There are three key reasons why investment in music provision is so important for early years settings in the pandemic environment:
- Wellbeing of staff and children
- Intervention to boost attainment gap – ‘catch-up’ cognitive development
- Parent engagement and home learning environment
Our Practitioner Training
Boogie Mites have been training practitioners to lead our music programme in-house for 12 years. We have enjoyed leading regular inset training days, Saturday and evening team sessions, cluster training for groups of settings and delivering sessions at conferences. We offer a team building, uplifting training group experience. Trainees leave buzzing and enthused to introduce the new songs and music activities the very next day. It’s a practical music-making session, no sitting down for hours or taking notes, it’s a singing, dancing, get on the floor and bang your drum type session!
“Excellent. Very interactive, physical, great resource, super ‘feel good factor’ for everyone taking part. It will have an impact on all areas of learning”
Martine Horvath, Sussex Early Years Advisor
So when lockdown hit we faced a challenge – how do you put that online!
We couldn’t be put off by the challenge because quality music provision was more important than ever before for the 3 key reasons given above.
Moving Training Online
Over the Summer and Autumn 2021 we created online training modules, made up of video footage we had of songs in action in settings and parent groups. We included talking head clips and PowerPoint slides to introduce each programme and song.
Our core programmes:
- School Ready (3-5 years)
- Minis (2-3 years)
- Teenies (under 2’s)
Each programme has 5 or 6, 15-minute training modules which can be covered by trainees over 6 weeks. The course starts with an hour zoom session to introduce the course and signpost them to their private Facebook group, we hoped this would encourage the trainees to build a relationship with one another so they could support and communicate throughout the course. Within the group we post links to further resources that are relevant to the module that week. We encourage trainees to share their experiences, photos, ideas and questions on the group too. The course ends with another hour zoom which reflects on the practice, learning and plans for the future implementation.
Our first online training was launched in partnership with National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) in January 2021. The NDNA team have been a great source of support with assessing and promoting our online training. We received evaluations from the first cohort of trainees after completing their course at the end of February, we were excited to hear their feedback. The feedback was great, it turns out you can build an online community of trainees, motivate and enthuse them to motivate and enthuse their teams and introduce a whole new programme of music in a way that fits and benefits each setting and each child.
Some of the lovely feedback we were given:
“Our music sessions were stale and a bit flat, theses boogie mite sessions have really improved our music, with the reassurance we are meeting the letter and sound requirements. Such good value!”
Kirsty Winwood, Rainbow Nursery, Staffs
“This course has really given me the opportunity and tools to bring music back into the classroom with purpose. Learning through music now has a completely different meaning for me.”
Kirsty Bard, The Lake House Nursery, Bristol.
“I have found the resources provided to be excellent, giving lots of ideas on how to extend and expand activities. The songs and music are original and catchy, and I love the fact that I am helping the children to advance educationally in such a fun and enjoyable way!”
Paula Ariel, Little Stars Nursery, Staffs
“I loved the course, thank you. Bright and cheerful with great ideas such a welcome break from all the ‘doom and gloom’ at the moment! Thank you so much for the weekly sessions. They’re great and the children have enjoyed joining in with them.”
Jennifer Smith, Trumacar Nursery, Lancs
“100% enjoyment! Really loved being part of it and learning the songs. A new take on the traditional phase 1 phonics which has been enjoyed.”
Siobhan Clarke, Railway Children Nursery, Northants
“If you’re looking for something different, fun and easy this is definitely the course for you.”
Stacey Renshaw, RAFA Kidz, Digby
“It has been a brilliant experience, myself, the staff in my room and the children have thoroughly enjoyed the songs and the programme”
Hannah Fern, Wolds Childcare, Notts
“The training has been really informative and helpful. I am going to organise a meeting with the girls at work to set them up with the same information and start a wider programme to support our littles ones on the path to boogie-ing.”
Lizi Winstanley, Longwood Pre-school, Bushey
Here is a taster of the zoom introduction session, meet Liv McLennan, our fabulous trainer demonstrating Boogie Mites name tapping songs with gusto!
Our Current Online Courses
We have a February cohort of 40 trainees halfway through their course and this week we are starting a March cohort of 60 trainees. We aim to support each and every trainee to get the most out of the course, we enjoy the opportunity for this extended period of communication rather than our usual one-off onsite training day, there are many benefits for longer term quality of implementation. We continue to offer online training covering our core programmes year in partnership with the NDNA.
In April and May 2021 we are starting online courses covering Boogie Mites School Ready and Teenies Programmes.
You can see more information and book online here:
We can work with nursery groups or large settings to create private courses for their teams, where an online platform can offer team building interactions and support through the course as well.
Contact [email protected] to discuss an exclusive online course for your team.
Lifetime Licensee Settings
As always, a setting that invests in a Boogie Mites music programme becomes a lifetime licensee of the programme with access to digital resources that are continually updated as improvements are added, and with the right to use it in the named setting. This means that the video training modules are available for the whole team, not just those who attend the training. Every new member of staff can also run through the training modules as part of their induction. This creates a sustainable quality for ongoing music provision that does not rely on the person who attended the training to share and keep it going. It also means that every member of staff understands the value of a rich and varied music provision for every child, every day.
Wider Reach and Future Plans
As the training is online it also means that we can work with settings all over the UK much more easily and at lower cost to all involved. Our current training courses include settings in Wales, Lancashire, Merseyside, Stoke, Bristol, Plymouth, Brighton and London. It feels great to be bringing passionate early years practitioners from across the UK together through the joy of music at this difficult time. We feel delighted and privileged to work with them.
It has been a very busy year transforming the training for our parents and practitioners, but the benefits that it brings to our customers for the future makes it all worthwhile. Although we look forward to returning to onsite training days and all the fun and energy this generates, we will keep a 6 week online guided course as an option because of the many benefits this offers. We look forward to continuing our partnership with NDNA to promote online training covering our core programmes over the next year. We can see that this forced review of our business model and move to digital services and resources hugely improves our provision and scalability for the long term, and we have the lockdown to thank for that!
If you would like to discuss boosting music provision for the children in your care via Boogie Mites online training contact [email protected]