Thursday, 17 September 2020

10 Questions to ask when choosing a Primary School

Are you currently looking around Primary Schools for next September ready for your child to start in Reception class, or, Foundation stage 2? Are you wondering what questions you should ask when choosing a new school? What things you should be looking for when looking around a new school or classroom?

 I found it really hard to approach this task with my 'parent hat' on, rather than my 'Teacher hat'. As many of you will know, I am a Primary School Teacher who specialised in the Early Years (EYFS) and I am extremely passionate about active, free-flow, play based learning. 



10 questions to ask when choosing a primary school

I have compiled a list of questions to ask when trying to choose a primary school below, some of which I asked when looking around the schools...some that I wish I had asked! Anyway, here is the benefit of my hindsight, carefully set out for you to use when researching schools for yourself... and once you've chosen, you can pop back and read my post all about school readiness and how to help our children prepare for Reception class. 

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

First Day of School Poem

First day of school poem starting school

A Poem for your First Day of School ...

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Technology Ideas for the Early Years

When we think about what ICT and technology looks like for young children, it can be easy to assume that the focus is placed firmly on screen technology such as computers, ipads, tablets and other screens, but this isn't the case at all...

 

Technology for children, particularly in the Early Years, involves objects which work in different ways, for different purposes...Equipment which involves 'technology' to achieve an outcome or an effect. Mechanical toys with simple mechanisms, which allow children to investigate those "what will happen if..?" ideas...and of course, child-safe resources for children to act out scenarios within their play which may mimic real life technology used by adults.

Within this post I am going to suggest some ideas for technology for young children which can help to enhance learning through play  by offering exciting resources. I will also be adding a list of technology ideas to my Amazon Associate storefront (affiliate) for you to browse through. 

Friday, 7 August 2020

Embedding children's interests in all aspects of learning

Have you ever wondered what it means to follow the children's interests? It's a phrase you will likely hear a lot if you work within Early Years or have EYFS aged children. Best practise is for practitioners and educators to tailor the learning experiences to the individual child or children, so that engagement is high, learning is enjoyable and lessons are likely to be remembered and retained.

 following childrens interests - gift from fairy

This idea of making learning appealing to an individual by incorporating something that they have a fascination with, into the learning opportunity doesn't just have to stop with Early Years. Many teachers have had huge amounts of success in teaching maths and literacy by following certain interests (such as football) in order to engage students and maximise the chances of them retaining the skills they have learnt. 

Today I have Sam and Immy from Sam Goldsworthy Childminding, explaining the process of embedding children's interests into all aspects of learning - with a run through of how they set this up within their setting, and progressed over time...

Friday, 24 July 2020

School readiness – preparing your child for Reception Class

School readiness…its something you’ll probably hear quite a lot if you have a child who is preparing to start Reception Class in September, but what does it actually mean??
school readiness - preparing your child for reception class

How can we, as parents, make sure that we are helping and not hindering when preparing our 4 year olds for big school?

Most of my Teaching career was spent teaching Reception, and so this is something I thought long and hard about when passing on information to Parents. What would I hope, as their Teacher, they could do already? What sort of things would I discuss in the Parents meetings for new starters? Where would my expectations be bearing in mind I don’t yet know the children or what level they are at?

Its not what you might expect….

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Phonics Explained: A Parent's guide to understanding Phonics

What is phonics? What does digraph mean? Why do we need phonics? How does it work? Why is phonics important? ... Today I have the Queen of Phonics - Alice from Raising Red Heads - here to explain it all! 

 Phonics Explained  A Parent's guide to understanding Phonics

Alice is an EYFS Teacher and Educational Learning Content Creator with a passion for phonics and an unbelievable ability to make phonics visually stimulating, fun and exciting. In this blog post she explains in more detail, exactly what 'phonics' means and why it is so important...

Sunday, 12 July 2020

How to add Culture and Diversity to your home and learning environment

 How can we make sure that  we are including or adding culture and diversity into our everyday learning environments? 
It is so important that we give children the tools, exposure and understanding of differences and similarities, between themselves and others, from an early age. We want to create an environment where certain differences are viewed by children as usual, every day life. Where all children can readily access resources that are made with diversity in mind, so that children grow to learn that we are all different, and we are all the same.


child drawing people with black skin and white skin

Today, I have Lauren, an Early Childhood Educator with a wealth of training and experience within culture and diversity, explaining a little about how we can add culture and diversity into our learning environments both at home and in a setting...

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Using The Curiosity Approach at home

The Curiosity Approach is a modern day approach to early childhood development and play. It incorporates philosophies from Reggio, Montessori, Steiner and Te Wariki to create a thoughtful approach that uses children’s innate curiosity to inspire their play and learning.
 
Using the curiosity approach at home - pink flower soup in a mud kitchen

Today, I have Alexandria from The Curiosity Corner explaining how she incorporates the Curiosity Approach at home, and how you can easily do the same....

Saturday, 23 May 2020

EYFS Writing | Success Criteria grid for Self Evaluation

Help children to be more independent when self-checking and evaluating their writing, by offering an EYFS success criteria grid with visual prompts of sentence writing steps. Children can mark their own work before asking a friend to peer review...

EYFS success criteria grid for writing with self evaluation and peer review

This blog post includes a video demonstration and a free print to download (including a cursive option) so that you can use this sentence writing success criteria grid within your setting, or at home with your child for home-learning. I introduced this to my own Reception class towards the end of the year in the Summer term, and have done the same for my own Reception aged child at home...

Monday, 11 May 2020

Dinosaur Island Play Tray | Tuff Spot Ideas

Does your child have a special interest in Dinosaurs? Perhaps you are learning about a dinosaur topic or how dinosaurs have become extinct and would like to create a tuff tray play tray to enhance your learning environment and allow for open ended play and exploration? 

In this post I have a large dinosaur island tuff tray with lots of loose parts, and an alternative smaller scale play tray with dinosaurs past and also dinosaurs present with a special fossil hunting activity!!

Dinosaur Island play tray fossil tuff spot activity

The beauty of loose parts is that children can move and explore all of the objects to create their own scenes, ideas and narratives. Nothing is permanent, so nothing gets ‘ruined’, nothing has to be ‘put back how you found it’ and nothing is ‘wrong’. When there are no limits set on play, children have the chance to take ownership without fear of failure, or, fear of creating too much mess to clean up. Your set up doesn’t have to be perfect (it won’t stay as it is for long anyway), it just needs to be inspiring, interesting, exciting and provoke a sense of wonder - inviting children to come and have a look, a touch and eventually a full on play!



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