Continuous Professional Development with Mindstretchers

Our most popular face to face training courses

Want to discuss your training requirements? Give us a call on 01764 650030 or drop us an email.

Other courses

Defining the adult role

The aim of this course is to explore our role as educationalists and the impact we have upon children’s learning. We will explore the appropriate level of interaction educational staff should have in supporting the learning and development of children.

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the roles of Sensitivity, Autonomy, and Stimulation in the education of our children.
  • Identify methods, resources and learning environments to improve Sensitivity, Autonomy and Stimulation within your setting.
  • Evaluate staff interaction with children and identify next steps to improve practice.
  • Apply aspects of theory and educational techniques to daily practice.

Incorporating curriculum throughout the day

With many early year’s settings moving to extended hours and year-round care, children and staff are starting their day and finishing at different times. It is becoming more challenging to have formal group times that are inclusive for all. However we can identify the curriculum and developmental milestones we cover during our daily routines. We will analyse the child’s experience during the daily routine of registration and arrival, snack time, lunch time, toileting, free play, group time and departure from setting. This course will explore practical, innovative ideas related to layout, presentation of resources, delivery of programme and staff interaction in extending our daily routines to meet developmental milestones and cover the curriculum. When the term Early Learning and Child Care was originally embraced it was to promote the blending and inclusion of these roles rather than the isolation. This course examines the hidden curriculum to be found in childcare. 

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Evidence curriculum coverage during daily routine.
  • Implement practical ideas to support children in meeting developmental milestones.

Higher Order Thinking Skills

The aim of this course is to explore brain function and learning styles and investigate how this impacts upon our approach to learning.  We will look at how you can best support children to develop their own thinking skills, questioning techniques and self-evaluation, while exploring the value of open-ended resources which enhance high order thinking, leading to motivational learning environments

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Evaluate your current learning and development practice, how balanced is your teaching and facilitation towards children’s learning styles and the higher order thinking skills.
  • Identify resources that encourage the use of a range of thinking skills and goal setting.
  • Outline higher order thinking skills and how we can support our children to plan their own learning across the curriculum.
  • Create an action plan to enhance your practice by reviewing your current methodologies and techniques used when supporting children in planning their own learning.

Developing Early Language & Literacy

“There is no point in writing it down as he can’t read it later!” Yes there is… Cavemen drew pictures to help them recollect their stories. Children make marks to help them reflect upon their experiences and evidence their presence in that moment in time. A young child may not be able to read a book, but we can encourage them to develop supportive skills such as recognizing letters and holding writing implements. This course will give you practical skills to help you support language to flourish. We look at how valuable it is to support children in developing the fine motor skills to hold a pencil, how mark making encourages children to vocalize ideas, listen to ideas, write words and read. By nurturing these skills at a young age we can help children to become enthusiastic and confident writers in the future

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify links in talk, ‘reading’, listening skills and mark making.
  • Identify a range of resources and techniques that will promote mark making and develop fine motor skills.
  • Identify experiences and methods to promote mark making inside and outside.

Engaging boys

“Boys are not less able than girls, so perhaps we do need to look at our own attitudes, if we are to better understand why they are making less progress in the EYFS” National Literacy Trust 2016
Why do boys feel the need to create weapons and look for challenge and risk? How can we support this need in a motivational learning environment? This course will explore how to create positive and stimulating learning spaces that enable boys and kinaesthetic children to thrive both indoors and outdoors. We will look at current research and strategies and apply our understanding of learning styles and brain development to daily practice. This course will help you to support boys' sense of identity and well being to extend their shared sustained thinking.

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify action points to enhance your learning environment to benefit boys.
  • Review and set targets to improve learning and teaching practice that meets boys needs.
  • Identify how to develop your role in boys self-initiated play.

Outdoor learning to encourage inquiring children

The outdoors lends itself to inquiry and discovery learning. It could be a spontaneous moment in the playground, on a walk to the beyond or exploring an idea or concept in context. This course will explore how, through the use of open ended resources and your local environments, you can encourage your children to set their own learning goals and problem solve for themselves. Depending on their fascinations this may be through exploring the elements, schematic interests or curriculum. During this course we will explore how we can facilitate learning and move away from directive teaching.

At the end of this course you will be able to: 

  • Improve your child led planning techniques.
  • Identify resources that will promote inquiry learning.
  • Set an action plan to improve your outdoor learning environments.  

Motivational maths

The aim of this course is to explore how you create learning experiences around mathematics which are child-initiated and therefore exciting and stimulating to children. We will explore mathematics and numeracy at an early level and discuss how to deliver a mathematics and numeracy programme through contexts that inspire and motivate children to learn more. By creating stimulating learning experiences, we can engage with children and really motivate mathematicians.
At the end of this course you will be able to:
  • Outline different ways you can promote higher-order and encourage child-initiated opportunities for mathematical learning.
  • Explain the adult role in supporting children’s mathematical knowledge and understanding effectively.
  • Demonstrate different ways in which you can provide stimulating and motivating mathematical experiences for children inside and outside.
  • Identify new resources and contexts to stimulate mathematical learning in your setting.
  • Create an action plan to enhance your practice by reviewing your current mathematical and numeracy delivery.

Setting up an outdoor nursery

Engage in a conversation that draws on over ten years of sector leading experience from our own Auchlone Nature Kindergarten. There are a variety of types of outdoor learning environments, from Outdoor Nurseries to Nature Kindergartens and Forest Preschools. What they all have in common is their focus on learning outdoors with nature for long periods of time. This course explores the origins of Outdoor Nurseries, Nature Kindergartens and Forest Schools and looks at the methodology behind nature pedagogy. We will help you plan for a relevant nature space in consultation with children, understand how nature pedagogy gives children an opportunity to learn in and with the natural world. We'll discuss the environmental issues of your setting and help you learn how to embed sustainable practices that are pupil-led and linked to the curriculum. Finally we'll explore how expanding your learning outside can help increase nursery capacity and help meet the demands of the government free hours expansion programme.

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Implement aspects of outdoor learning practices into your setting.
  • Record and evidence children’s learning using nature as the context.
  • Create natural spaces inside and out to establish rich learning environments.
  • Work towards environmental awards such as the Eco-Schools Green Flag.
  • Deliver high quality outdoor learning opportunities to help meet the 30 hours extended care.


Planning through schema for two year olds

The aim of this course is to investigate what Schema is and evaluate how it impacts on our practice. We will explore how Schema helps us to play and support young children in their learning.

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Explain the Jean Piaget’s theory of Schema and how it impacts upon early years education.
  • Identify schematic interests of the children you work with.
  • List useful resources to use in supporting children’s schematic fascinations.
  • Demonstrate using schema as a planning tool to facilitate children’s learning and development.

Discuss your training requirements with us, phone 01764 650030 or email.