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June O'Sullivan, LEYF CEO

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LEYF Magic, coming to a nursery near you soon.

Friday saw another fantastic LEYF Staff Conference, once again successfully managed with great aplomb. Like another Chocolate Orange segment in the continuing relationship with our Scottish colleagues, I was as ever struck at the extraordinary similitudes between Scotland and London. Even in these days of potential Scottish independence, I look forward to further cooperation, as we share, debate and enrich the whole Early Years sector.

Alice Sharp has been involved in our conferences for the past 8 years; and long may it continue, as every year she brings something extra special to the whole experience. This year Alice partnered with Paul Brannigan, lead actor from our favourite film The Angel’s Share. Paul talked movingly about his difficult upbringing in a very forthright Glaswegian way. He summed up the impact on him of his lack of home learning and the emptiness he felt as a child, when he realised there was no one who really loved or would stick up for him. He talked about the need to have an adult – any adult – reach out and put their arm around you, make you feel protected and loved.  That finally happened to him when he was in prison, but it helped turn his life around. His point, so touchingly made, was that he was on a mission to get people to understand that the younger it happened, the better – especially when that warm relationship could be the very thing that helps build a child’s brain.  His performance left the LEYF audience touched and emotional. Little surprise he is now Bafta nominated and shortlisted for best newcomer to British film. No cliché in this presentation though. The message was stark: Early Years practitioners have the power to contribute hugely to the child’s brain development, giving them a power boost that could see their positive synaptic connections increase from 7% to 80%.

It was the central point of our conference and the reason we want to grow. There was something magic in the room on Friday, and it’s something I hear often when people visit our nurseries. Now is the time to bottle this magic, and give more children the LEYF experience – both by filling all our nurseries to their maximum capacity and by having more LEYF nurseries across London.  So look out guys, LEYF is on the march!

  • Anne Paterson

    A really valuable experience to be sharing our journey and be part of your wonderful journey. We would so like to have a really strong link between Argyll and London. All power to LEYF as you move forward in your magical work. Hopefully you can come up to Argyll for a visit with some of your team. Thanks for all the hospitality.

    • http://juneosullivan.wordpress.com June O’Sullivan

      Thanks Anne

      It wasa great conference and the invitation is welcome and will no doubt be accepted.

      June

  • http://www.luing.argyll-bute.sch.uk/ Stephen Glen-Lee

    It was so amazing to feel part of your team for a wee while.
    The children of the Isle of Luing were waiting to hear all about London and to go through my photographs and to hear of my adventures and the people I met. The pupils then decided that they need to see it for themselves. So hopefully Luing will be coming to London, to see new faces, hear new languages and to go upstairs on buses and travel on escalators. The islanders are already planning how to make this new dream a reality.
    We’ll maybe see you again soon.

    Stephen Glen-Lee
    Luing Primary School
    Argyll

    • http://juneosullivan.wordpress.com June O’Sullivan

      Thank you Stephen, we loved our work with you and look forward to a trip to Luing. The parallels between London and Scotland are really strong.

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