Professional Development for All

We offer a variety of professional learning opportunities throughout each calendar year. These are delivered locally across Cambridgeshire from our teaching school and can be delivered nationally on request. Our courses are open to all early years practitioners,  both alliance and non-alliance members.

Cambridge Early Years offer sustained learning opportunities through our joint practice development (JPD)approach. We believe that professional learning should have a transformative, lasting effect. We therefore use JPD and reflective practice as an integral part of all our courses.

Online STEP Training

Find out more about STEP training refresher courses

Homerton’s whole staff team have benefitted from the STEP refresher course.

Review by Alex Pearson, Head teacher, Homerton Early Years Centre

Homerton Early Years Centre recently had the opportunity to have STEP refresher training delivered to us by Kay Dimelow and Kay Blayney on zoom. The training was really successful and we were still able to have really useful discussions in our ‘break out rooms’, which kept it interactive at the end of long day.

Our whole staff team undertook STEP training in 2018, but coming back to it as a refresher, was extremely useful, at the start of the academic year, with our new cohort of children and some new staff members.

STEP is a therapeutic approach to behavior management. The focus is on promoting good behaviour and how beneficial this is in achieving better learning outcomes for children. It gives strategies for understanding, and then de-escalating, challenging behaviour in children. The emphasis is on an empathetic and supportive approach by adults rather than a punitive one. This leads to children being empowered to want to behave better for themselves – rather than for anyone external. It also leads to a more inclusive class group, where everyone is helped to feel a valued member of the group, with a focus on those who may be feeling more isolated for whatever reason.

The refresher course made us all reflect on the new cohort of children …were we seeing particular  

 There was a chance to revisit attachment theories and schemas and what these can tell us about children’s feelings, wants and needs at a particular time.

Something which we found particularly useful in the original course were the scripts that could be used to provide supportive positive empathetic guidelines for moving children forward, reducing incidents of challenging behaviour, and giving children alternative ways to communicate their needs and wants.

Our staff teams really enjoyed the opportunity to reflect together on this new cohort so I thoroughly recommend.

Initial STEP Training Course

It is hopeful that the original 6-hour STEP training course can be offered in a virtual way in the New Year and the Cambridge Early Years Teaching School will have more information and details about the development of this initiative to share with you soon. Practitioners already trained in STEP can access an on-line STEP refresher course by contacting