OPAL – A Different Way to Look at Assessment in Early Years

Alistair Bryce-CleggAssessment175 Comments

Today I am sharing a blog post from Janine and the team at Barnet Early Years Alliance. It is all about how they are making observation and assessment more meaningful for both children and adults. This is part one, part two next week…. OPAL – Observation of Play and learning  Bringing back the joy of observing children in the Early Years Observing children in the early years should not be a chore. We decided to stand up to the increasing demands for ‘paperwork’ and ‘evidence’ with the aim of giving ourselves time. Time to spend interacting and playing with our children, not testing them. Who are we? We are Barnet Early Years Alliance (BEYA), a Federation of three nursery schools … Read More

Rainbow Maths Sticks – Guest Blog from Creative Star Learning

Alistair Bryce-CleggUncategorized89 Comments

If you haven’t come across Creative Star Learning, then it is a definite to add to your blog list. It is hosted by the lovely Juliet Robertson who has some brilliant ideas for outdoor learning and play. I asked her if she would share a post on my blog. I am pleased to say she said ‘yes’! So, here it is. Thank you Juliet! The mathematical potential of a stick never ceases to amaze me. Here’s my latest idea which is remarkably simple and came about owing to overhearing someone mention colour coding. You get some sticks. You paint the ends different colours. You play with them. You explore the potential for maths. That’s it. Experiment! Now if you have … Read More

Autumn Exploratory Jelly…

Alistair Bryce-CleggCreativity, Malleable Materials, Messy Play, Texture Kitchen18 Comments

It is time to get your Autumn Jelly ingredients ready! If you make some Autumn Jelly, don’t forget to share the results. This is a really simple activity that gives you lots of opportunities to explore many aspects of the EYFS. If you involve the children from the very beginning then not only will they be able to talk about and name the resources that they have collected, they will also be able to explore how the gelatine changes the water from a liquid to a solid. You can talk about how the mixture goes from hot to cold and what the final jelly feels like in their hands. There should be lots of opportunities for a variety of experiences, talking … Read More

Autumn Make – Apple Shrunken Heads!

Alistair Bryce-CleggChild Initiated Learning, Creativity, Talk5 Comments

I first made these a couple of years ago and they were a HUGE hit with the children. There is lots of opportunity for talk as well as observing how the apples change in size and colour. As I say later in the instructions, the process takes about 2 weeks from start to finish so it is worth getting going on them early. The process of the initial making and then the ensuing decay is fascinating. Not to mention the end results. I love them! They are dead easy to make (excuse the pun)! You need Apples (any sort will do) Apple peeler Play dough utenstils Blunt wooden skewers or sticks Lemon juice (optional) Water (optional) My boys loved making … Read More