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Bear in mind the reasons why books are such a valuable learning tool when you choose them All adults working with young children know how important it is that children learn to read. The Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) and the Qualifications...

Children can be introduced to the joys of language through ryhmes and rhythms they will be proud to show off and to share Early years settings all need a wide variety of books which contain poetry, rhymes and rhyming and rhythmic text. Many children are...

Renfrewshire Council underlined its commitment to giving pre-school children with special needs the extra support they need to remain within mainstream education with the opening of the new Snowdrop wing at its Springbank Nursery in Paisley last month....

Where does smacking end and abuse begin? Children need to learn about and receive respect. Smacking does nothing but build up deep resentments, with a lack of trust and respect. Jan Milsom, via e-mail

It's important to have a dedicated book area, however small it is, available at all times. An exciting book corner is part of teh basic early years provision and should encourage both adults and children to use it frequently. Practitioners need to spend time planning and maintaining the area, and books need to be tidied and changed regularly.

I feel that even raising the issue of allowing childminders to smack children is a backwards step. No matter what the environment is, educators need to be consistent. Since there is a no-smacking policy in schools, how can this be any different in a home situation? A childminder is not a parent but a facilitator of standards that need to be maintained for the good of all. Hazel Willis, via e-mail

Busy Bees, one of the most rapidly-growing nursery groups, has established a firm presence in the north-west with the acquisition of Tibbitots Day Nurseries in Lancashire. The chain has been pursuing a policy of expansion both through acquiring going concerns and by building new units, and recently bought Copperbeech Day Nurseries, a group based in St Albans, Hertfordshire. The sale of the Tibbitots nurseries in Formby and Southport was completed last month.

After listening to the various broadcasts and interviews concerning the Government's plans to allow registered childminders to smack children and smoke in front of them, I realise that members of the public are swallowing the education secretary's red...

Combine a paper book with software? Whatever next? Jenny Benjamin discovers a surprising education duo One of the favourite predictions of the IT (information technology) prophets is the imminent death of the book. In the future, they tell us, we'll read...

More nursery and primary school teachers sought help from a local authority's pilot counselling service than senior school teachers, citing stress and anxiety in the overwhelming majority of cases, according to an evaluation published last month. A small but significant number of teaching staff who approached West Dunbartonshire's staff welfare officer, Margaret Mackay, regarded themselves as victims of bullying in the workplace. Non-teaching staff also regularly sought help.

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