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BrewEd was introduced to the Education sector by Ed Finch and Daryn Egan-Smith as a way of bringing educators together on a Saturday afternoon to discuss and debate policy, practice and pedagogy.

It is a grassroots movement in the truest sense of the word, it is for educators, organised by educators and attended by educators. The events are organised by volunteers and are completely free from corporate sponsorship. They are inclusive events and, as such, ticket prices were kept as low as possible.

They soon became very popular with the events springing up all over the country, and affectionately termed as 'Pints and Pedagogy' as the venues often used were pubs, as they often had the space and could also provide the catering. (Find out more)

Simona McKenzie (@signoramac) then organised the first one for the Early Years sector in Twickenham, January 2019, and before long BrewEdEY events were also popping up all over the country! 

Due to the COVID-19 Lockdown I decided to launch an online version of #BrewEdEY for the sector and to deliver this via Zoom software to make it interactive and accessible to all who wished to attend; I was delighted when close friend and colleague, Aaron Bradbury, volunteered to support me in this venture. 

All of the places were taken within two hours of launching them on Eventbrite so we released more and again they were gone in less than an hour. We then took the decision to record the presentations along with the Q & A sessions so that they could be shared more widely after the event.

The event was a resounding success and so Aaron and I have decided that we will host more for as long as we can engage speakers and we believe that this will also bring #BrewEdEY to those people who do not have access to them within their area or cannot travel. We have also seen participants registering from Australia, China, UAE, USA and Europe so we believe that these events are truly global.

How Does it Work?

The day starts around 10.15 am when we ask you to join in the Zoom session so that you are ready for us to commence at 10.30 with the 'Welcome' and first speaker. 

We will ask you to turn off video and mute yourself throughout the presentations to ensure that there is no interruption of anyone's enjoyment. Comments and questions can be posted via the 'Chat' function on Zoom, and these will be collated by Aaron Bradbury ready for the end of the presentation, and Aaron will also ask you if you would like to ask your question or make your comment directly with the Speaker; we do encourage you to turn on your video for this part of the session so you can interact directly. 

The Q & A session and discussion is around 20 minutes, allowing us to provide a short break before the next Keynote and for your to refresh your drinks etc. or if you prefer, turn on your video and unmute yourself (if you have not already done so!) so you can connect and network with the others present. 

We aim to run each Keynote an hour apart, but this can sometimes go a little off schedule depending on the discussion and interactions, but we will try to ensure that there is time for you to take part and also to have a short break. 

#BrewEdEYOnline Events ... to date

Please see below, details of the four #BrewEdEYOnline Events we organised as part of our support to the Sector during the COVID-19 Pandemic... we do intend to organise more of these so keep checking back here for any announcements of future dates.

You could also check our Training and Events Diary and/or sign up for our regular newsletters

If you missed out on these inspiring events, you can still catch the Keynotes FREE OF CHARGE, from our EY Matters Online Training & Resource Platform.

If you would like to access the recordings, simply click on the relevant image! 

Keynotes / Presentations: 

Bridgit Brown, Staying Connected & Providing Continuity of Care Remotely
Bridgit shares the effect that the COVID-19 Lockdown had on the Pebbles Childcare business, how they kept connected with their children and their families and supported them in every way they could. At the time of recording, Bridgit was planning the re-opening of her childminding business and shares her thoughts around risk assessments, planning activities while ensuring the safety of the children, their families, her staff and her own family. With the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19, this personal look at what it means for Childminders and those that provide Early Education care in the home, is relevant today as when it was recorded.


David Wright, Back to Basics: The Role of the Adult
In this extremely informative presentation, David brings us back to basics to our role as carers and adults for the children in our lives reminding us of our main responsibilities of care and education with emphasis on communication and interactions. He touches on the importance of building strong relationships with the children and explores meaningful conversations and how to 'tune-in' to children.



Dr Helen Simmons, Surveillance of Modern Motherhood: Experiences of attending a Parenting Course
During her presentation, Helen shares her research which explores the experiences of mothers of children aged 0-3 years that have attended universal parenting courses. The aim of this research was to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that motivate mothers to attend a universal parenting course and to explore the wider experiences of early modern motherhood in the UK. This insightful keynote not only resonates with our own personal experiences, but is valuable in understanding the parents we work with.



James Butler, I'm All About the Base
James explores the Reception Baseline Assessment, which was due to be introduced in September 2020 for all children starting in Reception, what it may involve and what it will mean for the Early Years Sector. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the various lockdowns the implementation has now been postponed to Autumn 2021, so James' presentation is as relevant today as it was when it was recorded in 2020.
Note: The hand-outs for this presentation have been updated to provide the current documents and information relating to Baseline Assessment.


Sarah Hardwell, Parental engagement and Speech, Language and Communication
During her presentation, Sarah explores how speech, language and communication can improve social mobility through education and how this is can be embedded and encouraged in the Early Years; she also provides an insight on how she promotes this and communicates with parents to engage them and help them understand to further support their children.

Keynotes / Presentations: 

Aaron Bradbury, The Aspiring Practitioner in the Early Years
During this informative and inspiring presentation, Aaron looks the motivations of an Early Years Professional, Apprenticeships and how they need to be adopted to grow your own practice for a child centred focus and what is next.




Debbie Garvey, Leading with Empathy, Support and Encouragement
An opportunity for reflection, and a chance to discuss, consider and explore the roles of staff within early childhood, and how we all, at times, take on the role of leader. Linking to Debbie’s research for her books and delving into how our neuroscience and early childhood knowledge and our skills and experience might be helpful in our roles supporting staff, leaders, managers and each other.


Dr Eunice Lumsden, I Just Want To Talk About Children
This presentation has the ‘voice’ of young children at the heart. It challenges us to think about the language we use that ‘others’ children, even before they are born. It questions the labels placed on children and asks us to hold a mirror to our professional selves to create a new reality for the next generation. It reinforces the importance of a holistic understanding of child development and how this underpins the importance of a high-quality early childhood workforce. It will draw on recent research into practitioners understanding of poverty and reinforce the importance of children and their families as being ‘Capable’ and that a strengths approach to all we do can really make a difference.


Gary Coffey, Making Makaton Magic in your Setting
Communication is fundamental in ensuring that children can engage with the world around them. We all communicate in various ways and Makaton provides a multi-modal approach to support children and adults who may have a communication difficulty or disability. How we can use this language programme as an effective means of engagement for all? Let’s explore the magic of Makaton and how it can be applied in every setting, from 6 months of age and above.


Helen Moylett, Is this Health Crisis becoming a Children's Rights Crisis?
In the UK we live in a society where inequality of all kinds is deeply entrenched and has been worsened by the last ten years of austerity and we went into the health crisis in what has been called ‘a state of disastrous social fragility’. Against this backdrop the rights of many young children to be nurtured as well as educated are not being adequately protected. This talk will explore some of the issues around children’s voices not being heard, as well as share two case studies that represent the amazing work that early years practitioners are doing to support families. There are the seeds of something better for society in the collective action we have seen and we have to nurture those seeds to grow a better system for the future.

Keynotes / Presentations: 

Elaine Bennett, 'Climbing the stairs, Resisting the Lift: Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Year One'
During this session Elaine explored how we can support children as they move into KS1 building on high quality EYs pedagogy. Putting play back into KS1 has always been the right thing to do - but now as children return to school after the pandemic, it is going to be essential! Also with the release of the revised EYFS, Elaine touches upon this and we have also included some further links around the associated campaign and petition.



Julie Kent, 'Talking Two Year Olds: A Holistic Approach'
This will be a practical reflection through the lens of social pedagogy, on the approaches and relationships which are formative to young children’s learning and development in the area of communication and language (C&L).


Sarah Watkins, 'Ensuring the Best Outcomes for Traveller Children'
An exploration of the barriers facing young children from Traveller families and some suggestions on how to improve outcomes for these children.




Dr Sue Allingham, 'Are You Sitting Comfortably? Physical Development and School Readiness'
Being confident physically is a vital part of being confident in the environment. The impact of the reforms to the EYFS and its narrowed expectations could mean that this important area of child development is marginalised or overlooked.


Keynotes / Presentations: 

Debbie Garvey, Our Philosophy - An Exploration
Debbie explores why we work in this sector, what our focus is and how we ensure that we are being the best we can be; she also looks at the importance of CPD and how we ensure that we are engaging with the correct sources, how we to make the decision on what is best for our continual development, those of our staff and how we can ascertain what is the right course to follow.



Maureen Hunt, 'Positive About Parents'
During this insightful and informative presentation, Maureen explores our relationship with the Parents/Carers of our children, why it is important to engage with them, how important this is for the child, the benefits of a involvement with them and provides some tried and tested advice on how we can form these important relationships.


Nazma Meah, 'The Unofficial Children's Centre'
As the owner/manager of her own Early Years provision and also providing support for others, Nazma looks at the role that we and our provisions play in the local community ensuring we are supporting the child, the family with all of their needs, which is the basis of the child starting their learning journey.




Gill Jones & Wendy Ratcliff, Ofsted Update: A Phased Return to Safe Inspections
Providing an update on Ofsted activities during the lockdown, Gill & Wendy explain the facts and figures and what will be happening in regard to inspections, including timings as we come out of lockdown.



S & S Training Partners (Kim Benham & Sejal Payne). Inclusiveness in the Early Years in Regards to Race, Ethnicity and Culture
Under their joint training venture, Kim and Sejal provide a condensed version of one of their most popular training courses, exploring what we need to think about when dealing with children who come from different family types and backgrounds. Full of handy tips and ideas to ensure that families engage with your provision and to ensure that you are fully representing all of your families, children and there is a uniform inclusion for all, along with celebrating the diversity of the children in your care.


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