Lunchtime….the least considered part of the school day!

Lunchtime….the least considered part of the school day!

 Mumsnet

Interesting debate on MUMSNET recently about play restrictions at lunchtime. Unfortunately there is truth in most of the comments, particularly the predominance of football, which banishes girls to the playground periphery and also the sad demise of many a playground game.  Of course health and safety issues need to be addressed but nothing is solved by an outright ban of children’s play.

Resources for play – the cardboard box

image0 2

Resources for play – the cardboard box

With the reduction in school budgets, early years practitioners need to be much more resourceful and look for FREE resources.  Fortunately, one of the easiest to access is the cardboard box.  Is it any wonder when this simple resource is so open-ended?  You can pick them up for free and in as many shapes and sizes as you like!  They are ideal for small world and role play as well as construction and when in use, tend to attract groups of children who then learn to collaborate and share ideas.

How to develop problem solving and creativity using loose materials

How to develop problem solving and creativity using loose materials

IMG_0254

Friday 27th April – 9.30am – 3.30pm

Course venue: West Thornton Primary Academy, Croydon CR0 3BS

Led by Jackie Slaughter – Specialist Leader in Education for early years

Loose materials are anything that can be assembled, disassembled, moved, combined and re-imagined in an endless variety of ways, providing children with endless opportunities for problem-solving and creativity. Find out how you can use many of these free, natural and man-made resources across the curriculum.

This course will enable you to:

  • Discover how to provide an enabling environment using loose materials
  • Actively engage in using loose materials in all areas of the curriculum – inside and out
  • Find out how to provide for exciting and engaging resources on a shoe-string budget
  • Learn how using loose materials supports problem-solving and develops critical thinking

Target audience: This course benefits anyone working in, or leading early years. You will come away equipped with a wealth of ideas in order to raise engagement levels and improve teaching and learning, in your setting.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Book Via: http://westthorntonta.org.uk/cpd/developing-problem-solving-and-creativity-using-loose-materials

 

 

Following children’s interests

Following children’s interests

IMG_7060                IMG_7064

Schools are under growing pressure to formalise early years in order to make children school ready.  As a result, there is an over-focus in many schools on reading, writing and maths, along with a perception that teaching the above can only take place inside.

Many learning opportunities are missed by working in this way, as playing outdoors is cross-curricular, supports higher levels of involvement and develops the characteristics of effective learning. A good example of this happened during a trip to the common recently with two of my grandchildren…one in reception and one in year 5. Both love being outdoors and are more than happy to find resources to enhance their play when they are out and about.

Using loose materials in the snow

Using loose materials in the snow

The ‘Beast from the East’ finally arrived here in London, this morning, after a few flurries of snow yesterday. We woke up to find everything covered in a blanket of snow.  The best snow is the most unexpected, I always think, as it creates the greatest excitement amongst children who cannot wait to get outside!  This is particularly true in areas, like London, that receive little, if any snow, each year.

I am working at a school in Kingston tomorrow and cannot wait to get outside to play in the snow myself!.  I have asked the teachers to organise lots of resources ready for me to work with them and the children to provide them with lots of ideas , across the curriculum, for working in the snow!  I have asked for sticks, shells, stones, pebbles, feathers, paint and a variety of paint brushes.  The number of materials that can be used is almost endless but as I have limited time with them, I thought this would give them a start!

I shall also be bringing some items with me such as picture frames and some wooden bed slats which I shall give the children to see what they can do with them. Giving the children some loose parts encourages them to think of different ways of combining and using different materials. I cannot wait to see what happens!

Why don’t you take your class outside to create some masterpieces in the snow?