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EDITORIAL BOARD: Jenny Barber, NNEB, Certificate in early years education, early years consultant and trainer, London • Dr Naima Browne, BEd(Hons), PhD, quality improvement manager, Pre-School Learning Alliance • Pauline Browne, NNEB, BA(Hons), professional trade union officer, GMB, West Midlands • Ailsa Chapman, BA(Hons), PGCE, MA, assistant headteacher (lower school), Cypress Infant School, South Norwood, London • Sally Goddard Blythe, MSc, FRSA, freelance consultant in neuro-developmental education; director of Institute for Neuro‑Physiological Psychology, Chester • June O’Sullivan, MA, MBA, chief executive of London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) • Marjorie Ouvry, MA, early years education consultant, London • Kym Scott, BEd (Hons) in Education 3-11 early years consultant, trainer and conference speaker • Carolyn Silbefeld, PhD, chair and director of the Early Studies Degree Network • Judith Stevens, BEd(Hons), MSc, early learning consultant, trainer and author, Kent



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Early Years Educator, ISSN 1465-931X, is published by MA Education Ltd, St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Road, London SE24 0PB, UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454 Website:

Reflect and refocus

The theme of reflection has continued from our last issue to the current magazine. This time of year is full of reflections, especially with so much on the minds of those working in the early years sector. No doubt you have been reflecting on a number of things, which is what Dr Sue Allingham brings up in her News Analysis article this month. All of the new documents from Ofsted and the DfE, the new guidance documents, the new reading framework for schools etc. etc. These are all meant to be useful documents, but have certainly resulted in a lot of confusion...which is not useful! This is where reflection and action is important; your reflection must not cause dwelling and panic, but instead encourage an active refocus on your role, your teaching and the way in which you place the child at the centre.

Reflection also weaves into your own personal lives, which involves your own wellbeing. There are a number of articles this month addressing mental health, wellbeing and resilience, of both children and adults. David Meechan discusses in detail practitioner and workplace wellbeing; demonstrated through in depth case studies. Emma Davis focuses further into the wellbeing of leaders, Charlotte Baker addresses practitioner resilience, and our professional book review includes a psychological health and wellbeing programme from a bestselling author and medical doctor.

Once embedding the care of your own wellbeing, as you can’t pour from an empty cup, you can support children’s mental health and wellbeing, and importantly, equip them with the vital skills and techniques to be able to help themselves. Take a look at Lesley Pemberton’s article on ‘The pandemic and children’s wellbeing’, and her book in our reviews section, Feeling Good About Me, which supports children’s wellbeing and mental health through reflective and practical mindfulness activities.

As always, I look forward to engaging in reflections and discussions with you on EYE’s social media pages


Early Years Educator


Angelica Celinska editor


Page 6 Adam Marycz is an early years teacher and manager at a pre-school and out of school club based in a primary school. He is also an advocate for early childhood, find him on social media as @adameyleader

Page 26 James Boddey is director of Busy Bodies. This month he reflects on practice from his own setting whilst discussing how we can re-frame and manage conflict amongst children.

© MA Education Ltd, 2021. All rights reserved. No part of the Early Years Educator may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the Publishing Director. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or the Early Years Educator. Advertisements in the journal do not imply endorsement of the products or services advertised. Please read our privacy policy, by visiting http://privacypolicy. This will explain how we process, use and safeguard your data.

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Blackwood, NP12 2YA

Page 22 Charlotte Baker is an author, lecturer and PhD student. In her article she addresses practitioner resilience and the lessons we can take away from the pandemic.

Page 37 Lesley Pemberton is an art psychotherapist and author. She discusses the pandemic effects on children’s mental health. See also her incredibly valuable book on supporting children's wellbeing and mental health, page 41.

All photos Adobe Stock unless indicated otherwise

Volume 23 No 4 • November 2021 • eye • 5

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