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Birth to Five


Nicola Millard is our Adviser for Teaching and Learning (EYFS).


Nicola works closely with the Early Years Team, and alongside the Early Years practitioners working in Bedford Borough schools and settings to improve overall achievement of our youngest children, ensuring that they are ‘curious about the world around them, they are social and are motivated to learn’ (ACE, Bedford Borough), and therefore, ready for school.


Together, we work hard to raise the quality and standards of all our Early Years provisions, including nursery and reception classes in schools, preschools, and nurseries. We are proud of our achievements so far, but know there is still much to do to further increase the number of five year olds achieving a good level of development (GLD) at the end of reception.


Nicola supports schools and settings in a range of different ways to ensure that all EY practitioners feel supported, valued and challenged as we continue to strive towards excellence in the early years.


CPD opportunities and benefits available to Early Years practitioners working in Bedford Borough include:


· Achieving Continuous Excellence in the Early Years (ACE) is a quality improvement programme in Bedford Borough. Every EY provision is given an ACE Contact, who will become your first point of contact. Every provision is encouraged to complete an ACE Plan to identify priorities for the year ahead. These priorities will include literacy and mathematics targets and will consider how disadvantaged children in your provision are progressing against their peers. If you are new to working in Early Years in Bedford or have not heard about ACE, please do get in touch to find out more.


· Free local authority membership to the Foundation Stage Forum is available for every practitioner working with children from birth to aged five years old in Bedford Borough. This gives you full access to the national forums and also the Bedford sub-group, which includes an extensive number of articles, documents, photos and other resources. It also provides you with a support network of professionals working in early years across the country.

To access the FSF, click here: www.eyfs.info.

To join up, please email nicola.millard@bedford.gov.uk  with detail of your name and the EY provision you work out. Please note, every practitioner can have their own membership; it is not one per provision.


· Termly Professional Study Groups (PSGs) are a great way to meet other early years practitioners. Each session includes a moderation activity, updates from the EY sector and inspiring topics, themes and developments.

To find out when the next PSGs are, please email schoolimprovement@bedford.gov.uk


· Termly progress tracking for all reception teachers and those that teach 3 and 4yr olds. These important tracking documents provide a Bedford Borough measure and identify common themes. These can then be addressed through training, targeted support and advice to aid rapid improvements.

For more information on the trackers, please email nicola.millard@bedford.gov.uk  or contact your ACE Contact.


· EYFS moderation training sessions typically happen in the spring term. These sessions are aimed at reception teachers to prepare them for making accurate judgements when completing the statutory EYFS Profile. If you teach a different age group in the early years and think you would benefit from attending a similar session, please do get in touch.


· Improving your GLD sessions happen in the summer term. These are small, friendly sessions for those teaching in reception to attend. During the session, we can discuss any children with unusual patterns in their learning and those that are close to achieving the GLD.


Please do get in touch with Nicola if you have any teaching and learning needs.

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