Wednesday, 26 June 2013

NEW BOOK!!! Understanding Schemas and Young Children by Frances Atherton and Cathy Nutbrown

Whenever I discuss schemas with staff working with children under three, I am often asked about appropriate planning for schemas in terms of children’s learning and development. In particular, this seems to be troublesome in regards to babies under one.

I am therefore pleased to have acquired this wonderful new book ‘Understanding Schemas and Young Children From birth to three’ by Frances Atherton and Cathy Nutbrown, who incidentally just happen to be two of the finest leaders in the world of Early Years.

Most books referring to children learning through schematic play tend to focus on children over three; how refreshing therefore to have a resource that concentrates on babies and toddlers under three. The book consists of longitudinal studies and observations of children and follows their different schemas; highlighting what the children are learning and developing and, more importantly, how they are learning and what they might be thinking.

In addition an in depth case study of a young baby, ‘Henry’, provides us with rich, detailed accounts of his learning and development across the EYFS; whilst he pursues several schemas and fascinations over a two year period. Charts exploring  what he may have been thinking and ‘The observations tell a schema story...’ are invaluable to all staff whether they are new to schemas or experienced practitioners who have worked with children and their schemas over several years.

The section ‘Stories from Home’ will be helpful to those practitioners who continue to develop that vital relationship between home and setting and who may not always be successful  in engaging and involving parents in their children’s schematic fascinations. The chapter is full of observations made by parents of their children pursuing schematic play in a home environment.
 I feel privileged to have been given an opportunity to review this book. It is a great learning tool for early years practitioners working with children, who are and who will continue to pursue schemas in their play. 

This book is a must have for all staff working with children under three in an early years setting. Be warned though, once picked up the book is very hard to put down!

Thanet Early Years staff wishing to purchase a copy of this book can contact Kim for a discount code.

Happy Reading!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Thanet Early Years Project Schema Conference

On 31st March 2012, TEYP held a schema conference at Quex Hall, Quex Park, Birchington.
The day was arranged in order to celebrate the project's recently adopted approach to following and documenting children's fascinations and interests in the form of schemas.

Cath Arnold and Kim White
We were very fortunate to have Cath Arnold (author of 'Schemas and Emotions') join us for the day. She spoke about her extensive work with schemas and having listened to the staff presentations she gave the project feedback on what she had heard

Cath offered us practical advice and guidance on where we can take our work next in terms of helping children to grow and develop and be involved in their learning on a deeper level.

Cath also brought along with her five lovely ladies from Rushden Community College Children's Centre who also shared with us their own individual experiences and how they too explore children's schematic behaviour and play day to day.

The ladies from Rushden Community College Children's Centre

TEYP Staff shared with each other the fantastic work they had been doing in their own settings  and with individual parents. Staff presented film footage, case studies, journals, displays and running commentaries on individual children, their planning, journals and thoughts about schema's in general.
A nursery practitioner and a parent share the home-nursery experience.

TEYP have been using this approach since September 2011, following a training session  in June. Staff embraced the idea of schemas into their daily work, they were open minded and flexible to the new approach. 

The conference was therefore a celebration of all their input, effort and hard work in embedding this approach into their everyday practice.

Well done everyone!...And a BIG thank you to Cath and Co.

Teyp would also like to thank KCC and the Workforce Development money which without, this day would not have been possible. 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Explorers Schema Display Board for Parents

Explorers Schema Board for Parents

During the Summer, Katie from Explorers put together an information board for parents all about schemas. It is situated in the entrance hall so parents can read it when they go in and out of the family room. It is full of lovely colour photos of children. Each photo supports a description  of each of the different schemas. Nice work, Katie & Co. What  a wonderful way to introduce parents to the concept of schemas and our individual work in the settings.

If anyone else has anything to share I would be very interested to see. It would be lovely to see any photos you have taken in your setting (with parents permission of course) or if your room or nursery has created an information board or share it with us bloggers!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The adult role in supporting learning & development

The practitioner's role is to create a learning environment that is rich in resources and materials, and purposefully supports the development of concepts, by constructively engaging with children - effectively scaffolding and extending their learning.
'Provide materials that support particular schemas, for example, things to throw, for a child who is exploring trajectory' (EYFS 2007, p79).
By adhering to such guidance, practitioners will be able to maintain their continuing focus on the developmental interests and needs of The Unique Child.

Stella Louis works as an early years consultant for the London Borough of Southwark. She is also a trainer and co-author of Again! Again!

Planning for Schemas

When practitioners observe repeated patterns of behaviour in young children's play and exploration, they can use this information to identify what ideas children are pursuing.
The EYFS card, Play and Exploration 4.1, states that: 'Children's play reflects their wide-ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play, children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children's development.' Practitioners therefore need to understand and engage with the concepts that children are already interested in if they are to support their development and learning effectively.
Positioning Schema
typical behaviour is lining things up
this is closely linked to trajectory

Children's individual needs should be frequently observed and catered for in all six areas of learning. The EYFS (2007, p12) reminds practitioners that it is their daily, ongoing observations of children's interests that will significantly inform both planning and provision: 'No plan written weeks in advance can include a child's interest in transporting small objects in a favourite blue bucket.' So, if practitioners are to plan and build on child-initiated activities that will extend a child's knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding in a meaningful way, they have got to be aware of the child's schematic interests.

Transforming Schema
children have a fascination with how things change

In the context of a play-based framework, a sound knowledge of schemas can be used to build on child-initiated activities. 'Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods.' (EYFS card, Active Learning 4.2). It is often through child-initiated activities that children display their real areas of interest. A practitioner's effort to build on these areas of interest gives children the time necessary to explore possibilities and similarities of abstract concepts, before they are able to assimilate new knowledge into their cognitive structures. And, a concept that is familiar enough will certainly be actively applied during play.

Stella Louis works as an early years consultant for the London Borough of Southwark.

An Article from Nursery World

EYFS Best Practice: All about ... supporting schemas
Stella Louis, 02 March 2011, 12:00am
Schemas - patterns of repeated behaviour - are key to how young children learn and early years practitioners must respond to them, says Stella Louis.
Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage makes clear the vital link between schemas and child development and states that practitioners should 'encourage young children as they explore particular patterns of thought or movement, sometimes referred to as schemas' (Practice Guidance for the EYFS (2008:79)). So, what are schemas and how do they aid learning?

Trajectory Schema: Children are fascinated with throwing
The glossary to the May 2006 EYFS consultation document defines schemas as 'patterns of repeated behaviour in children. Children often have a very strong drive to repeat actions such as moving things from one place to another, covering things up and putting things into containers, or moving in circles or throwing things. These patterns can often be observed running through their play and will vary between one child and another. If practitioners build on these interests, powerful learning can take place.'
Chris Athey, an authority on children's schematic behaviour, defines a schema as 'a pattern of repeatable behaviour into which experiences are assimilated and that are gradually co-ordinated. Co-ordinations lead to higher-level and more powerful schemas.' (Chris Athey, 1990: 37).
And Jean Piaget (1962) described schemas as 'cognitive structures'. Children learn to do an action, which they are interested in repeating again and again. Through this repetition, children gain the ability to gather and recall information, to organise and process their
behaviour and thoughts and so gain knowledge and understanding of many basic concepts and the world around them.
Let's take as example, David, aged 42 months. He likes movement and is often observed playing with the diggers, cars or trains in his nursery. When there are no transport toys available, he uses a block as a car and pretends to drive it to the petrol station, in the bathroom.
When questioned by a practitioner about his play, he explains that he ran out of petrol and needed to fill his tank to complete his journey.
Through this example, we can see how schemas operate at four different levels.
Level 1: Sensorimotor level - during this level, children use their senses, action and movements. David is using all of his senses to move himself and objects from place to place.
Level 2: Symbolic level - this is a hugely significant aspect of child development and here is exemplified by David using a block as a car.
Level 3: Functional dependency level - at this level, children have a knowledge of cause and effect. In David's case, he knew that he needed to fill his car up with petrol to make it work.
Level 4: Abstract thought level - David was able to explain verbally the significance of his actions.
So, David's interest in transporting has motivated him to learn about movement and has enabled him to understand and integrate new information about petrol and fuel.
It is important, then, that practitioners understand this natural and fundamental part of child development, because an awareness of schemas:
  • - provides a new way of describing children's actions and behaviours
  • - enables practitioners to support parents' understanding of their children's learning
  • - helps inform planning - schemas highlight children's individual interests, preoccupations, knowledge and abilities (see box, 'Planning for schemas', p18)
  • - enables practitioners to become more effective in supporting children's learning, particularly in developing mathematical understanding of height, size, space, order or pattern (see box)
To support 'The Unique Child' effectively, practitioners need to:
  • - identify a child's schemas
  • - identify the interests contained within them, and
  • - provide repeated, real and first-hand opportunities for the child to repeat and experiment with their schematic concepts, so that they can develop, refine and build upon their existing knowledge.

Schema clusters
Effective support also requires practitioners to recognise that schemas may differ from one child to another; whereas some children may show one schema, others may display a cluster of schemas. Professor Tina Bruce (1997) points out that 'schemas are patterns of linked behaviours, which the child can generalise and use in a whole variety of different situations. It is best to think of schemas as part of a cluster of pieces which fit together.'
In the rest of this article, we look at examples of schematic behaviour, the learning that stems from it and the kind of support that practitioners should build into their planning.
Examples: Joseph (10 months) and Glenn (36 months) are both interested in trajectory. Joseph is very active; he spends most of his time bouncing and throwing things, or knocking over structures built by other children. The movement of objects through the air fascinates him.
Glenn, who is also very energetic, thoroughly enjoys going up and down the climbing frame. He will sometimes wear a cape and leap off the top, pretending to be a superhero. His ability to move and the speed at which he does so are of enormous interest to him.
Learning: Although both boys are building on their understanding of height and speed, the actual ideas that interest them are different. Whereas Joseph is developing an understanding of up and down, on and off, and opposites, Glenn is learning more about distance, speed and height.
Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to:
  • - explore movement, indoors and out
  • - move over, under, across and through things
  • - explore different equipment eg bikes, Frisbees, skates, balls of various sizes and climbing frames
Examples: Kai and Thomas, aged 11 months and 40 months, respectively, are fascinated by things that rotate. Kai will repeatedly and deliberately reach for any round objects placed near him. He will feel, spin, bounce and turn things over. He also loves to throw and roll balls. Kai has even been observed throwing a balloon up in the air, then adding a spin to his throw to make the balloon land behind him!
Similarly, Thomas spends a lot of his time playing with wheeled toys. He enjoys playing with balls and spinning tops and he is often observed spinning himself around. Thomas also spends significant time outside with friends, playing games that involve spinning on their bikes, and constructing circular tracks, which they repeatedly ride around.
Learning: Kai's early experiences show how well he is beginning to understand rotation - an important concept that helps children to develop an understanding of movement, shape, space and spatial awareness.
Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for young children to:
  • - play with everyday round household items eg plastic bottles with lids, clocks and cup cakes
  • - mix materials together
The fact that Thomas can turn his bike and wheels so he is now able to control his spins shows a deep knowledge and understanding of rotation. Practitioners should respond by:
  • - talking to him about the shapes in the environment and counting them
    • - comparing circles with other shapes and discussing their differences
    • - playing ball or shape games, for example, 'I spy a shape with no edges/four sides/etc.

  • Children in a spin

    Enveloping and containing
    Examples: Oliver (nine months) is interested in searching for objects that have been hidden or covered up. He is often observed looking for things that are hidden exactly where he found them the last time. He likes wearing hats and loves games of 'peek-a-boo'. Engaged in the enveloping schema, he is completely fascinated by the concept of 'object permanence', where a child learns that just because they cannot see an object, it does not mean that it is no longer there.
    Erica, 47 months, enjoys building dens, wrapping things up, dressing up in layers of clothing, filling up bags and containers, and digging for worms and treasure in the garden.
    Learning: While both Oliver and Erica are pursuing ideas around hiding and concealing, their individual lines of inquiry are different. Oliver is developing his understanding of 'object permanence' - a significant milestone in child development because it is linked to children's developing cognitive structures. Oliver can remember objects even when they are out of sight and is able to demonstrate his thinking as he begins to make predictions about where things are hidden.
    Erica shows that she is developing a conceptual understanding about space and size. As she fills her bags and sees which bag has more objects and which bag has less, she is exploring ideas around calculating and developing her conceptual knowledge about volume and capacity.
    Support: Practitioners provide opportunities for the children to:
    • - play hide and seek
    • - wrap up dolls in blankets/nappies
    • - play with bags and containers of varying sizes
    • - dig for worms or treasure
    • - play with hats, scarves, old clothes
    Practitioners should also model words and phrases such as 'hiding', 'disappeared' and 'invisible', to help Erica express herself appropriately.

Enveloping Schema: Peek a Boo

Examples: Eighteen-month-old Ella and 42-month-old Jade are both fascinated with moving objects - and themselves - from place to place. Ella enjoys carrying objects about in her hands or containers and pushing empty buggies around. As she fills and empties her containers, she is developing a conceptual understanding about quantity and number. She is also learning different things about places and locations.

Jade spends a lot of time moving all the kitchen utensils and furniture in the role-play area to the garden. As she learns better ways to move objects from one place to another, she becomes more developed in imaginative play and understands more about creating new spaces.

Learning: Despite the obvious similarities in the play of Ella and Jade, their individual interest in transporting differs. Ella is learning about direction, size, shape and space as she tries to push her buggy through narrow spaces. Jade, however, is developing a deeper conceptual understanding about space, place and quantity.

Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to:

  • - use such language as 'how far?' or 'turn right/towards' etc
  • - talk about location, building and the different modes of transport
  • - explore living things and create a scrapbook of children's learning
  • - transport bags, baskets and small objects around the setting.

A deeper conceptual understanding of space, place and quantity
comes through transporting

Examples: Charlotte and Michael, aged 48 and 58 months respectively, are both fascinated by things that they can connect. Charlotte spends her free time making things to pull toys along with. She likes to use string, Sellotape, masking tape and the stapler to help her to connect different objects and materials.
Michael is outdoors regularly, seen transporting guttering, planks and tubes that he connects with string or elastic bands. He also often constructs elaborate pulley systems. Water is an important feature and he frequently positions his structures some distance from the tap and travels back and forth, fetching the water for experimentation and construction.
Learning: Charlotte and Michael are learning important problem-solving skills as they explore their interests in connection. Charlotte is consolidating her understanding in designing and making things, cause and effect, and how to manage tools effectively. This is important to the process of learning as it reveals that both children understand the consequences and the effect of attaching or connecting string or tape to their playthings.
Michael has a high level of understanding of how to link the tubes together, and his experimentations show the cluster of schemas evident in his play - trajectory, transporting and connection. They are both at the functional dependency level ie interested in cause and effect.
Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to:
  • - solve problems for themselves, using their connecting skills in different contexts
  • - recognise problems, preserve, try new solutions and think logically.

Children learn important problem solving skills through
connection schemas

Examples: Nicholas, aged 39 months, and Samuel, aged 55 months, both love to surround themselves. Nicholas is intrigued by constructing circular enclosures around himself. He enjoys playing with the trains and can often be observed on the inside of his train track, rotating his body as he moves his trains round the track. Recently, he has begun to put objects and figurines into the carriages of the trains.
Contrastingly, Samuel is often busy building square or rectangular enclosures with wooden blocks. His structures are always balanced and symmetrical, and he manipulates the blocks so that everything is fenced in, filling the space inside his enclosure with more blocks.
Learning: Nicholas is bringing together into his play, in a co-ordinated way, all his experiences and understanding about rotation, connection and enclosures, as well as his knowledge and understanding of transporting. Because Nicholas is at a functional dependency level - understanding cause and effect - it is these kinds of schema co-ordination that Athey (1990) refers to as being 'higher-level and more powerful schemas'.
Samuel deploys a cluster of schemas in a co-ordinated way. In his play, he applies his understanding about the trajectory, containing and enclosing schemas. All of the early experiences he has had with trajectory, for example, building towers, rows and bridges, have ultimately enabled him to build symmetrically and fill in his structures. This behaviour shows that Samuel is learning about concepts that relate to size, space, pattern, symmetry and calculation.
Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to:
  • - play with boxes, old sheets or other materials that children can change to suit their own purpose
  • - talk about size and dimension and let children explore different measuring tools

Enclosing Schema:
children love to enclose themselves with blocks

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Good Schema Read!

A good book and one to read is - Understanding Schemas and Emotions in Early Childhood, written by Cath Arnold, who incidently will be our guest speaker at the TEYP Schema conference in March 2010 (more to be revealed at a later date).  

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Quote of the Week

"Only an education which takes very seriously the child's view of things can change the world for the better...The power relationships between adults and children are all wrong and they must be changed, so adults can no longer be convinced that they are right to arrange the life and world of the child as they see best without consulting the child's feelings..."
Janusz Korczak (as cited in Understanding Schemas and Emotions in Early Childhood - Cath Arnold (2010)

Connection Schema
This child uses the pegs to connect the
clothes on to the line. The clothes are connecting to each other.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Potential Learning and Development Opportunities through Schematic Exploration

  • problem solving
  • spatial awareness
  • shape and measure
  • speed and distance
  • volume and capacity
  • size, weight and length
  • quantity - more, fewer and the same as, counting
  • comparing attributes and relationships - similarity and difference
  • space and fit
  • cause and effect
  • transformation
  • movement
  • pushing and pulling
  • direction and position
  • up and down, side to side
  • rates of movement
  • distance
  • angles
  • use of forces
  • gradients
  • balance
  • patterns
  • sequences
  • ordering
  • co-ordination
  • gross motor skills
  • fine motor skills
  • hand eye co-ordination
  • stability
  • rhythm and sounds
  • concentration
  • perseverance, determination and resilience
  • confidence and self-esteem
  • self control
  • imagination and creativity
  • curiosity
  • intrinsic motivation to explore
  • initiative
  • independence
  • turn taking and co-operating with others
  • language, expression of intentions and interest.
Can anyone add any others ;0) will be interested to hear from you.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Team of Schema Facilitators'

In order to ensure that there is lots of support in the settings (in addition to Karen and I) each room in each nursery has its own Schema Facilitator.

Firstly I would like to thank them all for volunteering for such an important role in helping me to implement the schema approach and keep it going.

The team of facilitators are:

Explorers - Emma (FR) Michelle (BR)
Hand in Hand - Amy (BR) Debbie (TR) Emma (P-SR)
Smarties - Claire & Vikki
Growing Together - Mandy (BR) Cat (FR)

From September Karen and I will be visiting each setting and offering any support where needed. This support might be to do with helping staff to spot a schema or to help plan a PLOD. It could be anything. In doing this we will be working very closely with the facilitator.

The facilitator role is that of a support system linked to each room. For example, they are staff's first port of call if they have a question or concern, etc. If the facilitator is unable to deal with any queries they will then contact myself or Karen to assist.

The facilitator can call on myself or Karen at any time. If possible we will assist asap; if not an appointment may need to be made. However, whatever happens, my intention is to not let staff struggle and get behind; but to keep on top of our observations, planning and assessments and to provide the highest quality of care and learning in order to improve outcomes for all our children.

Each facilitator received a copy of the book 'Again and Again' and a flip camcorder to use with their team.

This little girl transport her doll on the bike around the garden

Facilitator Network Meetings!

All facilitators will be invited to a network meeting every 6 - 12 weeks. This is to enable us to share good practice across the settings and to inform each other of what we are doing in our individual rooms and nurseries.

The meetings will also give facilitators an opportunity to feedback any problems and solutions they may have tried; anything they feel worked or hasn't worked, etc. Facilitators can share knowledge, experience, activities, ideas, plans, etc.

A trajectory line of chain links. This could also
fall under a connection schema.

Monday, 20 June 2011

A Schema Case Study for the Staff

At the end of the training week, all staff were set an assignment by me. They had to carry out a case study on one of their key children. They had to observe the chosen child  and try to spot and identify any schema/s the child was possibly following.

They then had to use a PLOD to plan for the child's interests and possible lines of development. After five weeks of observation and planning; the staff were to assess the child's learning using the EYFS and produce a learning story. There was a six week deadline.

A colander is a good piece of equipment to help children explore
a scattering, trajectory or going through a
boundary schema

This was well recieved with 100% of staff handing in (on time) a PLOD and Learning Story for the chosen child. The standard and quality of this work across the project was significantly high with all staff (100%) correctly recognising their target child's schema or interest. Well done!

The reports handed in by staff were colourfully visual, pleasing to the eye and full of photos displaying the sequence of the child's learning rather than the end product (which is what we always tend to see).  If I was a parent receiving a report of this quality for my child I would have been over the moon.

For any parent who did recieve a 'Learning Story' it would be great to hear your thoughts on it. We had all manor of schema's taking place in those six weeks; lot's of transporting and enveloping and even one 'On Top' (More about this schema in future posts).

All staff had attempted to evaluate their key child's learning, however, some staff were stronger in this area than others. This exercise has been invaluable in raising awareness of this weakness for some staff and flagged it up as a further training need. As a result, myself and Karen will be visiting staff in their monthly meetings to feedback the journal exercise and to deliver extra evaluation training.

I am looking forward to working with the staff to raise the quality in this area in September. An extra well done to all of you who took part. I can't wait to see more of this kind of stuff.

Incidently, the learning stories will be made into a book marking the launch of 'Schemas in Action at TEYP.'

Trajectory Chairs

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Staff Training Week 6th - 10th June 2011!

During the TEYP staff training week Mandy and I delivered the schema training to 78 participants in two parts.

Part 1) Spotting and Identifing 10 Common Schemas - the objective here was to introduce staff to 10 different schemas that were easily recognisable and ones that were more likely to be seen over and over again in children's play both in the settings and at home.

These 10 schemas have been listed below in earlier posts.

In participating in this training it was hoped that staff would be in a better position to recognise such patterns of behaviour. In turn this would enable them to identify the play patterns of their key children and enhance provision. As it was; during the training session, many staff were able to recognise these characteristics in many children they were currently working with. A high number of staff were therefore stepping on board and begining to understand the significance in adopting a schema approach that enabled them to identify children's 'true interests' and to plan for children's learning and development through possible lines of direction.

All staff recieved a 'Spotting and Identifying Schema Booklet' to use in their daily work.

This young boy has been recognised as having a connection schema

Part 2) training focused on staff making observations of children to collect evidence of schematic play and then to plan for children's learning and development through a PLOD - Possible Lines of Development. They can then use the PLOD and observations, photos, film footage, etc to write and produce a 'learning story' for each child each term as part of the child's assessment journal. (Learning Journey).

This child plays in the centre of the train track (Enclosure)
However, staff were also made aware at training that even though they may have identified a child's dominant schema or cluster of schemas they were NOT to ignore other aspects of learning such as 'letters and sounds' or a child wanting to learn to write their name.

Staff were made aware of the importance of adding these interests to either a child's exisisting PLOD or if the interest (in writing own name) was so dominant; this might even warrant a PLOD of its own. A new PLOD could then be placed over the top of the current PLOD. (It may be needed again in a week or two if the child's interest changes back!)

Let's say, for example, a child visits Dungeness over the weekend with their family and develops a fascination in lighthouses. The child arrives at nursery on Monday and talks about it continuously. The interest in the lighthouse leads to discussions of the sea and before you know it you observe the child building lighthouses from junk material or blocks and painting lighthouses.

This is not a schema? So what do you do in this instance?

No, it's not a schema BUT it is an interest (which is all a schema is) and of course staff will still need to plan for this interest. They could plan some adult-led activities or even a mini project (there are bound to be many others interested in lighthouses and the sea?) After all, the project would still be child-initiated; NOT adult-initiated and this is therefore acceptable.

This two year old enjoys a safe place to climb 'on top'
The feedback from the training week has been very positive with 90% of respondents to the evaluation feeling that the potential impact of adopting a schemas approach on future working practices would be outstanding!

Many staff who were previously sceptical about schemas in children's play had changed their thinking since the training and were able to recognise some aspects of behaviour in the children they were currently working with and even in their own children!. A huge majority were also keen to get back to their setting to spot and identify schematic play and to make observations. A case study assignment was set for all staff to identify one child's schema, produce a PLOD for the child, and then a written report (in a learning story). And all within a certain deadline.

Staff rose to the challenge... (Next Blog)

The return was MASSIVE!!!!

Well Done Everyone!  This is all positive stuff!