucial for us as adults to sometimes not take life so seriously,
Definitely.And to not think of play as something silly, you know, it isn’t, it’s something joyful and it’s beneficial. So let’s celebrate it.
Yeah, that’s very true. But do you find, you know, you’ve been for over a decade or so, you’ve been, at least over a decade has deeply changed a lot over
The time you’ve been to. I don’t, I don’t believe play has changed at all.
I think play is very much play. So children have an innate drive to play it’s attitudes have changed and are starting to change, but too slowly for my liking, you know, I believe a lot more, I believe a lot more is required. What I think is changing is that there are many. Now in earlier years, the understand the crucial role that play is having on our children’s learning and development.
I don’t know if you know the wonderful Greg botch. Who’s a big influence on me. He refers to us all as play people. And I really love that. I love this idea that where this gang of people who are advocating for play, and it’s, why am I work that I’m doing in developing playful interactions is, is, is so important to me, but there are still many.
To those who don’t see the value of play, you know, they don’t, they don’t see that. It’s not an important part of it. I still hear about playtimes in the early years and, that really, really does concern me. So we need to be moving away from that. You know, my students. I said to, you know, they, they were in placement on Monday, the Tuesday, and I see them on a Wednesday and they come in and they talk to me about set activities in nursery settings, being the predominant play, being very much, much of a less given less.
There’s much more focus on activities with specific outcomes that are very, very adult initiated.
It’s that direct instruction. That really doesn’t. Don’t I understand this because I think I’ve mentioned to you that we had that with my own tool, my own children, I had that we had an amazing place, really amazing.
Everything you could find in a nursery that you’ve ever wanted. And as an adult, it just makes you think, wow, I wish I went there. But the behaviour that was exerted by my child was something I’ve never seen. It was this cross angry, stressed anxiety. And I, you know, I’m working full time. So the nursery is kind of a really important thing to me, but then when you pick someone up and they’re like that every day, you think, wow, what’s going wrong.
And as a mom, what have I done? Okay. Less time this, this, but actually what we did is we actually started to go into a local one, a really local pack away nursery. And he would come out of that. Oh my gosh. Really excited. Freddy’s my new friend miles is my new friend Annabel. I’ve asked this person to come over to be my really different and started drawing, doing all the things that he just stopped doing.
And eventually, we transferred him over, but it did take us a long time because we just sort of looked around and thought, oh, this is amazing, but actually it didn’t work. It just, it was a real, it was a lot of direct instructions and a lot of here is. Here is maths theories. It wasn’t a crossover. It was a really silo of a nice way to put it.
Children don’t learn that way. You know, they don’t have these little pockets of things. They’re holistic, it just comes. And that’s where all that learning. We’ll come within their play because if they’re choosing something that they’re interested in, yeah. They’re deeply engaged in it. That’s when your brain is working.
That’s when you learning is happening, your signups is a firing and neurons are connecting because they’re deeply engaged as if you’re constantly pulling them over, come and do this activity that I think is really important and interesting. You know, they’re not, they can’t get into that play. They can’t deeply engage in that pain then learning.
Isn’t happy. That’s what we found Heather, when we started the, in the moment planning because the children were able to choose, they were able to deeply engage. They were respected in those choices. We didn’t have all of that stress and anxiety. We didn’t have that challenging behavior. And I promise you, we have noticed such a reduction in challenging behavior because, because of the way that we are now, I really do see it.
And it’s, it’s fantastic to see. Oh, no, it’s such a difference.
I absolutely, you know, I can see it in my own children and how it’s worked over the last a year. We’ve made this massive change for him thinking, well, why would, why should you know, this has everything, you know, it’s got all the, all the reviews and everything, but it just didn’t work is, I mean, some children will work, but he was as a child.
I think it shouldn’t be, I mean, you can come home tired, but you shouldn’t be coming in. Stressed out as you know, it should, you know, there could be a process and he doesn’t have it. He didn’t have attachment or anything. He’s very happy not to. He’s very happy to run away with not runaway. I mean, you know, I suppose the other thing is, what do you believe is the most important lessons that you’ve learned as a teacher for other teachers as the earliest teacher, or even as, you know, managing your own early years or lecturing, what’s the most important thing.
I think probably the most important thing is, well, it’s the children, the children are the most important thing going from their interests. You know, everything I’ve learned really I have learned from the children. So the key to teaching, I always feel is to listen to the. To value their thoughts and their ideas.
You know, they’re not little people that we have to fill up with everything. They’re individuals. They come to us with their own ideas and their own opinions and thoughts on things. And it’s our job as teachers to find out what. Ideas and interests are, it’s not for us to decide at that for them. That’s not our job at all.
So yeah, to go from the interest of the children and that way we’ll know that there’ll be motivation. And then they’re going to be stimulated to learn. As we’ve just been talking about also as a teacher, you don’t have all the answers. And that’s absolute Okay. It’s not a weakness at all. It’s okay. Not to know.
We just need to make sure that we find out now a very, very different way that we can find out about things. And I think it’s important. I mentioned it earlier that children need to know we don’t have all the answers, but they have a say too. And, and we can, we can work things out together. Let’s go and find out well, I’m not really sure about that.
Let’s go and find out together as well for teaching. It’s important to keep up to date. Yeah, me in this country, things are changing all the time. Things are being revised and updated. So the learning is never done. I’m always saying that to my students, my year two, they’re coming to the end of our level three.
They’re going to be qualifying the couple of months and I say to them, well, this isn’t the end for you. This is actually just the beginning. You’re going to need to keep yourself. Up to date. If you’re doing this profession, hopefully you’re interested in early as in children. So stay interested, be interested in the early years.
How can I improve my practice? I’m always thinking about that. You know, what can I do next? I’m interested in it. It’s my passion. So podcasts like this are brilliant to listen to and so informative and fun. Looks at reading books, reading articles, training. That’s an offer. Kathy. Brody’s got fantastic earliest summit coming up.I think it’s in may the speech and language. It’s free CPD for practitioners. You know, we’re so lucky.
The earliest does have a lot of free CPDs. Now online, since there is amazing. So many people got some amazing things that they, their professional services that they’re now talking and giving to people online.
It’s really important. It’s I just think it’s so invaluable. We have to make sure we’re still learning. We have to make sure we’re up. We’re up to date and we understand what the latest guidance is saying for us. So I think that’s really important. Yeah.
Dawn, what’s the next adventure?
I’m thinking about the next book, another one for the earliest practitioners or perhaps parents. I know that a lot of people have said to me always is your book suitable for parents. And I honestly have to say it isn’t.
It is written specifically for the earliest practitioners and students and teachers. So possibly a book for parents would be really good. Love to actually be working with people who are revising the new curriculums for the earliest students. I find that a bit up-to-date date themselves at the moment. I’m teaching, I sort of say, this isn’t really happening anymore. This isn’t what we would consider best practice. So I’d really love to do. I’ve been running a couple of webinars and I’ve got a keynote presentation coming up in September with early education.
I’m also thinking about offering some training to practitioners in our setting where I can share my passion for play and some practical ideas because I think that would be really helpful. I always find that really helpful. I would like to be able to offer. I’m also I’m, I’m completing a level two nearest.
I sit in the moment it’s new, that’s come out from cash. And I thought I teach it for level three, but it’s very basic. So it’s this new cash award that’s come out. And I thought, well, I should, I should be looking at that. I should be understanding what’s being taught at level two. So I’ll do it myself. And I might learn something as well.
Actually, it’s been great. I’ve been really enjoying it. So I’m doing. This book’s been great. It’s been lovely to write a book like this, but I’d love to ask some children’s stories as well. I love to read stories to children. It’s one of my favourite things that I get to do in my job.
So I’d quite like to write a children’s book, but we’ll see.
Very busy. You’ve got a lot to think about, but I would say to your parents book on play-based learning and understanding the concepts and why it’s so important to have that free play would be a really good thing. Really good thing, because you want to write, there’s lots of it out there for early years, professionals for parents, you know, there’s not a huge amount on talking about.
The advocacy on play-based learning and the, where you’re actually developing the children because some parents see it as frivolous. They don’t understand play base. They don’t understand why I’m not got a one to 20 counters and, you know, doing that and showing them rather than his, you know, you hear at some, I don’t know, monster and monsters and counters or whatever it’s going to be.
Throwing them around the room, but then they’re sorting them. They’re patterning with them. They’re doing things that we didn’t even think they would do colors or even just blocks, shells, anything. Yeah. Paint them
That’s what we said. Parents are so important. Aren’t these habits crucial that they’re the children’s first educators?
We, really do need them on board. We, we can’t make any of this work. If we don’t have parents understanding, play and the importance of it, do we? So it’s definitely something that I am, I am thinking about doing. I would, I would hope it would be. Yes. No
Definitely would be useful now. Um, Dawn, let everyone know your new bookmaking paperwork in the earliest settings is available from tales from sandpit is available from Amazon.
I’d swear. I actually got it. But is there somewhere else?
Other places? Um, I believe, yeah, I believe Walter stones have it. I’d seen was Smith or you can get it from the publishers, which is Sage. Fantastic.
And looking if anyone wants to get in touch with you if they’re a teacher or anything like that, can they, you’ve got Dawnrigby.com.
Is your website, is there any other way?
Yes indeed. So my Facebook page, if you just look for tasks on the sandpit, that’s on Facebook. That’s where I post the most. I suppose I put on there, things have happened to me in the setting that the children have been doing, practical advice and tips and funny things that children say to me because they always make love and any articles that come up and I think, oh, that might be interesting.
I’ll put that on my Facebook page and share it. I’m on Twitter as well. From the sand pit. And I’m also on Instagram. I’m on Instagram is Dawn L Rigby. I don’t always remember to put stuff on Instagram, but when I remember I do so I’m pretty easy to find. I mean, if you just shoved towels from the sandpit in your, in your search, you should find it. Dawn. Thank
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. It’s such an important thing. Play earliest settings and making sure, as you say, we’re training the trainers, we’re training the people that are training the students and we’re doing it properly. So it’s such a big role. It’s an important role.
And I’d say thank you from everyone. And we hope to chat with you soon as, and then to watch the new book.
Yes, absolutely. That you’ve inspired me to write.
Thank you Dawn take care.
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