We started our Adventure with Alice at the beginning of 2019 with the Curiosity Adventure. Quite quickly our staff were finding interesting provocations, parents were collecting keys, mashers and different textured balls for us. The nursery was buzzing with items of curiosity. Staff were enjoying watching clips from the training video in their weekly room meetings. The videos have been easy to access on nursery I pads. This has encouraged reflection and more specific discussion on what they are learning each day on the adventure.
Parents quickly became involved on our adventures with our Superhero Family Day this was a suggestion from this excellent training Resource, that was new , quirky and full of learning but most importantly motivates all our practitioners.
We are now about to finish adventure three and so far we have introduced wow moments, bonding bags, more individual welcome songs, provocations which promote Curiosity , Inquiry and Discovery, plus many more exciting and unusual ways to promote child development in the nursery setting.
New staff that have started have enjoyed using the adventures as part of their induction. Being able to use this resource throughout induction has been a perfect way to encourage what we expect to see at our nursery.
The Adventures with Alice so far, has encouraged our practitioners to be inspired, have fun and see what a difference they are making to the care and education they are providing within our setting.
From my point of view as a manager leading this training, I have found this to be exciting motivational and a fantastic tool to be able to continue my staff’s learning every day.
What other training tool can get a full staff team “wearing teddy bears” to work.
Pamela Stein- Nursery Manager Big Bird Nursery, Whitburn
We have begun trialing the new “Adventures with Alice” at two of our nurseries where we have welcomed very new teams and managers. LEYF are very aligned to the Alice Sharp approach to Early Years and have sent many of our teachers up to Glasgow to receive her training in person.
When we saw this new resource for staff CPD we couldn’t wait to try it out, it seemed obvious that having a virtual Alice attending our team staff meetings and training sessions might be a great approach to enhance our teachers CPD.
We have been delighted with the progress that the trial nurseries for Adventures with Alice have made so far, I have seen teacher’s knowledge and skills grow from participating in the staff meetings which Alice has virtually led through the training films. Teachers have deepened their understanding of pedagogy and are beginning to appreciate the importance of why we do what we do in an outstanding Early Years setting. The think and discuss prompts really help the teachers to understand and apply the theory and information that Alice shares.
The most notable shift in the quality has ben the interactions between teachers and their children, where the teachers are providing exciting and interesting provocations, and using resources in far more enticing ways, which in turn is making our children far more curious and has led to far more interesting teaching and learning.
The Managers have commented on how easy it is to facilitate the training, one team use a laptop and projector, our smaller team have gathered around a large monitor. The discussions and conversations that the training has prompted have been really enlightening for the managers too as it has helped to highlight areas of strength and areas for development.
The accompanying magazines have been very popular with the teachers and room leaders too, especially as they continue to share new ideas and provide suggestions for ways to further develop their practice and provision.
We will strongly be encouraging more of our nurseries to sign up for Adventures with Alice!
Benjamin Clay- Senior Pedagogy Manager at LEYF
As a setting we have been very fortunate to have previously invested in high quality staff training delivered by Experiential Play. This training resulted in transformational change in our setting (over a period of 2 years) in terms of staff knowledge, skills, confidence, morale, quality and led to significantly improved outcomes for children and families. In recognition and celebration of this transformation, we achieved a top 5 finalist spot for ‘best indoor environment’ at NMT Scotland awards in 2017. This was also reflected in our improved inspection grades.
When I received information about Adventures with Alice subscription, I was thrilled as I recognised the potential it could have to support our ongoing continuous professional development programme for staff. It came at the perfect time when we were finding it challenging to release staff to attend training and the current issue of staff retention was making it very difficult to maintain a shared vision and pedagogical approach.
Since purchasing the resource I have introduced new monthly Adventures with Alice ‘lunchtime reflection sessions’ for staff where lunch is provided (typically 6 sessions in the month to cover all staff). We reflect on one of the inspirational film clips which really challenge thinking and demonstrates best practice. We also use one of the magazines or posters which complement the film clips and have really inspired staff and provided lots of ideas for provocations and practice. This has been very evident across the learning environments where children can be observed being very curious, investigating and making discoveries. I have also observed improved staff morale because everyone is able to attend regular training in a manageable way and share reflection and ideas. Staff are really focusing on beginning with the child and being responsive by planning meaningful environments and provocations that excite and inspire.
In addition to using the subscription resources in planned ways as mentioned above, it’s also regularly used more informally to inform practice. Staff read the magazine on their lunch breaks, each playroom has used an aspect of the subscription resources to help reflect on and improve practice in their allocated area of work. It’s provided a platform for staff to engage with likeminded practitioners on relevant social media groups and online. We have also teamed up with another 2 settings who are using the resource and plan to arrange staff visits and the opportunity for staff to engage in training and reflection together during evening sessions.
We have included the Adventures with Alice resource in our long-term improvement plan to ensure we fully embed it in our practice and maintain quality – particularly through these challenging times for the early years sector. As part of these improvements we have also planned to use the resource to engage and inform parents by creating displays and in planned sessions. The resource reflects national guidance and will ensure we are meetings requirements of the new national standard for the expansion of early learning and childcare in Scotland next year.
The real beauty of this inspiring resource is that each setting can use it in a way that is manageable for them and to support where they are in their own unique improvement journey. I really feel like we have got our spark back and Experiential Play is once again ‘oozing’ from our playrooms which we are all very excited about.
40 employees and 170 children attend
Adventures with Alice – Our Experiential Journey