When I first trained to teach in Early Years, gun play was definitely off limits. We were told that there should be a zero tolerance to it as it encouraged children to be rough and aggressive. Any sign of a child wielding any thing that might have even been slightly mistaken for a gun had to be dealt with quickly and sternly. I remember being left worth the feeling that if I ignored this behavior then I would be turning all of my gun making children into thugs in later life. It occurred to me after a few years that no matter what sort of cohort the children were, no matter which school I was teaching in, superhero and weapon … Read More
Body Percussion – A Universal Language. Guest Post by Ollie Tunmer
I first met Ollie from Beat Goes On last year when he was running a workshop at a conference that I was speaking at. While Ollie was running his training I was setting up my equipment so I only got to watch and listen, but what he was doing really made we want to join in! It was just great fun and everyone taking part seemed to be genuinely having a ball. Music, and singing in particular, play a big part in our everyday practice in the Early Years and that is not by chance. Children (on the whole) get a great deal of pleasure from singing, dancing and making music. Not only is it good fun music also has … Read More
Play in Year One… and BEYOND!
When it comes to a play based approach in year One I know that for lots of you, you will be thinking that you haven’t got the resources or the space or the staff. Although effective play based transition requires all of those things, fundamentally it is an ethos. It is important to be clear about what effective transition should look like and then work towards that goal. Four Corners When I was in Year One my play based provision amounted to the number of free corners that I had available (usually 4). In these four corners I would put some play opportunities based on what was available. Not sand – too messy! Not water – are you kidding? Not … Read More
A Trip to Grayrigg Primary – Start Small, Think Big
I ended the school year back in July with a trip to Grayrigg Primary School – just north of Kendal. When it comes to school ethos statements, they make some pretty big claims. Our school is not about expecting children to conform, but about inspiring every child to be the best person they can possibly be: Academically; Personally; Spiritually; Socially and Morally. The staff team is small (as you would expect in a school with 30 children) and lead by their teaching Head Kirsty Cooper who’s passion for what she does is ever present and infectious! Having met Kirsty and Early Years teacher Clare on ABC Does training and had a good look at the schools website, I was really … Read More