2010 Conference/AGM

Date: 13th November 2010
Venue: Novotel, Broad Street, Birmingham
Topic: Grounds for play: exploring risk in the outdoor early years environment.

Over 100 delegates attended this year’s excellent conference and, of those, 42 were present at the AGM – a really good turnout all round. The trade stands, as ever, proved popular and we all appreciated the companies’ contributions. There was a wonderful atmosphere around the whole day – the conference speakers were inspirational, knowledgeable and challenged our thinking. The topic of outdoor play obviously appealed to our many delegates and we’re already beginning to think about a similarly motivating topic for next year’s (residential) conference. Any thoughts will be gratefully received ([email protected]).

Powerpoints from the speakers – Helen Tovey, Trisha Maynard and Andy Burt – can be found on the website (see below) Sadly, we can’t publish all the wonderful photographs of children playing outdoors which all our speakers delighted us with but you can still get a good sense of the quality and content of the talks from these presentations.

The open-ended discussions in the afternoon provided a forum for a wide-range of issues to be aired and shared, which seemed mainly to appeal to delegates (“Really liked the opportunity to reflect and discuss”) – time for just talking about important early years topics often seems very limited in our busy lives and this was a great opportunity for some lively debate around provision for outdoor play and learning and the challenges for many settings in providing quality experiences.

At the AGM we reported on the year’s work of TACTYC – the Chair’s and Journal Editors’ Reports can be found here. Those present received the financial report and information about the website usage (we’ll put some of this information in the next Newsletter). Members also had the opportunity to view the new LOGO and strapline (Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Educators) and it was heartily approved. It will appear on the website early in the New Year and, hopefully, on the cover of the next Early Years Journal.

We hope you’ll keep promoting TACTYC – it’s so important that we have an active organisation that can lobby and debate on issues around children’s rights, training and continuing professional development. Don’t forget, we’re the ONLY organisation solely concerned with practitioners’ professional development and, as such, we’re gaining a voice nationally (and internationally) through our Journal, lobbying and website.

Janet Moyles – Website Editor


We gave the usual opportunity for delegates to evaluate the conference via the use of post-it labels. Here’s just a few of the comments to give those of you who weren’t able to attend a flavour of the day:

  • Really good day. Lots of ideas to take back to the setting to empower children and practitioners.
  • Very good balance of speakers, theory and practical ideas.
  • Excellent day – all 3 talks were full of good thoughts – I feel energised.
  • Wonderful to meet people from so many sectors of the early years world.
  • Excellent!! Very informative. Great opportunity to share practice and engage with current thinking/research.
  • Fantastic day – thank you so much.
  • Many, many big thanks for a truly inspiring day. If only our practitioners could access this wonderful event!

Keynote talks 2010 (click on titles to open PowerPoints):
Dr. Helen Tovey (Roehampton University) Play Outdoors: Risk, challenge and the dangers of safety.
Prof. Trisha Maynard (Canterbury Christ Church University) Letting Go; Child-led learning in the outdoor environment.
Andy Burt (Fishergate Primary School) What’s going on? An open-ended approach to outdoor play.

The next Executive Meeting is the 19th January, 2011, when we’ll no doubt be discussing next year’s conference. We’ll hope to post the dates after that so do keep watching.

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