On 27th April 2019, around 50 Froebelians met in Richmond for the third Froebel Networks Gathering. This is the annual event for all Froebelians to get together and catch up!
The theme for the day was ‘link, always link: the importance of connectivity’ and Professor Tina Bruce reminded us of the importance of connection, to each other, the past, present and future.
Dr Yukio Nishida, Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of New England, presented on the Froebelian Occupation of Paper Folding. Felicity Thomas revealed her ‘Bag of Occupations’. Reports were given from the various Networks in the UK, including the Edinburgh Network, the Travelling Tutors Network and the National and International Networks. We also heard from The Froebel Trust including what support and grants are available to practitioners. Dr Lynne McNair updated us on the new MA in Edinburgh and Dr Fengling Tang and Dr Sally Howe spoke about the Froebel Course at Roehampton.
There was a display of artefacts from the Froebel Archive, student posters from the Edinburgh University Froebel Course, as well as other displays of Froebelian activities and the Froebel Gifts were on sale.
We are absolutely delighted that Jane Whinnett, one of the founding members of the Edinburgh Froebel Network, was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
This award recognises Jane’s outstanding contribution to Early Childhood education in her many roles of teacher, head teacher, tutor, author and trustee of the Froebel Trust. Jane’s work has had a positive impact on thousands of children and families, not only those she has directly taught, but also through her involvement in the training of hundreds of practitioners and through the many presentations she has given. Jane’s chapter in Early Childhood Practice: Froebel Today is widely disseminated and also referenced in the Care Inspectorate publication, Our Creative Journey.
The members of the Edinburgh Froebel Network Masterclass Players & Storytellers group, raised a glass (or two) to celebrate her achievement.
The Edinburgh Froebel Network is supporting the Wee Builders project at the National Galleries of Scotland, which aims to welcome more children and families to the Galleries. The Network is lending sets of mini unit blocks for children to use to build their own creations in the Scottish National Gallery, inspired by the art around them.