Something very exciting has been happening in education lately, have you heard? #BrewEd – ‘Bringing Pints and Pedagogy to the people since 2017’!
#BrewEd was started by @MrEFinch and has rapidly become the hashtag to follow on Twitter.
#BrewEd is a fantastic opportunity to hear from other people you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to listen to. A chance to debate current hot topics and connect with other people with different areas of expertise. Perhaps the most important aspect is that it is about working together, deepening your pedagogy, gaining different perspectives and breaking down the silo’s or the constraints from above to which we all (unwittingly) adhere.
You listen to people you wouldn’t usually hear from, engage with other like minded professionals and get inside knowledge from different sectors of education. It’s about being challenged, prompted to find out more and networking with others you wouldn’t normally get the chance to engage with. No sponsorship, no product placement. No one makes a profit. No goody bags on the seat. This is new, exciting and oh so refreshing. No wonder it has caught on and the hashtag trends most Saturdays!
#BrewEd’s take place across the country and are nearly always held in a pub, (hence the ‘brew’!). Tickets are sold via Eventbrite, and the cost is kept to a minimum (£6 – £10) ensuring this great Continued Professional and Personal Development CPPD is accessible for all. Tickets are priced to just cover the cost of the venue and refreshments. Small gatherings of around 30 – 40 people attend. This is so everyone can be heard and hear from the diverse range of speakers. Events are organised by volunteers and they post their event on the #BrewEd website. They now sell out rapidly and are the ‘must do’ CPPD option.
So, in the Early Years community we wanted a piece of the action! The first two #BrewEdEy have already taken place and what a success they were! Both were trending as #BrewEdEyTwickenham and were organised by Simona McKenzie – @signoramac, an inspiration in the world of Early Years, with a passion to share and bring people together. The first one was opened by Sue Cowley – @Sue_Cowley, author, speaker and ‘rattler of cages’ (her term not mine) a fitting greeting for #BrewEdEy with her passion woven through her ‘slot’. Dr Lala Manners -@MattersActive treated us all to her recent research and we debated issues around policy and sharing the information with parents. Blown away already before lunch and then heard from Ali McClure – @AliMcCureEP! Ali shared her thoughts on brain development and amazed us with her activities and knowledge. Lunch was an opportunity to network and I had the pleasure of sitting with Mr and Mrs Paint Pots not only is @Mr_PaintPots a legend in his own right, his ‘Men in Early Years’ commitment and reputation for being Victoria Derbyshire’s ‘go to’ make him and Mrs Paint Pots great company. The afternoon started with Bethlyn Killey – @StarlightMcKenz, I felt privileged to hear about her journey and moved by the obstacles she has overcome in fighting for her son in a world with systems not designed to help families, rather to hinder. Much respect. Lastly, believing it couldn’t get any more inspirational, we were treated to the delights of June O’Sullivan – @JuneOSullivan! June shared so much of her passion, commitment and desire to make a difference it was hard not to run up and hug her! The day went so quickly and my notebook was overflowing. That day stayed with me until …
#BrewEdEyTwickenham (2)! – I made sure I was booked on as soon as the Eventbrite link was shared eager not to miss out! It did not disappoint.
Dr Sue Allingham – @DrSue22 inspired us right from the start with her reminder of connecting with the child, she then went on to lead us through the day with the help of her trusted ‘Teddy Edward’ who himself had touched children’s lives. Sue introduced speakers when their slot came up. Laura Henry -@IamLauraHenry shared her recent findings and shared a slide with a quote from Maya Angelou “When we know better, we do better”. A message that certainly resonated with me. Helen Moylett -@HelenMoylett demonstrated how to ‘reclaim the curriculum and a stand out line for me – “the child will want to do the learning work”. A reminder that we do too much to present learning in what we think is an attractive way, we need to get back the ‘want’ for children. Lunch was served in the room as the Rugby fans were having pre match sustenance. The afternoon kicked off with a Quiz (tradition for #BrewEd), I tried to make it fun! Though we all realised how quickly current terminology replaces old! Bridgit Brown and Chloe Webster from @PebblesWorthing were up next. Listening to their commitment to play reminded us all of the flexibility that home based childcare provides. Small nurturing environments that allow flexibility and teachers that have the time to learn with children. Photos showing children benefitting from ‘awe and wonder’ reminded us all about how powerful interactions are. Kate Barker -@K8ebarker ‘parents need to engage with settings as partners’ and we must never forget that. Lastly we heard from Jean-Louis Dutaut @dutaut. Formidable messages and insight into the world of education “We cannot allow our knowledge base to be eroded away”, don’t worry JL, I’m making sure I continue to grow.
It was certainly another fun and thought provoking day, the aim of #BrewEdEy is to hear from a range of speakers who are all willing to attend in the spirit of #BrewEd – not for profit, sharing your passion, sparking a debate, providing new ideas, talking about your experiences, listening to new research.
What I got was affirmation that I am not alone in my thinking, confirmation that everything I say in my training is exactly what the good and the great in Early Years are saying too and strength to continue to share and inspire others. Look into the wording of the EYFS, look through what the documentation says and trust that your pedagogy is right for you and your team.
Fired up with my fellow South Coast Early Years advocates, we are currently planning
#BrewEdEySussex !! Let me introduce the willing volunteers
Beth Thomas – @TheBethThomas
Rebecca Martland – @RebeccaMartland and @MTG_CPD
Alison Featherbe – @allyfeatherbe and @EYSUSSEX
Chloe Webster – @PebblesWorthing and @ChloeWebsterSMM
Bridget Brown – @PebblesWorthing and @BigBeeBrown
Our speakers for the day are:
Sue Allingham – Next steps
Beth Thomas – Transitions: a wider perspective
David Wright – Young children’s behaviour
Sherrie Nyss – Making learning stick!
Erica Evans – Participation rights of children
Follow us all on Twitter to keep in touch!
#BrewEdEy is for anyone working in the Early Years sector, it’s there for YOU and you will be made most welcome. Or why not organise one for yourself? #EYMatters is here to help and connect you. See you at the next one!