Nursery World Awards 2022 - Business Development

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Adventures with Alice, Alice Sharp

You can download the digital Awards book here

Following the huge success of Adventures with Alice Volumes 1 and 2, managing director of Experiential Play Alice Sharp has developed Volume 3, Leading Pedagogy.

The new format has been updated from presentation and demonstration to six hours of professional dialogue and discussion, whilst retaining substantial professional content in six magazines, 54 poster cards and a reflective staff journal, filled with inspirational ideas and motivational moments for staff to engage in. All content incorporates motivational and inspiring discussions on theory and research both old and new, from Lev Vygotsky to Alison Gopnik.

In the latest volume, Alice is accompanied by three other early years specialists, Moyra Boland, professor of creative pedagogy and dean for global engagement at the University of Glasgow, Anne Paterson OBE, a retired head of early years and advocate for outdoor learning, and June O’Sullivan MBE, chief executive of London Early Years Foundation (LEYF).

The films in Volume 3 record these four experts discussing pedagogy in the early years, sharing their early years knowledge, experience, skills and practice.

Pedagogy is the focus of all six of the magazines and all of the poster cards, covering child-centred pedagogy, pedagogy of communication, myths and legends of pedagogy, pedagogy of discovery, sharing your pedagogy and creating an evolving pedagogy.

The emphasis is on leading pedagogy within the space, the environment and, above all, leading children to learn. All content focuses on reflection and defining what high-quality practice looks like in today’s early years settings.

One setting decided to share the poster cards with families, and display them within the entrance to the nursery. Parents added to the display with photos showing the learning continuing at home. Families were also asked to add their values for children’s learning to the display. This created more open communication with staff, enhanced values within the setting and improved everyone’s sense of belonging.

The Adventures with Alice programme embeds the Curiosity, Investigation, Discovery (CID) method for children learning through play.

Children at another setting responded to the CID method from Adventures with Alice when they used different powders to create paints in the same colour as their skin tone. They were curious about different skin tones, so they investigated different powders, chocolate and strawberry milkshakes, milk powder, gravy powder and custard, and discovered chemical reactions to make the paint and which powder worked best to make which skin tone.

Adventures with Alice is now in settings all across the UK and the world, including Canada, USA, Sweden, Ireland and Cyprus. The CPD is a not just a one off, it is a professional and progressive journey of learning, taking professionals step by step through every aspect of leading pedagogy. The materials and resources are produced to a very high standard, but the quality of results attained by staff participating in the programme is immeasurable. Its success means a fourth volume is currently in production.


Back-Up Care @ Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, Bright Horizons

Muddy Explorers, The Oaks Day Nursery (Birmingham Day Nurseries)

Munchkins Nursery, Essex

Smallville Nursery, Kent


For a new launch of, or significant expansion to, an early years business or service since 1 January 2021.

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