Nursery World Awards 2021 - Professional Books

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Putting Storytelling at the Heart of Early Childhood Practice, by Tina Bruce, Lynn McNair and Jane Whinnett (editors), Routledge

You can download the digital Awards book here


Putting Storytelling at the Heart of Early Childhood Practice: A Reflective Guide for Early Years Practitioners is an engaging and practical book that highlights the essential nature of storytelling in all walks of life and how best to cultivate this in early years.

The authors use a Froebelian approach to explore the role of storytelling, not just in the development of literacy but also in the development of communication and language skills and for maintaining good mental health and well-being.

The content is inspired by Professor Tina Bruce’s ‘educator as practitioner and researcher’ approach and draws on primary and contemporary research from practitioners themselves.

The book explores topics including the benefits of regularly practising storytelling, storytelling during play activities, group dynamics in constructing narratives, the roles of props and fantasy concepts in storytelling, the development of symbolic representation, the therapeutic use of stories, transition to school and story grammars.

In addition, it explores diverse and inclusive practice with a particular focus on children with English as an additional language and children with additional support needs.

Written by practitioners for practitioners and bringing together research and practice in an accessible way, the book offers a unique insight from educators currently working in early years. In addition to supporting a deeper pedagogical understanding of the development of literacy and storytelling, it offers a model of collaborative practice and professional enquiry which is known to support improvement and positively impact the quality of teaching and learning.

This inspiring and innovative book supports practitioners to develop high quality experiences for children.

Uniquely, it shares the work of many previously unpublished authors who are currently practising in early years settings, and raises their status as experts in their own profession. The impact has gone well beyond the scope of the local perspectives of the authors to reach a wide national and international audience.


Looking for Learning: Maths Through Play, by Laura England, Bloomsbury Education

Looking for Learning: Maths through Play is a full-colour, practical guide that will encourage children to think about maths while playing, using a range of common resources that will spark their curiosity. It is full of creative suggestions for incorporating mathematical concepts such as counting, comparison, composition, shape, pattern and number, into child-led play.

The resource is ideal for all early years professionals searching for accessible ideas for incorporating mathematical learning into children’s favourite activities, whether they enjoy role play and construction, art and nature, sand and water play, or even simple technology-based activities using projectors or torches.

Written by experienced early years teacher Laura England, creator of the Little Miss Early Years website which provides online training, blogs and podcasts, the book provides tips on all areas of maths teaching, from setting up the environment and the adult’s role in child-led play to getting children talking about maths during daily routines in settings.

It has links to current policy, frameworks and theory including the EYFS framework, Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning and the National Centre of Excellence in Teaching of Mathematics.


Growing Together: 50 inspiring ideas for intergenerational learning by Lorraine George, Yellow Door

Play is the Way: child development, early years and the future of Scottish education by Sue Palmer, Postcards from Scotland

The A to Z of Early Years by June O’Sullivan, Sage Publications

Working with the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice by Julian Grenier, independently published


Open to professional books aimed at supporting the work of early years professionals and leaders, which have been published (or a new edition published) since 1 January 2020.

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