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Early Years Courses and Events

We offer a range of high quality courses for early years' professionals.

Our one-day courses are aimed at all practitioners in Early Years settings, including teachers and support staff. The day normally includes a buffet sandwich lunch (unless otherwise stated), refreshments throughout the day and a tour of Dorking Nursery School (if staffing/circumstances on the day permit).

We also regularly run Makaton training as well as offering early years practitioners an opportunity to visit our Nursery on our Visitors Mornings.

The format for our training sessions is as follows and we will update and review this regularly:

  • Maximum of 16 attendees in the training room;
  • Current government guidance will be followed regarding in the event of any public health guidance;
  • A buffet sandwich lunch will be provided (unless otherwise stated) along with refreshments throughout the day;
  • There is no parking on site for attendees - please see separate info re local parking on our Contact Us page.

Scroll down to view our upcoming training courses; booking via website booking form only.

Cancellation charges

  • Cancellation notice period charges:
    • Over 4 weeks – full refund
    • Between 10 working days and 4 weeks – 50% refund
    • Less than 10 working days – no refund
  • We reserve the right to cancel a conference, in which case full refund will be made

 

 

Partnership with Early Excellence

We are delighted to be working in partnership with Early Excellence to offer a series of practical and informative workshops. For more information check out our forthcoming courses below or visit the Early Excellence Website

We have been working in partnership with Early Excellence since 2018 and are very pleased to be recognised again for 2023/24, to host events and share good practice in our area. Early Excellence are a highly regarded organisation that promotes inspirational learning, offers school improvement & bespoke consultancy as well as educational resource solutions focused on early primary EYFS & KS1.

Visitors Mornings

Our Visitors mornings are aimed at practitioners working in early years who are interested in learning more about Dorking Nursery School.  We were very proud that Dorking Nursery School was rated OUTSTANDING in November 2021 for the 7th consecutive inspection. The Visitors' mornings, delivered by Donna Harwood-Duffy, our Headteacher, are relaxed and informal.

The sessions are for a maximum number of 10 people for individuals or bespoke groups which can be tailor-made to suit your job roles or settings.  It is an opportunity for practitioners to share good practice and learn what we do in an outstanding setting.

During the morning, you will:

  • Find out about the history of Dorking Nursery School;
  • Learn about our key concepts and pedagogical strategies;
  • Observe our practice first-hand;
  • See how we document children’s learning, including assessment and planning;
  • View the 2-3s and 3-5s nurseries and outdoor spaces.

Times: 9.15 - 11.30am (registration from 9am)

Cost: £50 per person.

Coffee and refreshments are included in the cost of the visit.

School-to-school support

In June 2017, Dorking Nursery School was designated as a National Support School and and our Headteacher, Donna Harwood-Duffy as a National Leader of Education.  A range of bespoke support, consultancy, training and CPD for schools and settings can be purchased by contacting us directly.  

Summer Courses 2024

We have some excellent new training courses scheduled for the Summer term:

'Interacting or Interfering? Enhancing young children’s language, communication and learning' with Professor Julie Fisher on Tues 30 April. We are very pleased to welcome back Julie Fisher to run this training - Julie has a national reputation for providing outstanding early years training. Her success lies in combining relevant, practical material with theoretical knowledge and research evidence gained through vast experience as a headteacher, lecturer, adviser, inspector and researcher.

'Let's Get Talking' run by Early Excellence on Thurs 9 May. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Early Excellence again to offer a full day of training for your EYFS team.

'Supporting Transitions' with Tamsin Grimmer on Tues 21 May. Tamsin is an experienced early years consultant and trainer who is passionate about young children's learning and development.

Interacting or Interfering? Enhancing young children’s language, communication and learning - Prof Julie Fisher - Tues 30 April 2024

Trainer: Professor Julie Fisher

Cost: £125.00 per person (including lunch and refreshments)

Date: Tuesday 30th April 2024, 9.30am - 3.30pm

About this event

Every day, early years practitioners engage in interactions with young children that have the potential to enhance their learning. However, such is the temptation to squeeze every teaching moment out of each interaction that practitioners often interrupt children’s thinking and consequently interfere with their learning. This course will examine the knowledge, timing and sensitivity necessary to interact effectively and, as a consequence, build important relationships and enhance children’s well-being and motivation to communicate.

Throughout the day, Julie’s own research will be woven with expectations from the EYFS programmes of study for Communication and Language in order for delegates to reflect on different ways they might extend and enhance children’s language and communication through natural, genuine, every day conversations. Through the use of DVD footage, delegates will have a number of opportunities to observe other practitioners engaged in interactions both indoors and outdoors and in both adult-led and child-led situations. There will then be ample time for discussion and reflection on what has been seen, and to come to personal decisions about how best to tune in to children’s current thinking and respond in ways that are of benefit to their learning and development.

Issues addressed:

  • Why talking to – and listening to - children matters so much;
  • How to best achieve ‘back and forth’ interactions;
  • Who ‘leads the learning?’ and how this alters the role of the educator;
  • How and why interactions outdoors differ from those indoors;
  • The importance of timing in achieving effective interactions;
  • How to extend, enhance and enrich children’s language;
  • How questioning can inhibit thinking – and what to do instead;
  • When, whether and why an interaction becomes interference.

Trainer(s): Professor Julie Fisher

Julie Fisher is an independent Early Years Adviser and visiting Professor of Early Childhood Education at Oxford Brookes University. She held the post of Early Years Adviser in Oxfordshire for 11 years, before which she was lecturer in early childhood education at the University of Reading. She has taught children from 3 to 12 years of age and has been headteacher of two urban, multi-cultural schools.

Julie has been the national Chair of a number of early years organisations including the National Association of Early Years Inspectors, Advisers and Consultants and the national Early Childhood Forum. In her work, she draws on her own research projects which engage her in constant contact with practitioners and children in both schools and settings. She is a well-known and respected author whose books include ‘Starting from the Child?’ (5th edn in print); ‘The Foundations of Learning’ (2002); ‘Interacting or Interfering?’ (2016) and ‘Moving On to Key Stage One’ (2nd edn 2020).

Julie achieved her doctorate for research into the changing role of early childhood educators since the introduction of the EYFS. She is a proud recipient of the Nursery World Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to early childhood education.

New to Working in the EYFS for Support Staff - Donna Harwood-Duffy - Fri 3 May 2024 (half-day)

Trainer: Donna Harwood-Duffy

Cost: £65.00 per person (including refreshments)

Date: Friday 3rd May 2024, 9.30am - 12.00pm

About this event

This morning course is aimed at support staff working in early years settings.

The course will give delegates:

  • An overview and understanding of the EYFS and areas of learning
  • An understanding of their role in supporting teaching and learning both inside and outside
  • Support for writing observations
  • An understanding of what good practice looks like

The course runs from 9.30am to 12.00pm, with registration from 9.00am. Refreshments are provided throughout the morning.

This morning course is predominately aimed at support staff working in the EYFS. We are running a similar full-day course on Tues 9 July aimed at teachers working in the EYFS.

Trainer(s): Donna Harwood-Duffy

Donna Harwood-Duffy is the Executive Headteacher at both Chertsey and Dorking Nursery Schools and Mole Valley Family Centre. She has a wealth of experience working in the EYFS sector in Surrey and the Middle East. Donna has held the post of EYFS Leader, Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher in a variety of Nursery, Infant and Primary settings. Before joining the team at Dorking Nursery School, Donna worked as an EYFS Consultant in Surrey supporting schools across the county with all aspects of school improvement linked to the EYFS.

Let's Get Talking in the EYFS - EARLY EXCELLENCE Partnership Event - Thurs 9 May 2024

Trainer: Claire King

Cost: £145.00 per person 

Date: Thursday 9th May 2024, 9.30am - 3.30pm

About this event

We are delighted to be working in partnership with Early Excellence to offer a full day of training for your EYFS team.

This full day of training will draw on the latest research findings and explore the key steps involved in early language development, consider the processes involved in holding a ‘conversation’, vocabulary enrichment and explore how we can successfully support quality talk within provision.

Over the course of the day we will cover:

  • Stages of Development for Speech, Language and Communication - Deepening understanding of the typical stages of development from birth to five years of age and distinguish between speech, language and communication;
  • The impact of the Learning Environment - Understand the impact of the learning environment on children’s language and communication;
  • Action Planning for Practice and Provision - Reflect on potential changes to practice and provision which will best support the development of children’s speech, language and communication.

Benefits:

  • Explore the key features of an enabling, language rich environment allowing children to successfully follow their own interests;
  • Form strategies to extend children’s thinking, language and communication skills through careful planning, resourcing and teaching within provision;
  • Reflect and evaluate current EYFS provision and begin to formulate plans to move forward.

Audience:

EYFS leaders, teachers and support staff

PLEASE NOTE - refreshments are available throughout the day, but NO LUNCH IS PROVIDED - please ensure you bring a packed lunch to the course.

Booking is directly through Early Excellence - click on this link to book or visit the Early Excellence website

Trainer(s): Clare King

Clare is a highly accomplished teacher and leader who has been at the forefront of school improvement and leadership in both Kent and Cambridgeshire. She has held senior roles including Head of Early Years and  Children’s Centre Strategic Manager as well as Assistant and Deputy Headteacher and Acting Headteacher.  She has worked with Local Authorities, MAT’s and schools using her passion and Early Years specialism to drive school improvement and pupil outcomes. Clare is a highly regarded leader in school improvement, curriculum development and high quality learning environments with proven knowledge of early childhood development 3-7yrs.

Visitors Morning - Thurs 16 May 2024

Trainer: Donna Harwood-Duffy

Cost: £50.00 per person 

Date: Thursday 16th May 2024 - 9.15am - 11.30am (registration from 9am)

Coffee and refreshments are included in the cost of the visit.

During the morning, you will:

  • Find out about the history of Dorking Nursery School;
  • Learn about our key concepts and pedagogical strategies;
  • Observe our practice first-hand;
  • See how we document children’s learning, including assessment and planning;
  • View the 2-3s and 3-5s nurseries and outdoor spaces.

Supporting Transitions - Tamsin Grimmer - Tues 21 May 2024

Trainer: Tamsin Grimmer

Cost: £125.00 per person (including lunch and refreshments)

Date: Tuesday 21st May 2024, 9:30am to 3:30pm

About this event

Children find transitions and change difficult to cope with. During this training day we will explore some of the transitions children experience, including from nursery/pre-school to reception and from reception to Year 1. We are told that the EYFS promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and we will consider this hotly debated term and explore what it means in terms of our children. We will also explore the role of the adult in supporting children through transitions.

Drawing upon theory and research, the day will be a mix of input and practical activities to enable you to reflect upon your own practice.

Delegates will have opportunities to:

  • Explore the many transitions that children go through and consider how they impact our children’s lives;
  • Understand how adults can support effective transitions for children;
  • Understand and explore different perspectives in relation to school readiness;
  • Consider partnerships between settings, parents and schools;
  • Reflect upon their practice through self-evaluation & review.

Trainer(s): Tamsin Grimmer

Tamsin Grimmer is a director of Linden Learning, an associate of Early Education and teaches at Norland College. She has a wealth of experience supporting Early Years Teachers and educators. She is passionate about young children’s learning and believes that all children deserve educators who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective and loving. Tamsin is a true advocate for adopting a loving pedagogy and has a keen interest in schematic play, promoting positive behaviour, supporting children's emotional development and inclusion. She has written several books aimed at educators including 'School Readiness and the Characteristics of Effective Learning'. Tamsin particularly enjoys planning and delivering training and supporting early years educators to improve outcomes for young children.

Visitors Morning - Tues 25 June 2024

Trainer: Donna Harwood-Duffy

Cost: £50.00 per person 

Date: Tuesday 25th June 2024, 9.15am - 11.30am (registration from 9am)

Coffee and refreshments are included in the cost of the visit.

During the morning, you will:

  • Find out about the history of Dorking Nursery School;
  • Learn about our key concepts and pedagogical strategies;
  • Observe our practice first-hand;
  • See how we document children’s learning, including assessment and planning;
  • View the 2-3s and 3-5s nurseries and outdoor space

New to Early Years (for teachers) - Donna Harwood-Duffy - Tues 9 July 2024

Trainer: Donna Harwood-Duffy

Cost: £125.00 per person (including lunch and refreshments)

Date: Tuesday 9th July, 9:30am to 3:30pm

About this event

Are you newly qualified, new to working in the early years, or perhaps coming back after a career break? This course will give you an insight into the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

From birth to five, children develop and learn more rapidly than at any other stage of life. Children are unique and so is teaching in the EYFS – during the day we will explore a variety of themes to enable practitioners to consider in their settings.

The course will be a mix of input and active learning allowing participants to talk with colleagues, reflect on video clips and on their own practice, and plan for improvement.

Delegates will gain:

  • An awareness of child development and the learning needs of young children;
  • An understanding of the teaching, learning and assessment requirements in the Revised EYFS;
  • Ideas for managing and organising the learning environment both inside and outside

The course runs from 9.30am to 3.30pm, with registration from 9.00am. Lunch is provided as well as refreshments throughout the day.

The day is predominately aimed at teachers in schools. We are running a similar half-day course on Fri 3 May aimed at support staff working in the EYFS.

Trainer(s): Donna Harwood-Duffy

Donna Harwood-Duffy is the Executive Headteacher at both Chertsey and Dorking Nursery Schools and Mole Valley Family Centre. She has a wealth of experience working in the EYFS sector in Surrey and the Middle East. Donna has held the post of EYFS Leader, Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher in a variety of Nursery, Infant and Primary settings. Before joining the team at Dorking Nursery School, Donna worked as an EYFS Consultant in Surrey supporting schools across the county with all aspects of school improvement linked to the EYFS.

PREVIOUS TRAINING COURSES
Spring Courses 2024

Makaton Level 2 Workshop - Fri 8 March 2024

Trainer: Stella Rogers

Cost: £90.00 per person (includes cost of manual)

Date: Friday 8th March 2024, 9:00am to 4:00pm

About this event

Makaton is a fun and inclusive way for adults and children of all abilities to interact, socialise and express themselves with confidence independently.  Makaton is for everyone who interacts with others in their community.

This Level 2 training continues your journey for learning Makaton. It is recommended for:

  • parents, family members, carers and workers who need to use Makaton at home and in their work;
  • participants who need a more detailed knowledge about using and applying Makaton to develop the communication skills of others

Content of the day:

  • Level 2 training provides a practical revision of the Makaton signs learnt in Level 1, along with an insight into the history of the Makaton Language Program and its journey;
  • Sessions include discussing commonly asked questions, how to use symbols effectively, developing signing skills and how to start using Makaton fluently in everyday situations at home or work;
  • You will also learn the signs and symbols from Stages 3 and 4, and some of the Additional stage, of the Core Vocabulary

Duration:

Level 2 training is made up of two modules during the day (7 hours). The course starts promptly at 9.00am with registration from 8.30am.

Entry criteria:

  • Participants must have completed Makaton Level 1 previously before attending this course. Please confirm your attendance by bringing your Level 1 certificate to the workshop or emailing when booking.
  • It is advised that participants revise all Level 1 signs before the workshop

We are also running the Level 1 training on Fri 9 Feb - cost is £90 per course or a reduced price of £170 if you book both the Makaton Level 1 & Level 2 courses. This includes the cost of the manuals.


Trainer(s): Stella Rogers

The workshop is delivered by Stella Rogers, a Qualified Makaton Tutor with over 10 years of experience working with children and adults with communication needs. She has worked in schools, colleges & nursery settings as well as community groups and projects in the London area. Stella offers Level 1 and Level 2 Makaton training for individuals, families, educators, health & social care professionals and anyone else who wishes to learn!

Makaton Level 1 Workshop - Fri 9 Feb 2024

Trainer: Stella Rogers

Cost: £90.00 per person (includes cost of manual)

Date: Friday 9th February 2024, 9:00am to 4:00pm

About this event

Makaton is a fun and inclusive way for adults and children of all abilities to interact, socialise and express themselves with confidence independently.  Makaton is for everyone who interacts with others in their community.

This Level 1 training workshop is the starting point for learning Makaton. It is recommended for:

  • parents, family members, carers and workers who need to use Makaton at home and in their work
  • participants who need a more detailed knowledge about using and applying Makaton to develop the communication skills of others

Content of the day:

  • Level 1 training provides a practical introduction to the Makaton Language Programme
  • Sessions include discussing commonly asked questions, hints and tips for effective signing and symbol use and how to start using Makaton in everyday situations at home or work
  • You will also learn the signs and symbols from Stages 1 and 2, and some of the Additional stage, of the Core Vocabulary

Duration:

Level 1 training is made up of two modules during the day (7 hours). The course starts promptly at 9.00am with registration from 8.30am, and finishes a 5pm.

Entry criteria:

Participants must have an interest in early communication skills.

We are also running the follow-up Level 2 training on Fri 8 March - cost is £90 per course or a reduced price of £170 if you book both courses. This includes the cost of the manuals. PLEASE NOTE LUNCH IS NOT PROVIDED - PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN


Trainer(s): Stella Rogers

The workshop is delivered by Stella Rogers, a Qualified Makaton Tutor with over 10 years of experience working with children and adults with communication needs. She has worked in schools, colleges & nursery settings as well as community groups and projects in the London area. Stella offers Level 1 and Level 2 Makaton training for individuals, families, educators, health & social care professionals and anyone else who wishes to learn!  

New to Working in the EYFS for Support Staff - Donna Harwood-Duffy - Thurs 25 Jan 2024 (half-day)

Trainer: Donna Harwood-Duffy

Cost: £65.00 per person (includes refreshments)

Date: Thursday 25th January 2024, 9:30am to 12.30pm

About this event

This morning course is aimed at support staff working in early years settings.

The course will give delegates:

  • An overview and understanding of the EYFS and areas of learning
  • An understanding of their role in supporting teaching and learning both inside and outside
  • Support for writing observations
  • An understanding of what good practice looks like

The course runs from 9.30am to 12.00pm, with registration from 9.00am. Refreshments are provided throughout the morning.


Trainer(s): Donna Harwood-Duffy

Donna Harwood-Duffy is the Executive Headteacher at both Chertsey and Dorking Nursery Schools and Mole Valley Family Centre. She has a wealth of experience working in the EYFS sector in Surrey and the Middle East. Donna has held the post of EYFS Leader, Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher in a variety of Nursery, Infant and Primary settings. Before joining the team at Dorking Nursery School, Donna worked as an EYFS Consultant in Surrey supporting schools across the county with all aspects of school improvement linked to the EYFS.

Supporting Bi-lingual Learners in the Early Years - Dr Rose Drury - Thurs 11 January 2024, 9.30am - 3.30pm

Trainer: Dr Rose Drury

Cost: £125.00 per person (includes cost of manual, lunch & refreshments)

Date: Thursday 11th January 2024, 9:30am to 3.30pm

About this event

In the 21st century UK society has become ever more diverse and increasing numbers of bilingual children are entering Early Years settings. Most practitioners in the UK now work with children who speak more than one language and who bring a wide range of linguistic and cultural experiences. 

The aim of the day is to support your work with young bilingual learners with a focus on children who are new to learning English.

By the end of the course delegates will:

  • make links with current EYFS guidance and discuss how to put this into practice with young bilingual children and their families;
  • develop an understanding of assessment for children who are new to English and the stages of early language development for young bilinguals;
  • develop strategies for supporting children’s early language and communication when learning a new language;
  • understand the importance of recognising and building on children’s cultural and linguistic experiences and providing a positive learning environment.

Trainer(s): Dr Rose Drury

We are pleased to welcome back Dr Rose Drury. Rose is an Early Years Education Consultant and Honorary Associate at The Open University. She has over 20 years of experience working with undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students and with practitioners in early years settings. She is frequently asked to speak at conferences on supporting multilingualism in the early years because of her recognised expertise in the field and has published a book ‘Young bilingual learners at home and at school’ (Trentham). Rose has also worked with parent groups in a variety of settings.