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One boy's schemas are observed by Daryl Ormond, a family worker at Pen Green Nursery, Corby.

A different way of observing children in role play challenges what practitioners offer in the learning environment, says Anne O'Connor.

The many schemas explored by a three-year-old are described by Shelley Bannigan, family worker in the Snug at the Pen Green Nursery in Northamptonshire.

For toddlers, mealtimes are a chance to show off their communication and physical skills and to learn new ones, but creating a relaxed environment is vital, says Anne O'Connor.

The probable thinking behind a child's enactment of schemas is outlined by Sheena Griffiths-Baker, teacher at the Pen Green Centre, Corby.

Babies are the stars of the show in a room approach at Rainbow Nursery, Middlestone Moor, where staff plan experiences with a highly individual touch. Karen Crawford and Sheila Gardiner explain it all.

The private talk a child engages in while playing is a tool in their language development, with a lot to tell practitioners, says Anne O'Connor.

In the first of a new series we hear from Carla Hendry, a family worker at Pen Green Nursery, Corby, sharing her observations of one child.

Everyday real-life activities such as making shopping lists are the most valuable way to encourage confident literacy skills, says Anne O'Connor.

Early years practitioners need to beware of assessment and record-keeping methods that are convenient to them but detrimental to children's learning, says Helen Bromley.

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