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Supporting your professional learning with Tapestry CPD

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The new CPD feature on Tapestry has been almost two years in the making.  The arrival of the pandemic led many to realise that our view of ‘typical’ could shift hugely.  My own role as an Education Advisor was suddenly very different.  Whereas previously I would visit nurseries and schools in my local area, providing support and training, I was now in a position where I could realistically lead training sessions for teams/whole schools pretty much anywhere.  If you had told me in 2019 that it would be possible to lead an INSET day for a school in Germany from my spare bedroom in Newcastle I would have thought you were on the wind up!

So, with the new-found confidence of what was now possible virtually, we set about considering how we could help childminders, nurseries or schools when it came to their professional learning.  Increasingly, we as an Education Team found that we were accessing CPD in vastly different ways.  The traditional view of CPD being a day out of our setting, where we would gather with tens/hundreds of other educators and share a sandwich platter for lunch, was no longer possible (and some might say this was a good thing!). These large in-person training events enabled us to make connections, and now educators needed to find new ways to connect to enrich their CPD. We were entering a period where professional learning needed to be accessible - where we wanted it, and when we wanted it.  Like me, many education advisors switched to providing on-screen support. And educators themselves found opportunities to learn from podcasts, blog posts, or an image on Instagram. While the need to approach all CPD with a spirit of critical enquiry remained as important as ever, the notion of ‘consumable’ professional learning was such a refreshing change. The really powerful bit was considering that these changes didn’t necessarily need to be temporary, until everything had blown over – there was a real, tangible benefit to thinking outside the box – for both providers and consumers.

The timing of the pandemic also coincided with some significant changes in the EYFS.  Increasingly, data-driven practices were being called out, and the idea of a renewed professional trust was gaining momentum.  The asterisk to this was that this would only be possible if the workforce’s professional development needs were appropriately addressed.  If our staff teams were no longer relying on a guidance document to inform their understanding of child development, then what needed to happen instead?

We approached the well-respected Siren Films to discuss the possibility of working together on CPD materials that would support practitioner understanding of child development.  We also linked with Leyton College and their experienced Early Years team to consider the appropriateness and quality of the content we wanted to create.  These collaborations resulted in our first ‘content’ which we trialled with students from the college as well as gaining thoughts from respected Early Years professionals.  The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, so we pushed on and considered other areas which would be helpful to focus on.  As well as child development, we wanted to create CPD courses and modules for educators working with children with learning differences, and also content for Tapestry users to help them make the most of having Tapestry as a tool to support them in their settings.

The intention is that our bank of CPD materials will continue to grow over time and provide a genuinely useful tool for managers and senior leaders to embrace.  Our plan is to continue to focus on child development materials as well as more specialist content, and also seek input from a host of highly knowledgeable and skilled experts in their fields.  The best bit is that the initial content is freely accessible for everyone – you don’t need to be a Tapestry user.  Please have a look at the CPD feature (from the link below) - we’d love to hear your thoughts.




You can find out more about Tapestry CPD here.

This article was written by our SEND Advisor, Stephen Kilgour. 


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