With calls for early years practitioners to be more highly qualified, next week's Early Years and Primary Show in Glasgow is well timed.
The show, which offers two days (November 18 and 19) of professional development in the form of seminars and a resources exhibition, is one of four early years and primary events across the UK run by Teaching Exhibitions, a division of TSL Education (publisher of TES Scotland and Nursery World).
Forty seminars cover everything from basic literacy and numeracy to fun ways to do maths and science, develop creativity and inspire young children with treasure boxes, puppets and sensory play. Behaviour and gender issues feature in "Can't Listen, Won't Listen" and "Getting Boys to Write", and several sessions offer help for teachers of children with additional needs - dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. New this year will be Starting an Out-of-School Club, Brain Gym and Write Away - Ideas for Making Writing Interesting and Enjoyable.
Miranda Walker is an early years and playwork author whose book Children's Care, Learning and Development (NVQ3), published by City Guilds, is due out early next year. Her advice on starting an out-of-school club will be targeted at primary schools and early years centres that are starting from scratch, and will look at the playwork ethos, the premises and the skills, training and qualifications required.
Brain gym is spreading, with more and more schools using it to encourage mobility and help children relax and prepare for learning. Alan Heath, a brain gym instructor who runs the Learning Solutions company in Bradford, has worked widely with schools and local education authorities in England.
He is visiting the Scottish show for the first time and will demonstrate some quick, fun and effective movements to help with learning, concentration and development.
Colette Drift, a freelance educational consultant and writer, will explore ways to encourage children with additional needs to write. She will look at different genres and techniques for developing confidence.
Returning by popular demand will be Claire Warden, of Mindstretchers, whose sessions are regularly over-subscribed. She will run a full-day seminar this year, from 10.30am-3.30pm on the Saturday. Visitors can drop in to the Mindstretchers workshop zone and stay for as many sessions as they wish.
There will be three throughout the day.
The first, "Naturally Creative", will be an interactive workshop on constructing weaving frames and creating textural pieces, or using natural materials such as gems, wood and rocks to create pictures. "Splish, Splash"
will explore the potential of a puddle with the creation of waterproof footwear. "Motion and Commotion" will offer the opportunity to create structures and mechanisms.
This year's exhibition will feature more that 60 companies, including Scottish names such as Learning and Teaching Scotland, North Lanarkshire Council and YDance, the national youth dance agency for Scotland which is working with the Scottish Executive to tackle obesity. Over the past couple of years, YDance has launched CD-Roms 321 Go! for P1-P3 and Science-Physical for P3-P7. Now it is taking dance workshops into early secondary.
From south of the border come a host of companies, offering nursery and classroom furniture (Community Playthings) to computer resources (Sherston Software) to posters, notepads and stickers at cut show prices (Superstickers), all hoping to make nursery and primary schools richer and more creative environments.
Potential of a Puddle, November 19, 10.30am-3.30pm, pound;95Other seminars last one hour and cost pound;5 each if booked in advance or pound;10 on the day. Tel 01923 690 646www.teachingexhibitions.co.uk