Research and project work
Integration in Practice
Listening as a way of life: Listening to babies
Listening to young children
Nurture group provision
What matters to children
Research and project work includes: studies in childcare provision in the
everyday lives of children from birth to three; developing integrated services
for children and families; influences on the professional development of
teachers; children developing communication, language and literacy; issues
associated with imaginative play; multicultural issues and children’s
learning; developing outdoor provision; nurture group
provision; listening as a way of life; listening to young children; and
Teachers TV projects…… to name but a few. Diane
has an M.Phil from the University of Cambridge focusing on school improvement
and teacher development.
Diane Rich took part in the Everyday Stories
project as a data analyst. She has also presented seminars and based on this
work for the National Children’s Bureau and at Early Childhood Forum
The Everyday Stories project was influenced by:
- Ideas about the ways education and care might be more convincingly
integrated (NB. this was pre-Early Excellence Centres, and Children’s
Centres…. It was pre-birth to three matters materials….)
- The active pursuit of children’s rights
- The construction of the rich, strong and powerful child, informed by the
work of educators of Reggio Emilia
The original aim of the Everyday Stories project was to:
‘enhance the quality of children’s experience in group day-care through
the practice of nursery staff.’
In order to realise this aim, 15 observations of children aged between 6
and 31 months were made and interviews of some staff and parents/carers were
undertaken. Documentation from each setting was also scrutinised where
Observations are compelling images and stories of ‘A day in the life of a
child in day-care’. They are very detailed. They describe a spectacular
variety of rich phenomenon. The intention of the two observers was to get
close to the everyday lives of the children: to see things from their eyes
and ears. They acted as non-participant observers.
The 15 detailed observations are of children aged from 6-31 months old,
in different day-care settings across England. These were ‘whole day
observations’ (for some children this meant observations for as long as 101/2
The observations occurred in the second half of 1996 and before today’s
national emphasis on ‘Listening to young children’.
The observations were conducted at a time of considerable uncertainty
about the future impact of growing numbers of children spending long days in
nurseries and the increasing and ever present concern for enhancing the
quality of children’s experience.
For each of the observations key questions emerge which are relevant to
anyone who working with children:
- what is significant for practice and provision?
- in what ways can the experiences of children be improved and developed?
- in order to make these decisions how am i looking?
In order to aid ‘the looking’ the finished 15 observations are set
within an evaluation framework.
‘An evaluation of good practice’
The framework was devised by
- The researchers.
- An advisory panel.
- Mary Jane Drummond, of the University of Cambridge and Ann Jameison,
Director of the Early Childhood unit at the National Children’s Bureau
Diane Rich trialled using the framework and
provided feedback on its usefulness, or otherwise.
The evaluation framework has three key themes which were devised to use
with the observations
- interactions between children and adults
- interactions between children and children
- children learning from their environment, activities and play materials
Each of the key themes has been developed in light of criteria for good
practice and is broken down into separate components, totaling 13.
These can be viewed on the website www.ncb.org.uk.
Integration in practice
Diane Rich took part in the
project and publication of the report, ‘Integration in Practice’
contributing as a data analyst.
The report is of a one year study of the national practice guidance materials
for children 0-14, of a large variety of documents and curriculum materials
from LEAs throughout the UK. It establishes common elements of good practice
and a set of organising principles that could be used as a framework for
self-assessment. The findings will be invaluable reading for all those
involved in Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships, local
authorities, early years practitioners and members of Registration and
Inspection units and advisory staff from all disciplines.
- shows findings of an audit of materials which the Partnerships and their
respective local authorities are citing as a basis for integrated practice
for the support of children’s learning 0-14;
- places the audit within a context of a quality framework; and
- identifies 69 common quality areas and eight organising principles which
can be used to underpin Partnership wide quality assurance
These findings are illustrated with examples of current practice across
Integration in Practice, 2000: National Children’s Bureau
For more information on the Integration in Practice report, or to order a
copy, visit www.ncb.org.uk
Listening as a way of life
In 2004 Diane was invited to be part
of a project for the National Children’s Bureau, Listening as a way of life.
This resulted in a series of five leaflets.
Listening as a way of life: why and how we listen to young children
by Alison Clarke
Listening as a way of life: listening to babies by
Listening as a way of life: listening to young disabled children
by Mary Dickens
Listening as a way of life: supporting parents and carers to listen –
a guide for practitioners by Julie McLarnon
Listening as a way of life: are equalities an issue? Finding out what
young children think by Nicky Road
Listening as a way of life: listening to babies
When adults respect babies and believe that they are worth listening to,
listening becomes possible. Focusing on the needs of the baby is a starting
point for building a good relationship.
Understanding listening in this way is key to providing an environment in
which all children feel confident, safe and powerful, ensuring they have the
time and space to express themselves in whatever form suits them.
One of a series of five fact sheets funded by Sure Start.
Published June 2004.
Published for Early Childhood Unit.
To download Diane’s document Listening
as a way of life: listening to babies
Listening to young children
Diane Rich was involved in the Coram Family project Listening to Young
Children. She was invited to join the team of authors of the Listening to
Young Children to devise training materials and lead training sessions. The
training was launched through a series of conferences nationwide in 2004.
For more information on the Listening to Young Children project visit
www.coram.co.uk But don’t forget to come back.
In 2004 Diane Rich was invited to conduct a review on Nurture Group
provision in one local education authority. The summary concluded that
For more information on Nurture Group provision visit
www.nurturegroups.org But don’t forget to come back.
click here for outdoor provision
The Teachers TV project
In 2004 Diane Rich
was invited to conduct a survey and compile a report for Teachers
TV. The report is entitled:
Early Years Sector TTV programming by
Rich Learning Opportunities
The aim of the early years sector programming report was to:
- Establish the strength of demand for ‘Teachers’ TV’ in the early years
- Consider who an early years sector audience might be.
- Provide details on the desired content of any early years sector
- Outline some of the professional development needs of the full range of
early years sector workers.
- Identify the delivery issues facing the sector.
The findings of this report are confidential and remain the property of
What matters to children
What matters to
children series focuses on First hand experience: what matters to children.
The first project in the
click here to find out more about this project