Professional Books - Winning titles

Karen Hart
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Karen Hart shines a spotlight on 2022's Nursery World Professional Book of the Year and also finds much to inform and enjoy in the award category's finalists


Playful Mathematics for Children | Helen J. Williams | Corwin

Built around the idea that children are naturally mathematical in their play, Playful Mathematics for Children aims to inspire us to rethink mathematics, to explore how children learn best and how adults can effectively support their mathematical learning. Williams believes the way maths is taught in the early years is imperative in instilling a positive relationship with the subject, and suggests looking for the maths within a child's chosen play, alongside providing maths based activities.

There is a lot of ground covered, with ideas on multiple aspects of the subject, but always seen through a fresh perspective, and very much through a child's eyes. Thought-provoking and insightful, this book offers lots of practical suggestions for lesson ideas that can be used to cover early learning goals, and also the prompts to get you thinking about maths as an area of learning contained in every other subject within the curriculum – the clever bit is bringing it to the foreground.


A Guide to SEND in the Early Years | Kerry Murphy | Bloomsbury Education

A lack of confidence around the correct terminology and language to use with a child's family and other professionals can prove a deterrent to those interested in working in the area of SEND.

A Guide to SEND goes a long way to put this right. Designed to give every early years practitioner the confidence to support children with additional needs, this book covers how to define SEND and use inclusive language, how to build and implement inclusion policies and communicate these to parents and carers, and much more. Murphy believes that with a whole-team approach and commitment from everyone involved in the care of SEND children, the potential is there to create truly inclusive settings.

Observing Gabby | Cath Arnold | McGraw Hill

Gabby is Arnold's granddaughter, a young girl who leads her own learning very effectively, as we are shown through the author's careful observations of Gabby's early life.

Drawing on seven years of data from diaries, photos and Gabby's own writing, Arnold considers every aspect of her granddaughter's learning development. Arnold demonstrates the benefits of observations in child development, seeing these as an indispensable tool in understanding and facilitating the learning process through a supportive approach.

Alphabet Rhyme Time | Michelle Larbey, illustrated by Bec Barnes | Learn Well |Spiral bound

This is a fantastic resource; jam-packed with creativity, and each page of this beautiful spiral-bound book is a visual feast. There are some great rhymes included here too, such as: Now the Day is Over, Nellie the Elephant, and We’re Going to the Zoo. The activity ideas are innovative and the illustrations are lovely, complementing the text with a retro-storybook feel.

Introduction to Neuroscience and Self-regulation in Early Years | Dr Mine Conkbayir | Hallmark Education

Written as a resource for NCFE, CACHE-endorsed qualification course Introduction to Neuroscience and Self-regulation in Early Years, this is a fascinating book. As well as explaining the theory behind the science, this provides practical advice on how to promote healthy brain development in the critical first seven years of life, and how children can be supported by caring, responsive adults to develop self-regulation skills.

Discover Creativity with Babies | Louise Day | Routledge

Creativity, says author Louise Day, is present in all children and is not something that can be taught, but rather something to be nurtured and encouraged, and that we should facilitate ways for babies and young children to explore, investigate and satisfy their natural inquisitive natures as this is a vital exploratory impulse we are all born with.

Each chapter of the book looks at an important part of our understanding about children's development in terms of creativity up to the age of two, and asks – what do we actually mean by ‘creativity?’

How to Recognise and Support Mathematical Mastery in Young Children's Play: Learning from the ‘Talk for Maths Mastery’ Initiative | Di Chilvers | Routledge

Drawing on a wealth of expertise from collaborators in the teaching profession, Chilvers’ book is full of practical guidance developed over a number of years from research undertaken with primary schools in Sheffield, as part of the Talk for Maths Mastery initiative.

The whole initiative is comprehensively explained as a way of working with young children that brings together a number of interwoven strands, including, for example: collaborative partnerships with parents and families, and providing an enabling environment that tunes into a child's interests in a way that is both familiar and authentic.

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