In March 2017, staff from across the Tops Day Nurseries family were invited to attend a Music and Movement Conference to enhance their continuous Professional Development, as well as learning new skills to implement in the nurseries. Staff were given the chance to take part in a practical workshop with Boogie Mites, learn about body percussion, clapping games and Chinese dance. There were also age specific music and movement workshops, and the opportunity to make musical instruments from recycled materials.
The morning started with an introduction to the conference by Senior Nursery
Manager, Magda Zuber on the importance of music and movement in children. Tops Day Nurseries have been combating childhood obesity by introducing no added sugar menus and encouraging extra-curricular activities to get children moving, such as Boogie Mites activity sessions for children of all ages.
Over 20% of children are overweight or obese when they start school, which means, as practitioners caring for these children, nurseries have to be part of the solution to the growing problem.
Liv, a Boogie Mites expert, gave Tops Early Years Practitioners the knowledge, resources and confidence to implement high quality music making to support learning across the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. Liv explained that there is neuroscientific research that shows music boosts development, as well as showing how staff can use music activities to promote specific EYFS outcomes.
Amy Alderson, Tops Day Nurseries Operations Director said “We are delighted Boogie Mites we able to attended our annual conference. Early year’s provision is critical to a child’s development. We believe that children are the future and Tops can make a difference by providing the best environment, care and education for every child.
After registering with Boogie Mites last year, we have found the children very much enjoy the sessions held within the nurseries. By attending the training, a number of staff have now increased their knowledge and discovered new ways to bring music and movement to life across the Tops Day Nurseries family.”
Practitioners also took part in a drumming and body percussion workshop, conducted by Fab Drumming. Fab Drumming is run by Marion Nieuwenhuizen, a fully qualified teacher and teaches African drumming, African dance and international folk dancing for all ages. Drumming has many benefits; it encourages creativity, self-expression and rhythmic coordination.
Vicki Sedgwick, Nursery Manager at Tops Boscombe said “I have attended a number of conferences during my time working within the childcare industry, but this years’ Music and Movement conference was by far the best conference I have ever attended. The training we received was impeccably beneficial.
‘The feedback from my staff team has been wonderful to hear, stating how beneficial the training was and how engaging the theory and physical activities were, as opposed to just being spoken to and watching presentations. They have all been so eager to implement the new skills they have developed within the nursery already.”