MA student wins award for helping to boost the self-esteem of children

Published: 25 November 2010 at 15:59

Anglia Ruskin student has helped children with their confidence as they move into the mainstream school environment

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Elizabeth Appleton, a Children’s Centre Teacher in Colchester and student on the MA in Early Years Professional Practice with Anglia Ruskin University’s Faculty of Education, has just been awarded the prestigious TACTYC award: An Innovative Learning Journey.

TACTYC, the Training, Advancement and Co-operation in Teaching Young Children, hosts an annual award that recognises the success of any member who demonstrates ‘innovation, imagination or originality in stimulating learning for children, or practitioners'. 

Elizabeth and her colleague, Carol Middleton, are using Forest School to support children’s transition into school.  Young children often lose confidence when they move into school which can lead to low self esteem and children not managing tasks at which they were once proficient. The Forest School projects they run aim to build children’s resilience by strengthening their inner core of self esteem and increasing communication skills. Around 150 children in 9 settings have already been part of the project which will continue with more children in the New Year. 

Elizabeth and Carol received their award at the TACTYC conference in Birmingham.  Elizabeth said,

"The project has highlighted the importance of children leading their own learning in rich, natural environments. The teachers are telling us that children involved are more confident and able to participate fully in classroom activities. We are now piloting training with the practitioners in order that they understand the theory and pedagogy and can connect it with what they see the children doing when they play. This links right into the professional practice aspect of the MA."

The MA Early Years Professional Practice programme aims to develop individual practitioners practice, and through collaboration, establish a sustainable community of practice in the Essex region.

To find out details of the TACTYC award go to; more about the project from Elizabeth email,. For more information on the MA Early Years Professional Practice commencing in January 2011, please contact Dr Geraldine Davis by emailing