North Tyneside Early Years Conference

28th January 2022

SEND in Early Years is everyone’s business

The graduated approach is central to everyone’s working and we have made this a golden thread in the conference programme. We all want to meet children’s needs to the best of our ability, but we need to continue to learn in order to do this effectively.

As the code of practice says, “All children are entitled to an education that enables them to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes and become confident young children” and the Revised EYFS supports this.

This year’s Early Years Conference has a focus on all things “Inclusion”.

We are keen to support schools and childcare providers with reasonable adjustments. This will enable you to reflect on how this is working and how it needs to develop in your setting. Ensuring that all children have access to local provision is a priority. High quality first teaching and learning have to be at the centre of every early years offer and we hope the conference will support you with this.

Our keynote speaker and all of our workshop presenters are experienced in the world of early years and hold inclusion close to their hearts. We have ensured there are a range of opportunities for you all to develop your thinking about SEND and inclusion. Enjoy the conference



Welcome by Maddy Kennedy, School Improvement Officer for Early Years

9:15 – 30

Conference to be opened by Kevin Burns, Assistant Director for SEND

9:30 – 10:15  

Keynote speaker: Mandy Wilding

10:15 – 10:30


10:30 – 11:15  

Keynote speaker: Mandy Wilding

11:25 – 12:10

Workshop 1

12:10 – 13:00


13:00 -13:45

Workshop 2

13:55 – 14:40

Workshop 3

14:40 -14:50



Closing remarks: Kevin Burns, Assistant Director for SEND


Mandy Wilding (Education Officer and Early Years Lead at nasen)

In this keynote, Mandy Wilding (Education Officer and Early Years Lead at nasen) explores the statutory duties of early years settings, inclusion and reasonable adjustments, the need for high quality teaching and universal provision and how settings can employ the graduated approach to meet the needs of children with SEND. During the session there will be opportunities for reflection and discussion of key questions and practical scenarios with other early years practitioners.


The Power of Attunement: Managing Behaviour in the Early Years

Judith Dodd

In this workshop we will be unpicking the ‘behaviour management’ narrative – the ‘just say sorry’ approach - in regarding this issue through the lens of attunement. In so doing, we will be exploring an approach to managing behaviour that facilitates emotional regulation, problem-solving and the development of empathy. We will discuss the central role the adult plays in this process, investigating both verbal and non-verbal factors.

About: Judith Dodd

I have been working in education for the past twenty years, initially as a teacher, then as a lead teacher working into Children’s Centres and now as an Educational Psychologist.

I have always had a passion for supporting young children and the adults who work with them. My work is informed by attachment-theory and I have a special interest in promoting attunement between children and their carers. I have some expertise in using video and facilitating adult-guided therapeutic play, in order to bring this about.

We all know vocabulary is important, but where do we start?

The Language and Communication Team

'Vocabulary at age 5 can predict how well a child does in exams at the end of school, and even their longer term outcomes’. ICan. We aim to look at the benefits of choosing the right vocabulary that will help you focus on which words to teach in an early years setting.

About: The Language and Communication Team

The workshop is being delivered by staff from the Language and Communication Team who are experienced in working with children with speech, language and communication needs. We have been focusing on vocabulary development from the early years to secondary aged pupils.

  • Sue Wilson is a specialist teacher who works with children from 4 years to 18 years.
  • Rachel Elliott a specialist teacher who has responsibility for the Early Years. She is the Dene Communication Centre (DCC) teacher, working across nursery settings.
  • Jo Patterson is a special support assistant who has experience of working within DCC and across the age ranges.

Parents as Partners

Mandy Wilding

This workshop will explore the importance of the role of parents as partners in the education of children in the Early Years with reference to the new EYFS framework (2021) and SEND Code of Practice (2015).

We will focus on-

  • Effective communication
  • Building trusting relationships
  • Co-production
  • Supporting parents

There will be reflection, discussion and feedback.

About: Mandy Wilding

Mandy Wilding - nasen’s Early Years lead - holds a B.Ed (Hons) degree and specialised in the teaching of 3-7 year olds at Nene College, Northampton. She has 32 years of primary school experience, teaching children from Nursery to Year 6 and held the position of SENCO for 9 years and Assistant Headteacher for 7 years. 

Mandy leads the DfE- funded Early Years SENCO Award Project and nasen’s part of the Early Years SEND Partnership Project. She has produced webinars, webcasts and downloadable resources to support group-based and home-based practitioners and LA teams in the Early Years sector to meet the needs of children with SEND. She has spoken at national conferences and events and joined a DfE workshop in May to discuss the implications of the EYFS reforms on children with SEND. 

Breaking down barriers for families with 2 year olds to ensure inclusion for all

Riverside Ready for School Centre

All children are entitled to the support they need to achieve the best possible outcomes. What happens in the early years is crucial and this stage of learning and development has the most significant impact on a child’s future life chances.

Ensuring that the whole family receives the right support from the onset and continuously throughout their journey, we believe that all children will make a successful transition into school and become confident individuals with a growing ability to communicate their own views and live their fullest lives. 

During this workshop we aim to share our inclusive approach in a provision for 2 year olds and ethos for identifying and responding to children with SEND, the barriers we may face along the way including Covid-19 and the strategies we use to overcome and enhance the experiences we offer.

About: Riverside Ready for School Centre

Riverside Ready for School Centre is a designated childcare provision for funded 2 year olds, working exclusively with children and families in and around the Meadowell area. The ethos of our setting is to ensure that there is support offered to the whole family including parenting, help with financial difficulties, employment, and healthy lifestyles to name but a few in the hope that this will have a positive impact and improve outcomes for the whole family. 

Nicki Garner is Early Years Manager for North Tyneside and has been working in early years for the local authority since 1981. She brings with her a vast experience of managing large day-care settings and has also experience of managing in locality teams in correlation with the supporting family’s agenda. Nicki works predominantly in areas that have high deprivation and disadvantage. She is currently the local authority lead for the Reducing Parental Conflict agenda. 

Roisin Taylor has been working in early years for 17 years and has a wealth of experience across a variety of childcare settings. She is currently manager of the Ready for School Centre based at Riverside Children’s Centre. Roisin is extremely passionate about SEND and her drive and commitment to the area has been cemented since completing her SENDCo award. 

You Can’t ‘Fix’ Kids’

In this workshop we will give a working example of how a shift in our mind set changed our practice.  Our experiences have shown us that where outside agencies can offer advice, they do not remove the need.  Instead of attempting to ‘fix’ a need, we now work with it. 

Our practice is based around our relationship as a team, seeing the whole child, relationships with families, adapting our practice, tenacity and celebrating the small victories.  Nothing is unadaptable, no adjustment is too small; trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole is only going to damage the peg.

About: Western Community Primary School 

Amy Common

Amy completed the North Tyneside SCITT in 2012 and has worked at Western Primary School since.  She initially taught in Reception but now works as Senior Leader for Inclusion with whole role commitment to the post.  Amy has always had an interest in SEND, the impact of early life experiences and child development and these interests now form the basis of the holistic approach to SEND at Western.  Working as a member of the pastoral team at Western, Amy addresses the academic and wider needs of the child and family and this forms the basis of the approach to SEN in the school.

Dorothy Larty

Dorothy has been teaching for 20 years and been Early Years Lead at Western since 2012.  Dorothy will tell you that all she does is teach children as she sees nothing special in her approach.  However, she is hugely skilled in seeing the whole child, developing relationships and seeking learning opportunities in everyday experiences.  She leads an outstanding early years team who nurture every child they encounter. 


Early Bird – Schools (for 2 delegates)*


Foundation SLA


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Schools Normal Cost (per delegate)


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Early Bird – PVI’s (for 2 delegates)*


Foundation SLA


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SLA childminders



PVI’s Normal Cost (per delegate)


Foundation SLA


Premium SLA


SLA childminders

* Early Bird offer available until 18th December 2021

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