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The Invisible Backpack Package

The Invisible Backpack is a CPD package for schools and settings to use flexibly, either on their INSET days or during staff meetings. The package is divided up into three sections.

The Invisible Backpack Package focuses on the importance of developing a relational approach in our work with babies, children, and young people.

Part 1


      • To explain the importance of a relational approach in supporting babies, children, and young people.
      • To introduce the Invisible Backpack metaphor.
      • To consolidate understanding of research and evidence relating to the impact of early relationships and childhood experiences.

Part 2 and Part 3


      • To review practice and provision when working with babies, children, and young people who may be carrying an invisible backpack using examples of effective practice from other schools and settings.
      • To identify strengths and areas for development.


By the end of this package, you will have:

      • Explored the Invisible Backpack metaphor and supporting research about the impact of experiences upon childhood development.
      • Reflected upon your understanding, approach, environment, and strategies.
      • Identified strengths and what you can improve upon (‘even better if…’).

The package includes:

  • Guidance booklet for facilitator(s)
  • Session plans
  • Presentation slides
  • Training videos
  • Additional printed materials and resources

All of which are housed within a bespoke Padlet page.

We are looking for schools and settings who would be interested in establishing a working alliance with Barnardo’s Education Community to:

      • Trial the whole package, or trial Part 1 and provide further feedback to inform future development.
      • Review Parts 2 and 3 of the package; suggest further amendments and additions; contribute examples of effective relational practice.

If your school/setting is interested, please contact Barnardo’s Education Community to discuss further:


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