Handprints of Hope Handprints of Hope


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Welcome to my blog


I thought it was about time I started a blog to give parents and potential parents a flavour of what our daily life entails.


By samanthagowland, Jun 14 2013 08:56PM

The caterpillars that arrived last week are finally encasing themselves into their cocoons. Exciting stuff! I'm looking forward to Monday when the children reappear as the caterpillar (very wisely) chose post 6pm to begin his next stage of development.

By samanthagowland, May 17 2013 02:27PM

I finally received my ofsted report on Monday. It's official, my setting was graded outstanding. As soon as it's published on the Ofsted web site I shall add a link into my website. :-)

I've read and re-read the report and I'm rather pleased that the inspector included the things around speech and language as I'm very passionate about promoting a language rich environment. I've been on the other side as a primary school teacher and I am more than aware of the struggles faced by Keystage 1 teachers. For one reason or another a lot of children are entering nursery and reception classes with very low attainment levels in speech and language which impacts on, often impeding, literacy attainment.

By samanthagowland, Oct 13 2012 10:27AM

I thought it was just me struggling with how to fit (what appears to be mostly) boys interests into the revised EYFS: Understanding the World. However after reading 'Tuning into Boys interests' Optimus E-Bulletin I realised I'm not alone in my thinking.

I have an (almost) 2year old boy who is fascinated in what is traditionally thought of as the area of science; magnetism, light/reflection/refraction, forces etc. However when it comes to linking his development into the revised EYFS I find I'm struggling.

Whereas in the past his interests and developments in the area of science might have been located in 'Knowledge and Understanding of the World' the revised EYFS equivilant area 'Understanding the World' appears to have shifted its focus away from science and towards communities, relationships and cultures. Whilst this fits nicely with the focus on on of the (now) prime areas, where does this leave the importance of early investigation?

By samanthagowland, Aug 24 2012 01:44PM

A busy summer and a lot to do before next month, it's aswell I've a quiet week next week, if keeping two toddlers amused can be defined as quiet.

The revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) comes into force in September so I've information to parents and policies and procedures to update. All not helped by the loss of my USB memory sticks containing those documents, it's just as well that I don't keep personal information in electronic format too. There is much to be said for keeping a paper trail.

Looking through the site today I have realised just how much this needs updating so for the next week, possibly more, things will be changing. I've updated a couple of things and left a few 'hanging' so please be patient for now if some pages appear to lack some information, I am getting around to it.

By samanthagowland, Feb 3 2012 11:01AM

Trust, I found Australian (Aboriginal) craft ideas after Australian day has passed. I'll have to make sure I store them for future use.

I've found some new craft ideas for easter. We've got puppets to make, animal bean bags to sew and tealight holders to make. Although I'm still considering the appropriateness of that last one.

I feel a serious shop for art and craft supplies is in order.

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