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Children learn to handle the responsibility of choice at one nursery's snack bar. Helen Dashfield explains.

Think about ways to encourage children to be independent, to express their preferences and gain a sense of personal identity with these examples of practice from Plum Harrison.

The death of a much-loved pet guinea pig became a real learning opportunity for the Foundation Stage children at Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary School, as teacher Tessa Fenoughty explains.

In the last of our National Strategies features on the Early Years Foundation Stage, regional adviser Jane Mansfield and senior adviser Jan Lepley reflect on young children's development of empathy.

Some difficulties in implementing the key person approach are pinpointed by Julian Grenier as he listens to nursery staff.

A simple way to encourage children's independence at nursery is explained by Tessa Fenoughty.

The principles and the practicalities of operating a key person system in the nursery, as defined by the late Elinor Goldschmied, are explained by her colleague Sonia Jackson.

Two unexpected pets prompted a surprising amount of learning, says Elizabeth Hunnaball, manager of Skills Kindergarten in Great Tey, Essex.

Attention to a child's emotional development begins before they arrive at this nursery school, whose staff tell Jean Evans about their practice.

The conclusions of the Good Childhood Inquiry's final report are not borne out in early years settings' practice, argues Pat Gordon-Smith.

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