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Art training day with “no added sugar”.



Today our training day was all about art. We had a great company in called “no added sugar.” They were really inspiring and showed us many different things that can be taught to children of all ages. 

This is the sculpture I made out of wire and mod rock, it was surprisingly easy with there guidance!
Wire man

They work in schools all over England creating art projects on a large scale. The workshops they provided for us today were amazing. Check out their Facebook page No added sugar……..I promise you will be inspired!

Category:  Early years ,KS1      Tagged: , , ,

Creating Stop Motion Animations

This blog is related to an art lecture on 10/03/14.

In art we looked at how to create a variety of stop motion animations. This involves creating a back ground and character and moving the character to create a story. We looked at lots of different printing ideas and I really liked the polystyrene printing. You take a piece of polystyrene and gently draw a pattern onto it. Then roll on the printer ink and stamp onto your picture. It was very effective and simple for children to create their own designs.



As you can see I created a sea background. I used a variety of materials to print with but I made the sea weed and shells by drawing them onto a polystyrene tile and printing them on. We worked in two’s to create a story so while I was making the background Kerry was creating a character out of clay.

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Kerry made a shark and a little fish, we decided that our story would be about the shark chasing the little fish. I learnt lots about joining clay. If you make marks in the clay and wet it, it joins and sticks together much better.

Some good tools are available to help turn art work into stories. It’s a great idea for children to combine art with ICT and the results are fantastic!! Also by getting the children to work together to create a story you are covering literacy and personal and social skill. Here are some useful apps for turning art into e books with children: book creator, story patch, comic life, story buddy. Don’t panic if you do not have access to an ipad as there is a great internet site called Storyjumper.



Category:  Early years ,ICT ideas ,KS1      Tagged: , , , , ,

Much more about music……

This blog is in reference to a music lecture on 10/02/14.
Today we had a great music session, lots of inspirational practical work. We were provided with some great ideas for making music fun with children and how to adapt songs to your current themes. It made me realise you can actually create a song about anything!
In small groups we were given a task to write a song for a well known story. We wrote the first and last verses first then filled in the rest. It is a great idea and links music to literacy skills. Here is our song about the Gingerbread Man:

Puppets are a great resource for music and help to bring characters to life. We were given a puppet and a song template to create songs about our puppets. The template is great as it can be used for any type of puppet the children may choose. Here is the template for the song Special Friends:

I have a…………..friend on my knee
He’s/she’s going to tell a story; what will it be?
Here is a ………………………..
Wave hello!
Off we go!

We made a great song about our puppet….the sly fox who tricked the Gingerbread Man.


Resources for music do not need to cost lots of money. You can make some great instruments from common household items. I love the little plastic shot glasses that have been turned into shakers.


As you can see from the pictures even simple things like empty gravy containers can be used as drums………….My husband is not very impressed that I am refusing to put anything in the recycling bin!!!

Category:  Early years ,KS1      Tagged: , , , , ,


Well, looking at my blogs makes it look like teacher training is all fun…….We do work hard, which makes these practical sessions all the more enjoyable! Today in PE we looked at movement skills. It was an opportunity to discuss why PE is important and look at how to develop children’s physical skills in all areas. We looked at the EYFS framework and how physical skills over lap into many other areas. Then came the practical work…..

It was great to try out a range of activities first hand. We looked at a range of resources that could be used in many ways. One of my favourites were the plastic hands and feet. They can be set up in a large space and the children then have to move around matching hands to hand sign and feet to feet signs. We looked at how to make it more interesting by doing it to music/ moving in different ways/ choosing different leaders. I got some great ideas for warm ups, my favourite was acting out a favourite story. Can’t wait for the next PE session I teach, the warm up will be acting out, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!” Will let you know how it goes, watch this space….

Category:  Early years ,KS1      Tagged: , , , ,

Dance session……

Today was our first physical education lecture and the focus was on dance. We looked at how dance links to many areas of the curriculum and is great for allowing children the freedom to express themselves. We were introduced to a variety of props that could be used in dance and how to link dance to literacy. One of the activities we participated in was looking at the rhyme Humpty Dumpty. Their are opportunities to include sequencing and even some reading skills. After thinking about the different sections of the rhyme and how to act them out you can give children the opportunity to put the actions together to form a dance. Here we are having a go….

One great tip for dance sessions is to have a large roll of paper along the edge of one of the walls. Encourage children to express how they feel on paper as well as with movements. Great for early mark making!!

Category:  Early years ,KS1      Tagged: , , ,

Musical Fun!!

This blog is in reference to a music lecture on 9/12/13
Well, we have had our first music lesson at university and I must say it was great fun. We were introduced to lots of fun ways to bring music to children. This video shows us learning new songs in pairs and teaching them to the rest of the group:

One of the most interesting things that we did in the music lesson was reading a story and adding sound effects. It is a great way of bringing the story to life and developing reading comprehension. A great game to play is to pass around a "magic bag". You could make up a simple rhyme like: What sound is in the bag, what sound is in the bag? The children pass the bag around, open it to their mouths and make whatever sound they chose into the bag. I have discovered many great apps and online tools to make exciting music lessons, my favourite has got to be "incredibox." It is great for encouraging children to compose simple pieces of music. I have recently tried it with a year one class on the interactive whiteboard......Have a look x

Category:  Early years ,KS1      Tagged: , , , ,

Inspired by art lecture.

This blog is in reference to an art lecture on 18/11/13.

The Bush Head

This was made by a group of girls who called it ‘The Bush Head’.

In an art lecture recently we discussed our perceptions of the meaning of ‘art’. My immediate response was that I am terrible at art and not at all artistic. The lecture involved participating in many activities, including one where we had to make marks on the paper to represent different parts of a story we were being told. I was constantly looking at other peoples drawings to check that I was doing something similar to them. Being put in a situation like this made me reflect on why I feel so uncomfortable about having a go at art. I cant remember any one thing ever happening but I want to ensure that children that I teach always have the confidence to have ago so that they never react to new things in the way that I often do. I took the children into the nature reserve that we have at school and asked them to work in groups to create a man out of anything that they choose. A few of the children where unsure and wanted me to guide them a little more but many went off immediately to begin working in groups. The result was fantastic and the children were very enthusiastic and keen to share the photographs of the work with parents on their class blog. I also linked this lesson to some learning in ICT at University by creating a short video of the children creating their stick men. The video was also posted onto the class blog and many parents commented on it positively. The children loved watching the video and kept asking to re-watch it.

Stick man

One group made this stick man on a bench.


Category:  school of education      Tagged: , , , , ,

Presentation Ideas

This blog is in reference to an ICT lecture on 18/11/13
Today in ICT at university we looked at many resources to make interesting presentations for teaching children. I worked with Michelle and we decided to look at PhotoPeach. It is a great website for making presntations using your own photographs or images form the internet. It can be used in a variety of ways but Michelle and I decided to use the quiz tool. We downloaded some pictures on the site from the internet and created a quiz for young children about shape and colour.


Shapes on PhotoPeach


It is  really quick and easy to create a quiz like this and could be used across the whole curriculum.

Have a go, its surprisingly easy.

Category:  Early years ,KS1      Tagged: , , , ,

Art Trailer

This blog is in reference to our art lecture on 4/11/13.

During an art lesson at university we explored the learning that can go on outside. As a group we went into the forest and worked as a team to create a stick man out of natural materials. While we worked we used the ipad to take photographs and short clips of us working. One of the members of the group then used the photographs and clips with IMovie projects and trailers to create this great trailer. You can chose a theme for your trailer and enter your own words to come up on the screen. It is a great way to share outdoor learning and art projects with parents. Here is the result:


If you are lucky enough to be in a school that uses ipads this is a great tool. Children will enjoy making them and the results are really good. Great to use as evidence when completing projects with natural materials on a large scale.

Enjoy x

Category:  Early years ,KS1      Tagged: , , , , , ,

Computer programming

This blog is in reference to ICT lecture on 11/11/13

In this ICT session at university we looked at computing and programming. The new national curriculum has a greater emphasis on computing and programming than the previous curriculum. One of the aims of the computing programme of study in the National Curriculum from September 2014 is,

“can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems” DfE (2013).

Using remote control toys is the first stage in children learning to program. The ‘beebot’ style programmable toy is then the next stage as children can learn to program them to move where they want them to go. Children can have a great time designing their own maps for the beebot and their are many different ones to buy. There is software to use to make lots of different maps for the beebot to travel around on the computer.

In mathematics in KS1 we have been looking at coin value and adding simple amounts of money. I used the beebot software as shown above to work with a small group of children in year 1. The children had to program the beebot to land on the coin worth a set value that I gave them. It was a great lesson and showed how well ICT can be used across the curriculum.

You can set up so many different maps it will definitely fit into your curriculum somewhere!!


DFE (2013) National curriculum in England: computing programmes of study. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-computing-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-computing-programmes-of-study [accessed 10th March 2014]


Category:  Early years ,KS1      Tagged: , , ,