Introduction
Kay Summers, Northumberland Early Years Advisor for Northumberland County Council describes the project: “I am a member of the Northumberland Early Years Advisory team and have been involved in a project to support settings with developing children’s pre-phonics skills. Many children are introduced to phonics too soon, before they have the foundations needed. Music provision in the local settings was mostly limited to traditional songs and nursery rhymes with no structure or progression to the sessions.”
Why Boogie Mites?
“I remembered the Boogie Mites Programme from my time in Hampshire Early Years team and thought that this could be the answer. We recommended that the cost involved for each setting to attend the training and purchase the pack and license to use the programme in the setting, could be funded from EYPP funding. I contacted Sue and we put a proposal together for 2 days of cluster training for Northumberland settings.”
The Training
“Both training sessions were fully booked and hence fully funded by the settings. Three Early Years Advisors and two childcare development workers attended the training so that they could support the settings with implementation following the training. Of the 50 practitioners attending across both training workshops;
  • more than 95% felt that they had gained a better understanding of how music supports Letters and Sounds Phase 1, foundations for phonics
  • more than 90% felt confident to deliver the programme in their settings
  • 100% felt that the training had been valuable”
The Early Years Team will monitor the implementation and the gathering of evidence of impact on children’s development – for reporting the EYPP spend impact. Boogie Mites were a professional and efficient team to work with and we hope to continue working with them in the future.”
Some of the participant Feedback & Comments

“Thoroughly enjoyed this training! As an NQT, I have been looking for ways to support phonics and this has been incredibly useful. I will be implementing straight away! Thank you.” Rachel Mowat, Prudhoe West First School.

“Very inspiring. Good to see a systematic music programme to support letters and sounds. So good to draw in phonological awareness as so many schemes miss this out or do a very small demo” Liz Somerville, Early Years Consultant, Northumberland.

“Great fun! Loved learning and joining in with new songs. Has given me some great ideas on implementing them in our setting. Also, a start to help with getting parents involved.” Amanda Brown, Rascals.

“Really enthusiastic and helps to be motivated to engage in ideas. Good variety of ideas and how to adapt to keep songs fresh and usable for all different aspects in letters and sounds.” Catherine Borrows, Henshaw Nursery.

“I think there is a wealth of valuable activities and songs to be used in a focused way, which will benefit children in our setting, particularly those with attention, listening, speech, and language difficulties. Fab! Thank you.” Carolyn Shovlin, North Tynies.