Publications, Research & Development

Creative Thinking and Learning Project

Written by Anni McTavish with a foreword by Nancy Stewart

Creativity is instinctive in young children, and this booklet is about a project based at Sheringham Nursery School in the London Borough of Newham, which inspired creative practice throughout the learning community. It tells a story about the development of creativity and critical thinking and the impact on young children and their families.

This project focuses on creating and thinking critically – one of the characteristics of effective teaching and learning, so crucial to early learning. Often practitioners ask for help and support to equip an environment creatively. They want children to be able to freely explore their ideas, and seek confidence in providing these opportunities, as well as challenging their own creative thinking.

Download the Creative Thinking and Learning Booklet [PDF]

Outlast blocks

Sheringham Nursery School is committed to children learning through play, particularly outdoors. Read about how we use Outlast blocks, which provide us a flexible resource to foster creativity, inclusion, and powerful learning experiences, and watch some video of children playing in the nursery school garden.

Pedagogical innovation and leadership in the early years

This report presents the findings of an independent evaluation study by the UCL Institute of Education of our “Outstanding Early Years Teaching” programme, and the participants’ experience of professional learning.

The researchers found that “Significantly, the findings showed evidence of participants’ applying their learning to changing and informing their settings’ practices, and for some, how this has resulted in initiating and leading change in key aspects of practice. Five key themes emerged: pedagogical tools to promote and extend children’s learning, shared and purposeful learning, reflective practice, twitter and virtual learning as an enabler and inhibitor, and perceived impact on practice and leadership. The findings highlighted the agency that was exercised by several practitioners in their development of pedagogical strategies to improve their practice and interactions with the children. Overall, participants were positive about the learning they had gained from being on the programme and appeared to benefit from the impact it had on their practice. The study provided strong evidence for sustaining and potentially scaling up of the early years teaching programme as a model of professional development and learning for nursery and preschool practitioners.” Read on [PDF]

Newham Reception Innovation Project

Find out how east London school leaders are seeking to ‘maximise pupil progress through play-based learning in Reception classes’. This project has been developed by early years consultant Helen Moylett and led by Kaizen Primary School.

Find out more about Newham Reception Innovation project.

Partner Up

Dr Julian Grenier of Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre in East London talks to Marianne Sargent about the East London Partnership, the National Teaching School led by Sheringham Nursery School with Kaizen Primary School.

Find out more about Partner Up.

Manor Park Talks

Professor Tina Bruce writes: ‘This booklet is designed to support practitioners in helping very young children to communicate and develop language in ways which are facilitated through play. It emphasises first hand experiences which are rich in sensory learning and in freedom of movement for the child. It will help practitioners to think their way through their practice, and be reflective practitioners. Who could ask for more?’

Manor Park Talks documents a highly successful community project in Newham, East London, that brought together early years settings, parents, childminders and schools – all with the shared aim of helping children’s early communication.

Like many other urban communities, Manor Park was characterised for a long time by many children starting school with communication difficulties. Working with parents as partners, and supporting each other to improve early years provision, the Manor Park Talks team succeeded in boosting children’s early communication. The gap between the most vulnerable children and the rest had narrowed significantly at the end of the project.

Download the Manor Park Talks booklet [PDF]

Find out more about the Manor Park Talks project.

Including Two-Year Olds in Schools: a briefing for school leaders

Is your school the right environment for two-year-old provision and what would you gain from offering it?

Schools are not the only organisations which can provide high-quality early education and care: but they are well-placed to do so.

This briefing was written by Helen Moylett and Dr Julian Grenier on behalf of Early Education and distributed in partnership with Nursery World

Download the Two Year Olds Briefing.

Working as a Community Childcare and Early Education Hub

The Hub is based within Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre in Newham and reaches out to a growing network of providers which currently includes 7 early years’ settings, 7 local primary schools and a network of more than 20 childminders.

The Hub has brought a new energy to the network and a clear focus across its members on driving up quality, improving parental awareness of childcare options in the area, and creating new opportunities for blended childcare.

Download the Sheringham Case Study.

Early Years Pupil Premium: Working together in a geographical cluster to raise achievement in mathematics

This EYPP case study sets out how Sheringham Nursery School together with Manor Park’s primary schools identified low attainment in mathematics and a need for a collaborative approach to raising achievement.

Download the EYPP Case Study.