If you've always wanted to know more about a Froebelian approach to early education - and how you might set out to develop practice in your school or setting - then the Froebel Trust podcast is for you!

The Froebel Trust podcast series is created for educators and early years leaders interested in finding out what a Froebelian approach to early education is all about.

The podcast is presented by journalist Colin Kelly. New episodes are released throughout the year. Listen in on a series of inspiring conversations all about early learning and Froebelian practice.

Where can I listen to the podcast?




Over 10,000

downloads of the Froebel Trust podcast in our first year

Episode 1: What does it take to become a Froebelian early years setting?

This first episode explores the difference a Froebel approach can make to young children's education. Our guests discuss ways an early years setting can adopt a Froebelian approach and look at what kinds of Froebelian training and support are available.

Guests: Simon Bateson, Sally Cave, Dr Stella Louis, Dr Lynn McNair OBE, Professor Chris Pascal OBE

Released Feb 2023.

Transcript of Episode One

Episode 2: Inside the Froebel based early years setting

Our host Colin Kelly asks his panel to explain more about the Froebel early years setting. What does it look like? And sound like? How would you know you were in a Froebel based nursery or early years centre? What sets it apart from others?

Guests: Simon Bateson, Sally Cave, Dr Stella Louis, Dr Lynn McNair OBE, Professor Chris Pascal OBE

Released Feb 2023.

Transcript of Episode Two

Episode 3: Recognising children's individuality in early years settings

In this episode, Colin and guests discuss how educators can celebrate difference in early years settings. How can we make sure our schools and early years settings are welcoming places for everyone? And how might a Froebelian approach support early years educators to connect with families, carers and local communities?

Guests: Simon Bateson, Sally Cave, Dr Stella Louis, Dr Lynn McNair OBE, Professor Chris Pascal OBE

Released Feb 2023.

Transcript of Episode Three

Episode 4: Block play for early learning

What is block play? In this episode Colin and guests discuss what block play looks like in early childhood education now - and find out more about the difference it can make to children's learning and development. How is playing with wooden blocks relevant to young children now? And what space and resources do early years settings and schools need to encourage young children's block play?

Guests: Lauren Gray, Paula Phillips, Jane Whinnett MBE

Released May 2023.

Transcript of Episode Four

Episode 5: Taking play and learning outdoors in the early years

Froebel was a pioneering educator who invented kindergarten. The word kindergarten actually means ‘garden for children’. Froebel’s vision was for a garden which offered space for young children's play and exploration, with educators making time for children to be in contact with nature.

This episode explores outdoor play and young children's connections with nature. How can schools and early years settings support outdoor play for young children now? And, what if your setting is in the middle of the city or has very limited access to outdoor space?

Guests: Beverley Dickinson, Janice Marriott, Felicity Thomas, Holli Williams

Released June 2023.

Transcript of Episode Five

Episode 6: Observation and assessment in early childhood education

This episode asks, how can a Froebelian educator navigate assessments, inspections and progress reporting systems in schools and early years settings today? What does Froebelian assessment look like in practice? And how might observing young children help educators to truly see what young children know, understand and are able to do?

"...we need to start with where the child is - and not come from that deficit model of focusing on what they don't know..." Gaynor Brimble

Guests: Dr Stella Louis and Gaynor Brimble

Released July 2023.

Transcript of Episode Six

Episode 7: Relationships and wellbeing in early years settings

Froebel recognised that children thrive when they are emotionally secure and in close relationships with others - educators, families and carers.

Presenter, Colin Kelly and guests explore how children's wellbeing is connected to educators' wellbeing. They discuss ways that leaders can best support educators' wellbeing in their work with children and families in schools and early years settings.

"...relationships are absolutely at the heart of Froebelian practice... relationships deeply matter... there needs to be a space where practitioners/ educators can talk about their relationships..." Dr Peter Elfer

Guests: Dr Peter Elfer, Holli Williams, Dr Jools Page and Dr Robyn Dolby

Released Dec 2023.

Transcript of Episode Seven

Episode 8: Where are the men in early years education?

Recent data from the Department for Education suggests only 2% of the people who work in early years education in England are male. This episode of the Froebel Trust podcast asks - why does early childhood education continue to have one of the most gender imbalanced workforces? And what would Froebel, inventor of kindergarten, have made of this? Presenter Colin Kelly and his panel of guests consider how nursery school and early years setting leaders could support more men to work in early education.

"... if we really believe in giving children equal opportunities... it's all about challenging stereotypes. And we do that on a day to day basis within our settings. But our workforce is this giant stereotype, we've got a lot of work to do to challenge that..." Pete Moorhouse

Guests: Pete Moorhouse, Dr Shaddai Tembo, Matt Langton and Louie Werth

Released January 2024.

Transcript of Episode Eight

Episode 9: Can a Froebelian approach work in any kind of school or early years setting?

In this episode our panel of guests, all educators working in nursery schools and early years settings across the UK, share their personal stories about how they connected with a Froebelian approach and their experiences of changing the way they work with young children.

Today, there are so many kinds of settings, centres and schools offering early childhood education and supporting young children and their families - all working with diverse funding and governance systems. Our guests discuss with presenter Colin Kelly whether a Froebelian approach can still work in any kind of early years setting or school.

"I found, as lots of people do, that I was actually Froebelian by nature, but I just hadn't come across that terminology and hadn't realised how much I fitted, how much I belonged in the Froebelian pedagogy and principles..." Paula Phillips

Guests: Annamaria Bevan, Jessica Holme, Paula Phillips and Craig Taylor

Released February 2024.

Transcript of Episode Nine

Episode 10: Special edition

A special episode to celebrate 12 months since the Froebel Trust podcast was first launched - with over 10,000 downloads of the series so far!

A 40minute, informative and thought-provoking compilation of extracts from the series - featuring inspiring conversations about early learning.

The series has been created for all educators who work with babies and young children. This episode, presented by Colin Kelly, will take you on whistle-stop tour of the past nine episodes - introducing many of the guests and experts who've appeared on the series to date.

A chance to catch up on previous episodes and find out what a Froebelian approach to early childhood education is all about... before more, brand new episodes are released later this Spring.

Released April 2024

Transcript of Episode Ten

Episode 11: Coming soon

Guests: Dr Caroline Guard, Julia Manning-Morton, Chloe McLaughlin, Kerri Stephen

Find out more about our podcast guest speakers...

Simon Bateson

Annamaria Bevan

Gaynor Brimble

Sally Cave

Beverley Dickinson

Dr Robyn Dolby

Dr Peter Elfer

Lauren Gray

Dr Caroline Guard

Jessica Holme

Matt Langton

Dr Stella Louis

Julia Manning-Morton

Janice Marriott

Chloe McLaughlin

Dr Lynn McNair OBE

Pete Moorhouse

Dr Jools Page

Professor Christine Pascal OBE

Paula Phillips

Kerri Stephen

Craig Taylor

Dr Shaddai Tembo

Felicity Thomas

Louie Werth

Jane Whinnett MBE

Holli Williams

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