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In focus groups and in more informal feedback,  Cattanach’s grantees have expressed an interest in learning more about infant mental health and development. Grantees suggested that this knowledge would be particularly useful if it was delivered in an applied and accessible way that could help build staff’s practice with children and families. 

Cattanach is constantly looking to respond to your feedback, and provide you with the highest quality and most relevant learning opportunities we can. This is why we are delighted to offer you a new learning opportunity, in partnership with the Oxford Brain Story team from the University of Oxford. 

What are we offering you as Cattanach grantees? 

We are offering all Cattanach grantees the opportunity to complete the excellent Brain Story Certification Course, with guidance and feedback sessions from the team itself at the University of Oxford. This free self-paced online course aims to provide learning on the neuroscience of development and the impact of adversity, to help you understand the science around early years brain development in a clear and accessible way. The course is very comprehensive, consisting of a series of online lectures delivered by leading experts explaining their scientific research and why it matters.  The Oxford team are also offering guidance and feedback sessions to support your Brain Story journey and help you make the most of the course.  Participating in this guided learning will enhance your work with the early years and their families, by giving  you and your team the scientific concepts to help contextualise and make sense of their stories. 

We also have a second offer for those who may not feel ready to undertake the full Brain Story Certification Course; the Oxford team will be running a series of three live webinar sessions which will provide an introduction to the core story of brain development, how this affects long term health and how this knowledge might be applied in your day to day work. 

Why is this opportunity helpful to you and your work? 

Taking part in the Brain Story Certification Course and/or the live webinar sessions will support your work with early years children and their families because:

  • You will gain an increased understanding of the scientific concepts behind the stories of families and children you're working with 
  •  You are provided with metaphors with which to talk to families about their challenges, without blaming them or using inaccessible or confusing terminology 
  • It is an opportunity for your whole team to develop a shared language to understand and discuss some of the challenges the families and children you support face 
  • You will receive regular guidance and contact with the Brain Story team at the University of Oxford, where you can ask for help and give feedback, exclusive to Cattanach grantees 

What are the next steps if you want to take part? 

Cattanach strongly recommends the participation of grantees in either the full Brain Story course, or, the introductory webinars run by the Brain Story team. If you would like to take part, please email  to express your interest. 

 To get the most out of the Brain Story, as many people from your team/organisation as possible should participate in either the full certification course or the short-webinars.  Research from Alberta, Canada (where the Brain Story was rolled out across the entire province) suggests that the Brain Story is most effective when people are able to share and discuss what they have learnt through the Brain Story with their co-workers and colleagues. We hope that the offer to choose between the course and the webinar series will help everybody engage with the Brain Story at a level which is best suited to their needs and available time.   

If you do choose to register for the Brain Story Certification Course, please ensure you select Cattanach from the drop-down menu to ensure the Brain Story Team can offer you support as you progress through the course. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact, who will refer you on to the Brain Story Team. We are more than happy to discuss with you which of the two opportunities (full Certification Course or webinars) might be the best place for your organisation to get started, or any other queries you may have. 

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