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Action research might sound like the last thing that time-pressed practitioners will want to do, but it is a really useful tool to demonstrate the improving quality of your practice, finds Dr Kay Mathieson

Professor Tina Bruce examines the place of ‘Nature in learning’, while Jane Dyke explains how this is being put into practice at Yellow Dot

Children need to be stimulated, but over-stimulation can lead to problems. A calm child is better able to focus, reflect and self-regulate, explains Linda Pound

The forest school approach is growing in popularity, and it is taking a variety of different formats as settings embrace it in ways that reflect their individual needs. Nicole Weinstein explains.

The focus of this area of learning is now on understanding people and communities, the natural and built environment, and everyday objects with functions created by technology.

To create a communication rich environment for their charges, Norland Nursery staff studied their own communication patterns. By Clare Crowther

In promoting PSED, Norland Nursery chose to focus on the elements in isolation as well as how they weave together. Clare Crowther explains.

Creating enabling environments to promote the physical development of babies and young children is the main focus in the first of a three-part series by Clare Crowther. Photographs by Paul Box at Norland nursery, Bath

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

There are treasure troves that will stimulate open-ended learning - by both children and practitioners. Pat Gordon-Smith describes the possibilities