Project R

Developing strong leadership and expert teaching in the Reception Year

Project R is a progressive leadership programme of 8 monthly CPD sessions. The programme considers best practice, latest research, national priorities and leadership challenges in the Reception year. It also encourages reflective thinking and discussion about effective pedagogy in relation to the 4 themes of the statutory EYFS framework. Bristol Early Years Teaching Hub (BEYTH) has run this programme with Bristol Early Years, with 48 EYFS Leaders working in Bristol primary schools benefiting from it.

The aims of the programme are for participants:

  • To develop effective and confident EYFS pedagogical leadership in schools
  • To develop a shared understanding of EYFS best practice based on research evidence
  • To develop champions of change based on action research in your own school

Breakdown of Sessions

Key Components

  • Learning across all areas is linked to sound EY pedagogy and the curriculum
  • The 4 themes of EYFS run through the programme – unique child, positive relationships, enabling environments, learning and development
  • There is a focus on narrowing the gap – diversity, inclusivity, equity and belonging
  • A Specialist leader in education facilitates high quality, interactive CPD sessions that inspire reflective discussion and critical thinking
  • Research mentors support action research and reflective practice, and a learning community is developed
  • A toolkit of research and resources is provided
  • There are links to statutory guidance, EIF and ELGs

Outcomes of the Bristol Programme

Impact Assessment tools were used, whereby participants ranked their confidence and knowledge in pedagogy and leadership.

All sessions demonstrated value added and 100% of participants showed improved scores

The average score at the beginning of the course was less than 2.5 (out of 5) and the average score at the end of the course was 4.5 (out of 5)

I don’t think these numerical scores capture how powerful Project R has been in developing a professional and supportive network of wonderful practitioners. So much has changed since starting Project R, including the global pandemic, a change in staffing/leadership and the expansion of the EY team.

Sefton Park School

With such a deep understanding now of EYFS pedagogy I can articulate to SLT why we do what we do, using the techniques in Project Reception to support this. I can also easily see gaps in our practice and how to work to develop these.

Merchants School

I will continue to use the interactions checklist with the EYFS and Y1 team to monitor practice and have positive conversations around how we move things forward as a team; continue to research and explore best practice in EYFS and carry this forward to Y1 as well; be confident as an EYFS leader to make decisions based in theory of child development and have confidence to voice this within school and to external agencies.

St Werburghs School

If you are a local authority, academy trust or nursery chain that would be interested in us running a development programme for you then contact:

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