Early Years Conference 2024

Making the Most of Maths

Saturday 19 October 2024 • KCS Education, Aylesford

This year we will be exploring how early years maths integrates into all aspects of daily life, demonstrating that it extends far beyond numbers and counting, in practical and fun ways.

The conference is set to be a fun and inspirational event for childminders and colleagues from all early years settings.

Kindly hosted by KCS Education who have 90 years experience providing educational supplies to schools, nurseries, and childminders, they’re the perfect partner for our event.
All attendees will get 15% off the KCS range and one lucky childminder will receive a £250 voucher!

Enhance your CPD

Our speakers are industry experts and authors and you'll receive a certificate of attendance to share at your next inspection.

Build your network

Meet other experienced childminding professionals. The perfect opportunity to network, ask questions and seek support.

Ask Ofsted

An opportunity to chat to Ofsted or ask questions in an informal environment.

Visit our stands

Talk to our information stand exhibitors or buy signed books from Neil Griffiths.

Support from Childminding UK

Ask questions and get advice and support from Childminding UK staff.

Meet our Trustees

Our Trustees will be on hand to chat to you throughout the event.

Conference speakers

10:00

Conference opening and keynote

Neil Griffiths

Our Patron, Neil Griffiths will be opening the conference and spending the morning with us. “Time with Neil is an experience you will never forget!”

In his unique style, Neil will explore the contribution that picture books, stories, and rhymes can make to the wider mathematical curriculum.

Stories Can Be Counted On! Using stories as a starting point for mathematical activities

  • The use of picture books to introduce and develop mathematical concepts
  • How stories can stimulate mathematical thinking
  • The use of rhymes to encourage the exploration of number and other areas of mathematics
  • Practical activities that extend mathematical thinking and encourage a love of the subject.

About Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths was a Primary School headteacher for 13 years before taking on the role of director of a National Literacy Support Project for the Basic Skills Agency. He came up with and developed Storysacks, promoting them to schools and communities throughout the UK. Many publishers and institutions have asked Neil to contribute his wealth of experience to their projects over the years. He has created award-winning play resources, written a nursery curriculum, a best-selling resource book on creative play, and imaginative material for the Early Learning Centre. Neil also finds time to write his own children’s picture books.

12:00

Keynote speaker

Dr. Sue Allingham

Maths is more than 1,2,3…

‘Mathematics for young children involves developing their own understanding of number, quantity, shape and space’ (Birth to Five Matters, p46)

This practical session will look at how much maths is all around us in our settings and daily lives. We will look at how even the youngest children use mathematical skills to solve problems and investigate the world.

About Dr Sue Allingham

Sue started as a teacher, finally becoming a Senior Early Years Lead in a Primary School and Lead Teacher for her Local Authority. Moving into research, Sue gained an MA, then a Doctorate, both in Early Childhood Education, from Sheffield University. This led to becoming a Local Authority Early Years Adviser, enabling her to develop her practice working with provision across the EYFS. As an independent consultant, author and trainer, Sue is known for her practical style of working through coaching, mentoring, modelling, training, and working alongside teams, to develop practice and provision.

Her interests in teaching and learning have led to work on emotional and physical environments that will support informed teaching and learning through an understanding of neuroscience and physical development. This work has recently led to her being trained and accredited in the Brain-SET approach. This approach is rooted in early brain development and has added a new dimension to her work. Sue has also achieved a Level 2 Award in an Introduction to Neuroscience in Early Years, and has been trained in Physical Literacy, and the use of the Leuven Scales.

As a member of the Editorial Board of EYE (Early Years Educator) her writing is familiar to many and she has written two books that support practice across the Early Years and into Key Stage One – Transitions in the Early Years and Emotional Literacy in the Early Years. Both published by Practical Pre-School Books.

Workshops

14:15

Fireworks in the Brain – Unleashing Creativity and Mathematical Exploration

Ben Kingston-Hughes

This vibrant practical workshop explores how creativity and self-expression can inspire mathematical concepts. Far from being separate elements of the EYFS this workshop demonstrates that creativity and imagination go hand in hand with the development of maths throughout childhood. The session then explores how imagination is the cornerstone of every other aspect of human academic development and shows unequivocally that imagination is one of the most precious gifts we can give to our children. After all it is not enough for humans to merely “know” maths. If we have the imagination to apply it in new and interesting ways, then we can push the boundaries of human understanding and ultimately even change the world. The session also gives practical ideas to try with our children to inspire creativity and mathematical thinking in the real world. No more maths tables or maths corners but a maths world for our children to explore!

About Ben Kingston-Hughes

Ben Kingston-Hughes is an international keynote speaker, author and multi-award-winning trainer. He is also the Managing Director of Inspired Children and has worked with vulnerable children across the UK for over 34 years. He has appeared on television several times working on a variety of children’s projects and his distinctive blend of humour, neuroscience and real-life practical experiences have made his training invaluable for anyone working with children. His game-changing book about play, “A Very Unusual Journey into Play” has gained widespread acclaim and his brand new book, “Why Children Need Joy” is available now.

“A wonderful book, engaging and easy to read, worth every penny, and thoroughly recommended.” Jim Morehouse - Verified Amazon Purchaser

14:15

Making Play Count

Ellie Collar

With a particular view to supporting children with SEND and promoting strong early development, find out some of the earliest roots of play for successful maths and ways to help your children enjoy building strong foundations for numeracy.

Including:

  • Fingers – why they matter
  • Levels of involvement and engagement - key pre-maths skills!
  • Balance, proprioception and object manipulation skills - how they are all related
  • Why early language and attention matters so much in numeracy success
  • What visual spatial play is, and what play opportunities you can create

Come and find out how to help every child access and enjoy pre-maths play at their stage of development.

About Ellie Collar

Ellie has a B.Ed (Hons) in Lower Primary Education (3-7 years) and a M.Ed in Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, both from Birmingham University School of Education. Her first seven years of teaching experience were spent within special schools, working with children with a range of severe to profound learning difficulties, working within the earliest stages of development, including specialist teaching approaches for children with multi sensory impairment and setting up and running a class for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Severe Learning Difficulties.

She spent the next nine years working as a county advisory teacher in Northamptonshire for early years SEN with families and a wide-range of schools and early years settings, including providing training, consultation and advice, assessment and joint work with the community health teams, and the Northampton Child Development Centre. As an independent consultant delivering training nationally to schools, early years settings, charities and parent groups, as well as working directly with children with a wide-range of needs, she is continuing to enthusiastically develop her knowledge and training in how difficulties in the early stages of development can affect learning and achievement long term, and what strategies best enable children to regain this vital ground.

14:15

Exploring Maths – The Forest School Way!

Anita Baxter and Jenny Welling

Join us outside for a fun and practical session in understanding how mathematical concepts can be explored and developed everywhere. We will be venturing into the local country park to enjoy some hands-on activities that you can take away and use with your own little ones!

Anita Baxter and her co-trainer Jenny Welling have a passion for the outdoors. They have worked alongside Lisa (childminder and accredited Forest School leader) to develop this practical workshop, that will give an insight into the ethos of Forest School and challenge the idea of outdoor resourcing.

Be prepared for any weather and dress accordingly! We suggest wellies or walking boots, and a warm, waterproof coat. The site is only 5 minutes walking distance from the conference building and is accessible for all.

About Anita Baxter

Anita is the Chair of Childminding UK's Management Committee and tells us: I am childminder of 21 years. I love being outdoors with the children and they love to climb and explore forests and country parks. We identify different bugs and do lots of crafts, singing and reading outside. We climb tree trunks and make dens. We play using our imagination. Their favourite thing at the moment is measuring the length of different worms.

About Jenny Welling I have been a childminder for 24 years and have an absolute passion for the outdoors. I ensure the children in my care have positive experiences during our visits to the local park, country parks or just looking for bugs in my back garden. Being outdoors, children have the space to move freely and explore. We see the changes in seasons and there is maths all around us. We just have to look, learn and have fun.

14:15

Which Way Is Up? Reflecting on Maths Through Physical Development

Dr. Sue Allingham

All early learning relies on whole-body physical experiences. And this means maths too. In this interactive workshop we will look at just how much mathematical understanding can be demonstrated and developed through physical play.

Please bring an empty plastic bottle with you for this workshop

About Dr Sue Allingham

Sue started as a teacher, finally becoming a Senior Early Years Lead in a Primary School and Lead Teacher for her Local Authority. Moving into research, Sue gained an MA, then a Doctorate, both in Early Childhood Education, from Sheffield University. This led to becoming a Local Authority Early Years Adviser, enabling her to develop her practice working with provision across the EYFS. As an independent consultant, author and trainer, Sue is known for her practical style of working through coaching, mentoring, modelling, training, and working alongside teams, to develop practice and provision.

Her interests in teaching and learning have led to work on emotional and physical environments that will support informed teaching and learning through an understanding of neuroscience and physical development. This work has recently led to her being trained and accredited in the Brain-SET approach. This approach is rooted in early brain development and has added a new dimension to her work. Sue has also achieved a Level 2 Award in an Introduction to Neuroscience in Early Years, and has been trained in Physical Literacy, and the use of the Leuven Scales.

As a member of the Editorial Board of EYE (Early Years Educator) her writing is familiar to many and she has written two books that support practice across the Early Years and into Key Stage One – Transitions in the Early Years and Emotional Literacy in the Early Years. Both published by Practical Pre-School Books.

Schedule and venue

Schedule

Saturday 19 October 2024

  1. 08:30
    Registration, tea and coffee, and browse stalls
  2. 09:30
    Welcome with Childminding UK and Carol Shephard (KCS)
  3. 10:00
    Neil Griffiths, Patron
  4. 11:30
    Refreshments; meet delegates and browse stalls
  5. 12:00
    Dr. Sue Allingham
  6. 13:00
    Lunch, network and browse stalls
  7. 14:15
    Afternoon workshops
  8. 15:40
    Prize Draw and closing remarks
  9. 16:00
    Close

KCS Education

Unit 1, New Hythe Lane, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7FE
Get directions

Accommodation

There is no overnight accommodation at KCS Education, but we have negotiated a discount at the Village Hotel, Maidstone for delegates who wish to stay over. They can only guarantee the discounted price until July 26th. Bookings after this date may cost more. There are many other hotels available in the area for you to choose from too, but only the Village Hotel could offer you a discounted rate.

Village Hotel, Maidstone

Price includes breakfast, parking, Wi-Fi and use of the gym and pool.

Book now

Exhibitors and Marketplace

We are pleased to host a number of childcare focused organisations who can offer many useful and innovative information, services and resources.

Red Robin Books

Books for children up to 12 years old, written and illustrated by great storytellers and fabulous artists, including Neil Griffiths (who will be happily signing books).

Visit website

KCS Education

Showcasing tried and tested learning resources, essential materials for childminders, and a sneak peek at new products. Each delegate will receive a 15% discount voucher.

Visit website

Morton Michel

The UK’s leading Childcare Insurance Specialist and Childminding UK's discount partner

Visit website

Ofsted

Wendy Ratcliffe and Sam Sleeman-Boss are looking forward to meeting you for a chat and to answer any questions or queries you have.

Visit website

Pen Green Research Base

Offering childminders a comprehensive range of professional development opportunities including full early years degree programmes.

Visit website

Tigerlily First Aid Training

Discounted training and first aid kits available to buy from one of the UK's leading first aid training providers.

Visit website

The Oliver Steeper Foundation and LifeVac

Following the tragic loss of Oliver who died in a nursery after choking on pasta, the Oliver Steeper Foundation was created mid 2023 with the aims of providing a life saving medical device into all registered early years childcare settings.

Visit Website

Book tickets

Members £80 Log in to book
Non-Members £120

Select your preferences

Lunch will be provided by Twice as Nice Catering, a local family-owned business making homemade food prepared with fresh, local ingredients.