The early years sector converged on the iconic Manchester Central on 9-10 May to get busy with CPD, networking, information-gathering and trying and buying equipment and resources.
The in-depth masterclasses on vital topics were absorbing and thought-provoking. Friday’s ‘SEND in the early years: a child’s route to support’ featured Julie Revels, Michele Barrett, Anne O’Connor and Dr Kath Dickinson helping practitioners understand and support the needs of the ‘unique child’. On Saturday, ‘Helping children achieve: challenge and progression in children’s learning’ had a stellar line-up of Kym Scott, Kathryn Solly and Hayley Peacock.
Lively one-hour seminars were led by sector experts including Penny Tassoni, Julie Mountain, Barbara Isaacs, Cath Larkin, Nicola Burke and the always entertaining Alice Sharp, on subjects ranging from outdoor play, Montessori’s approach to self-regulation and music, to school readiness, small-world play and creativity. There was a full house for Ofsted’s talk on its new inspection framework too.
Outside the seminar rooms, the exhibition floor was host to a range of free special features all adding to the experience of more than 2,000 visitors. For the third year in a row, TTS sponsored the interactive Early Years Resources and Learning Zone, full of inspiring and enchanting environments and the latest resources to spark imaginations and stimulate learning and engagement.
The Nursery Nutrition Zone cooked up a storm, with talks and food demonstrations; and the Live Theatre had sessions from nasen and Blossom among others.
Leading early years suppliers, including Community Playthings, Eduzone, Early Years Resources, Outdoor Places, Voice, TUI and SenseToys, filled the hall with the latest equipment, resources and services on display.
Visitors certainly enjoyed their time at the show. Gateshead College tweeted, ‘Our early years students had a very inspirational trip to Manchester last week. Learning all things early years from guest speakers and workshops!’