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The principles and practice of one of the most influential thinkers on early childhood are outlined by Froebel scholar and early years writer Tina Bruce.

Schemas - patterns of repeated behaviour - are key to how young children learn and early years practitioners must respond to them, says Stella Louis.

The value of seeking children's opinions and some ways practitioners can initiate it in an early years setting are described by Pat Gordon-Smith.

Using simple tools with simple rules will reward children with a wealth of learning and skills development, says early years consultant Linda Pound.

Ongoing failure to care for a child can have devastating results for their whole life. Breaking the cycle of neglect is crucial, says Anne O'Connor.

Going out of the classroom and getting involved in their local environment is the best way for children to become members of society, says Will Coleman.

Practitioners can support children from disrupted backgrounds who have been fostered or adopted with advice from Anne O' Connor, early years consultant and adoptive parent.

Find out about the principles behind the renowned early years centres in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and see how they have inspired practice at settings in the UK with early years consultants Linda Thornton and Pat Brunton (www.alcassociates.co.uk)

Explore the forest school movement in England with a study of local projects and a trip to the country where the movement started, as practitioners reflect on what they have learned.

The process of systematically watching and listening to children and documenting what practitioners see and hear is central to good practice, say Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram.