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Articles Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Cross-phase PSED articles
When should we worry about persistent behaviour issues from a well-being point of view? What should we be curious about and what can we, as teachers, do to be supportive?
‘Listening’ in the early years is used to mean valuing and responding to children’s thoughts, ideas and feelings, offering genuine choice and involving children in decisions that affect their daily lives
In 2014 the Department for Education published guidance on promoting ‘fundamental British values’ in schools to ensure that young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. These values were first set out by the government in their coun…
All children are different because each brings different experiences into the setting but this individuality and diversity is in itself a great opportunity for children to learn to value each other and to appreciate their own special distinctiveness.…
With increasing numbers of children being diagnosed with special educational needs such as ADHD and autism, managing challenging behaviour in a positive way is a challenge most practitioners face in their settings on a daily basis. As practitioners …
A mother's diary of her daughter Clemmie's development from birth to her first birthday. These snippets of Clemmie's learning and development were first published a few years ago as "Clemmie's Column". We republish them here as two articles for thos…
Continuing Juliet Mickelburgh's diary of her daughter Clemmie's learning and development from her first birthday to her second.
Kate Cairns invites us to consider the interaction between resilience and trauma, the key aspects of resilience, and the links between resilience and experience in the early years of life. Humans are not born able to regulate stress. At birth the bra…
Babies and young children are able to make decisions that are relevant to their lives. This article examines what kinds of decisions children can make at different stages of their development and how practitioners can support them.
The principle of inclusive education has dominated educational policy for nearly two decades and under the previous Labour administration inclusion was a key policy imperative. It was embedded within the Every Child Matters agenda (HMSO, 2003) and is…
Inclusion, equality, diversity - these words are scattered over official documents including the EYFS, and we all think they are ‘A Good Thing'. But how do these principles get turned into what actually happens in settings? Sue Griffin discusses the …
This article is the first in a short series by Juliet Mickelburgh, looking at recent developments in our understanding of how children learn.
The Key Person Approach is now a fundamental part of developing secure relationships between staff and children in early years settings. Why is it so important and what is the theory behind it?
What exactly are schemas, and how useful are they in providing the right learning environment for our very young children? This article brings together various definitions of schemas, followed by a brief description of named schemas and a discussion …
The last in a series of articles examining recent developments in our understanding of how children learn. Here, Juliet Mickelburgh looks at what is meant by child-initiated learning, its presence in the EYFS, and how it influences good early years p…
Drawing is an activity that most young children enjoy and there is much evidence to show how it can offer them a powerful means of communicating their ideas, experiences and feelings. In this article, Exeter PhD student Emese Hall tells us about her …
The natural beginnings of written mathematics start within children's imaginative play. In this article, Maulfry Worthington describes children's mathematical graphics; children's own mathematical marks and representations, and gives examples collect…
Mark making has an important place in the development towards children's understanding of standard symbolic languages, for example mathematics and writing. This article discusses children's mark making with reference to practice and pedagogy particul…
Sue Cowley discusses the reasons why some children might have behavioural difficulties and how you, as a practitioner, can help those children overcome them through positive strategies and encouraging empathy.
Knowledge about child development is an important tool which enables practitioners to make appropriate provision for young children; but if we are not careful it can also be a dangerously limiting illusion that may actually hamper practice.
Donald Winnicott was a psychologist and psychoanalyst who worked predominantly with children and families.In 1957 he wrote that 'the nursery school is probably most correctly considered as an extension 'upward' of the family, rather than an extensio…
This is the second in a series of articles looking at recent research into how young children learn. Here we examine how a better understanding of brain development can enrich early years practice.
This is the third in a series of articles examining current research into the way children learn and how this can be applied in the early years setting. The multi-sensory model links long-held beliefs about learning with the everyday experiences of y…
Nicola Call discusses strategies for aiding the development of empathy in young children.
In the penultimate article in her series on Emotional Competence, Nicola discusses the necessity of developing an ability to establish good personal relationships, without which learning and emotional growth will be stunted.