Open Eye Conference. “The Child – the True Foundation”. London 12th. June, 2010.

Open Eye Panel. Chairperson Margaret Edgington addresses the Open Eye Conference "The Child - the True Foundation". London 12th. June, 2010. Photograph Frances Laing.

What’s that expression? “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person.” I travelled to London at the weekend to attend the Open Eye conference on early years education, taking my press card with me . Here’s a picture of the Open Eye panel. The clock reads quarter past five and after a day jam-packed with fascinating and useful information – the panel were still interacting with an audience of over a hundred and twenty people – all of whom exuded a particularly striking brand of dedication and patience. 

Dear readers – I’m not going to give you a straightforward report of this conference – I’ll leave that to others. (The conference was filmed in it’s entirety and a DVD will be available before too long from Open Eye). 

The strength of blogging (I hope) is the element of subjectivity, raw news and a grass-roots eye view of things. So I’m going to try to communicate what I think parents would most like to know about the issues raised, conversations had and topics covered over several reflective blog posts. After all, this is “A Parent’s Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage”, isn’t it? 

Bear in mind readers I’m still in the thick of parenting a child under five myself. So blogging is punctuated by the daily realities of the journey to and from school (by bike) and everyday happenings – the first ever Sports Day for my Little One (yesterday) and the first ever social event of our newly created Parent Teacher Association(last night)…  

More often than not parents I chat to on the corner of the street are keen to know why I went to London at the weekend – why the conference took place – and more about the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory learning and development requirements and how their children may be affected. 

It’s scary but exciting to know I’m not writing into a vacuum the way I appeared to be when I first started writing this blog – readership is still growing. 

Open Eye Conference. 12th. June, 2010.

For the benefit of those who couldn’t make it down to London – here’s the conference line-up in brief: 

-Opening Ceremony
– Chairperson’s remarks
Professor Kathy Hirsh-Pasek Ph.D
“Playful learning and the devaluation of the word play in an achievement orientated society”
Dr. Sebastian Suggate, Ph.D
“Early Reading Instruction -: does it really improve reading in the long term?”
Professor Lilian G. Katz. Ph.D
“Engaging Children’s Minds and Hearts”
Dr. Aric Sigman, Ph.D
“We’ve moved on – but have our children?” screen based technology in the early years.
Open Eye Panel. Wendy Ellyatt, Margaret Edgington, Dr. Richard House, Lynne Oldfield, Kim Simpson.
You’ll find more about the background of the speakers at this link:
I’m going to leave it there today – as the school ‘bike’ is looming. More  tomorrow.



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