Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance
Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance

Early Years


The ACE Centre Nursery School, Chipping Norton, is the Lead Teaching School in OTSA specialising in Early Years Foundation stage provision and practice.


We offer a range of CPD to meet the needs of teachers and teaching assistants and staff who are working in the Foundation Stage in Oxfordshire's schools and settings.


Our programme of EYFS Inspiration Days is now underway, and we have had excellent feedback from the teachers and early years practitioners who have hugely enjoyed the opportunity to listen to some of the most respected, influential thinkers and writers currently in Early Years.


Bringing people such as Anna Ephgrave, Ruth Moore, Julie Cigman, Kathryn Solly and Julie Fisher to speak in Oxfordshire at affordable prices is our aim, as we feel that this is a great way to inspire and motivate practitioners to deliver the very best early years provision for the young people in our schools and settings.


Upcoming Training opportunities - see further detail below:



inset day

Julie Fisher:

Creative and Critical Thinking: Challenging children’s ideas and understanding


Kirstine Beeley:

"Maths makes the world go round"  for 2 to 4 year olds in EY settings / childminders




Anna Ephgrave and Ruth Moore:

‘In the moment planning’ - Excellence in the Early Years

20/06/17 and


Protective Behaviours - 2 day foundation course.

what is Protective behaviours



Inset day

Trisha Lee: Helicopter stories -  letting imagination fly.

02/11/17 Julie Fisher: Interacting or Interfering - the adult role in supporting childrens learning.

EYFS INSET training day with Julie Fisher


Creative and Critical Thinking: Challenging children’s ideas and understanding (Julie Fisher)


Monday 24th April 2017 (Term 5 inset day)

Time: 9.30 - 3.00 ( arrive from 9.00 for tea/coffee)

The ACE Centre Nursery School, Chipping Norton

Cost to attend: £75 per person


This course examines one of the EYFS key characteristics of early learning. It considers the differences between creative and critical thinking and explores what provokes children to think in these different ways. Through the use of DVD material it will enable practitioners to consider the impact of resources, the environment and their interactions on children’s thinking, reasoning and understanding.


Issues Addressed:

  • Creative and Critical thinking – what are the differences between them?
  • How do children demonstrate creative and critical thinking?
  • What provokes children’s thinking?
  • Having their own ideas / making links / choosing ways to do things
  • Planting ideas rather than demanding answers
  • Interactions that support creative and critical thinking


Suitable for: Advisory teachers, Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioners 

Julie Fisher is an Independent Early Years Adviser and Visiting Professor of Early Childhood Education at Oxford Brookes University. She held the post of Early Years Adviser in Oxfordshire for 11 years during which time she was chair of the Early Years Curriculum Group and the National Association of Inspectors, Advisers and Consultants Early Childhood Group.  She has recently completed a research project studying adult-child interactions with children from six months to six years from which she has gained invaluable DVD material demonstrating how effective practitioners initiate and sustain effective interactions with young children.

Protective Behaviours training - a two day foundation course.


20th June and 4th July  ( both days must be attended)


Unipart House, Oxford


Time: 9.30 - 4.30


Cost: £135 (including lunch)


Suitable for:  Early Years, Primary, Secondary & Special Schools.


Having experienced the personal and professional value of this training for ourselves, especially with regard to safeguarding children and ourselves as practitioners we are very pleased to offer you the opportunity to attend a two-day Foundation Course in Protective Behaviours.


The training will be run by Protective Behaviours Training Partnership, and is beneficial to all schools (Early Years, Primary,Secondary and Special Schools).  


Excellent feedback from Teachers on our recent 2 day course include: "“Without a doubt the most useful training I have ever been on – and I have been on a lot! Has made me review my own practice and empowered me to share it with everyone in my setting. Outstanding and motivational”   (Oxfordshire Teacher)


To find out more about PB click here


Protective Behaviours is a practical down to earth approach to personal safety. It is a process that encourages self-empowerment and brings with it the skills to raise self-esteem and to help avoid being victimised. This is achieved by helping individuals to recognise and trust their intuitive feelings (Early Warning Signs) and to develop strategies for self-protection. The Protective Behaviours process encourages an adventurous approach to life that satisfies the need for fun and excitement without violence and fear.


Neighbouring counties are further ahead with embedding and seeing the benefits of this approach in their schools, with Northamptonshire having 90 Primary and 30 Secondary schools trained, and Warwickshire having all their Primary schools trained in Protective Behaviours.  This is your opportunity to access this training in Oxfordshire.


(please note 24.3.and 3.4 training dates have been postponed)

EYFS Inspiration Day with Anna Ephgrave and Ruth Moore

'In the Moment Planning' – Excellence in the Early Years  


Thursday 8th June 2017 (Unipart Conference Centre, Oxford)


9.30am - 3.30pm


Cost to attend: £85 per person (including lunch)


Due to popular demand we are pleased to be able to offer you another opportunity to attend an EYFS Inspiration Day led by Anna Ephgrave and Ruth Moore entitled ‘In the moment planning’ - Excellence in the Early Years.


During the day Anna and Ruth will introduce you to their exciting, child-led approach, including “in the moment” planning as described in their books, ‘The Reception Year in Action’, and ‘The Nursery Year in Action’


Feeback from participants on our February course include:


It was so refreshing to go on a course and not listen to the same old stuff again and again. Anna and Ruth were great! As a setting, we were already well on the way to being completely child-led but the training has given us the extra confidence to really go for it. The downloads that you have forwarded will be very useful. I have already held a staff meeting to share what we learnt on the day and I even have staff volunteering their time over half term to de-clutter the shelves and shadow/label resources etc. I hope to come to many more inspiring events through the OTSA.”


You can read more about Anna and ‘in the moment’ planning on her website www.freedomtolearn.co.uk


Suitable for EYFS teachers and practitioners in schools and settings


EYFS Inspiration Day with Kirstine Beeley

"Maths makes the world go round" - making maths fun for 2 - 4 year olds in settings.


A practitical session, with loads of ideas and inspiration to enhance your maths provision, and develop your confidence in this area.


Saturday 20th May. 9.30 - 12.30


At the ACE Centre Nursery School, Chipping Norton.


Audience: Early years practitioners and childminders working with 2-4 year olds


Cost to attend: £30

EYFS Inspiration Day with Trisha Lee: Helicopter Stories - letting imagination fly.


4th September, 2017 ( Term 1 inset day)

The ACE Centre, Chipping Norton

9.30 - 3.00pm

Cost: £95 (includes lunch and a copy of 'Princesses,Dragons and Helicopter Stories by Trisha Lee)


To find out more about Trisha Lee's Helicopter Stories please click here.


The Benefits:

  • An inclusive, whole-class approach which values every child’s contribution;
  • Facilitates high levels of engagement;
  • Creates confidence and self-assurance;
  • Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
  • Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
  • Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
  • Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
  • Allows children to explore the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
  • Offers children a bridge into the world of story writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.
  • MakeBelieve Arts offers:  INSETS, Keynotes, in-class sessions and workshops with Parents. We work with Local Authorities, Early Years Settings, Nurseries and Primary Schools.



Audience: EYFS Teachers / Practitioners working in schools and settings.




EYFS Inspiration Day with Julie Fisher: Interacting or Interfering?   - the role of the adult in supporting / extending children’s learning.


2nd November 2017


9.30 - 3.30

Unipart Centre, Oxford.

Cost to attend: £85 per person (lunch included)


This course is based on the content of Julie's bestselling book of the same name. It will explore what is meant by ‘effective’ adult-child interactions. It will consider the role of the adult in both adult-initiated and child-initiated situations, both indoors and out, with groups of children and with individual learners. Through the use of DVD footage taken in settings working with children up to 6 years old, delegates will have the opportunity to reflect on their own practice when interacting with young learners. 


Suitable for EYFS teachers and practitioners in schools and settings.



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