Early Years Seminars: 11th April 2018

Postponed originally due to the loss of outdoor lighting equipment loans (company expected they would need them – they were right!) I am glad we delayed our final seminar in the first phase of our programme. I’m certain we would have been hosting an impromptu sleepover for all the professionals as we were treated to a huge amount of snow from the beast from the east!

Pre-school classroom have been using frames to direct attention and provide a focal point for observing the seasonal changes outside. This has gendered huge interest, especially with the additions of non-fiction books, investigative equipment, animal and insect identification tools and links to pop culture (Peter Rabbit is hugely popular at the moment!). Children have been transporting mark-making (lined books) materials to record their sightings, count and draw their experiences. This has been super – with increased recognition for common birds (blackbirds and robins) which links to our recent woodland classroom activities.

In the toddler classroom, a beautiful area for mini beasts, view-finders and non-fiction books alongside bug stories. This cable reel is the perfect height and incorporates a range of sensory textures (soft rug, crunchy faux turf, wood bark and sanded wood) for our little people to explore.

Toddler class have also been doing some super planting – their sunflowers aren’t as tall as pre-school’s yet but I’m sure they’ll give them a run for their money when we measure them later on in the term.

Our setting’s “Creative Director” developed this trolley to expand and extend our existing outdoor offering. She has carefully collected items for a range of uses (with additional boxes to swap out when a particular interest arises) and arranged them for children to freely access. Another Hedgehog Class staff member has really achieved the goal of an interesting (and cheap to create!) resource with her coat hanger scales. The hanger can be placed indoors and out due to its loose bolt.

A recent exploration of apples using all the senses and a full range of activities from using non-fiction to baking to printing to growing. We are passionate about displaying children’s work in a way that links it clearly to learning and celebrates the myriad ways they choose to express themselves. This Journey Stick activity has been documented by one of our Owl Class staff, A. She took the children on a wonderfully curious journey and encouraged them to choose items to attach to the stick. It is a lovely talking point that the children keep returning to, to reflect and tell the story. A has plans to create additional Journey Sticks to reflect the changing seasons and the interests of our little people. The items for our recent woodland classroom exploration I wrote about on the blog. The children have been fascinated (and some a little dismayed) by the drying out and decay changes of the treasures.

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