Expressive Arts and Design in Early Years

Art and Design is such a massive part of children’s learning. In foundation stage art enables children to express themselves in ways they haven’t developed yet such as writing. Art enables children to develop their fine motor skills (linking to PD – 40-60+) EYFS Development Matters Document as well as using their creative side to develop their own perceptions of themselves and others. (linking to EAD – ELG).

Art is still a big part of KS1 and needs to be as art and design enables children who struggle in other academic areas to express themselves, and there is no right or wrong answer. Each child is able to develop their work through progression in different artistic areas: –

– Drawing

– Painting

– Digital Technologies

The National Curriculum 2014 has stated that children in KS1 should be taught:

  • to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products
  • to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination
  • to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
  • about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work

During this art lecture we worked in small groups to design a piece of work together using a range of either warm or cold colours and using different piece of equipment to make the patterns.


Art – Technology Enhanced Learning and Early Years Art

Art Lecture 3

During this art lesson I was absent however I have spoken to a range of fellow course friends who attending the lecture and have done some background reading around using technology  in art.

The lecture started by talking about creating backgrounds and looking at specific topics and characters and creating different settings then using technology to incorporate them in the backgrounds.

While on placement in Year 2 I did a similar project where as a class we looked at the different backgrounds that would be suitable to create a piece of work from the topic of ‘The Great Fire of London’.

During an art lesson we designed a background and landscape picture of the great fire of London. The children used a range of colours and types of card, and chalk to blend and mix colours together. The children loved this art lesson as they created a design that looked amazing and were really proud of what they had accomplished.

I have attached a photo of the display I created in the classroom from the children’s art work.


PE – Dance in EYFS

Physical Education in EYFS

During this PE lesson we looked at dance and how this can be used in EYFS reception classes. We focused on the story of Humpty Dumpty and looked at how we can create a fun and exciting dance lesson.


As a class we then put together a dance that would be suitable for a reception class, using our bodies to create different shapes and to tell the story of humpty dumpty.

When teaching PE and Dance at school I have used the different warm up and cool down techniques that we talked about during this lecture to ensure the children are fully engaged and stretching their learning.


Music – Improving your own EYFS practice

Music Lecture 3 – Improving my own EYFS practice in music.

During this lecture we looked at different ways of improving our own music lessons when teaching on placement. I love teaching music in reception as all my class enjoy singing, using and making their own musical instruments (ideas from Lecture 1) and through creating actions to go along with songs.

During this lecture we had to choose a song and look at the different areas of learning and development from the Development Matters EFYS Document.

I choose the song ‘I’m a Train’

I choose to look at trains as they are able to link to all areas of the learning and development for example: –

Communications and language: –

Listening and attention, Understanding, Speaking.


Listening for when it is each child’s turn, building confidence through singing and playing instruments.

Physical development: – 

Moving and handling, Health and self-care.

Activities: – 

Making hand actions, chugging like a train.

PSED: – 

Self confidence and self awareness, managing feelings and behaviour

Activities: – 

Everyone has a go, taking turns, working as a group.

Literacy: – 

Reading, Writing

Activities: – 

Rhythm, reading a story, writing a story about trains.

Mathematics: –

Number, Shape space and measure.

Activities: – 

Numbers, counting, number of carriages.

Understanding the world: – 

People and communities, the world, technology.

Activities: – 

Looking at movements of trains, looking at how trains work.

Expressive arts and design: – 

Exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative.

Activities: – 

Recording each other using musical instruments, making their own train, watching  a video of a train to see how they move and work.

During this lecture we also looked at how we could use a range of instruments to create a song. I have attached a video of my group.







Continue reading

Computer Programming

ICT Session Two  11th November 2014 – Technology Enhanced Learning: – Introducing Computer Programming.

During this lecture we looked at computational thinking. While in foundation stage children will be sorting and working out the steps to do things. These are all basic types of computational thinking.

It is useful to encourage parents to play useful games with their children when at home or out and about. Useful games such as:

* Can you sort things at home?
* Can you sort your teddies?
* Can you sort out the families socks?
* Can you work out the steps to make a tea party for your toys?

When we learn about computing without using a computer it is called unplugged learning.

During foundation stage controlled games are useful to use as these types of games and activities children have to follow commands.

Examples of these include: –

– Simon Says
– Everybody do this
– Head and shoulders
– Giving teacher directions

The new National Curriculum that is being implemented in September 2014 has a larger emphasis on computing and programming and the use of technology in lessons.

Continue reading

Music – Recycling

Music Lecture

During this lecture we looked at how musical instruments do not have to be expensive to buy. A lot of schools have a small range of instruments for children to use so making instruments can be a useful tool.

The children in reception would love to have a go at making some of the instruments we looked at and they were easy to use and most of them were made from items you would throw away or buy from a supermarket such as milk bottle tops, dry pasta or rice, small containers.




While at school I asked the children to collect milk bottle tops at home and bring them in. When we had enough I set up a table top of the art table where children used string the make their own milk bottle top instrument. Once everyone had their own instrument we used them during a music lesson.

We looked at the song bottle top band and practiced singing the words. We then thought about the different sounds we could make using the bottle tops and created a song using the instruments. The children absolutely loved that they had made their own instruments and were able to use them during a music lesson.

nbWe also looked at a range of books that have been created to help teach music in EYFS.


Music Lecture

Music Lecture 2

This Music lesson was very practical and hands on. During the lecture we looked at the role music plays in the development of children. This lecture also looked at how musical experiences are gathered and how important child initiated play is a valuable skills for children to have.

We started the lecture by introducing a warm up rap. The song was called Hello to you. The lecturer had created a short song and encouraged all of us to join in. This would be easy to implement in school with children as it was easy enough to pick up due to the rhyming echo lines.

The song links to a range of areas from the EYFS Development matters Document: – C&L and PD. You can also add in actions at a later date and can encourage the children to make the song their own by thinking of the actions as a class.

The song lyrics are: –

Hello to you (point)

Move your shoulders: – one two!

Now stamp your feet!

and clap on the beat!

hands stretch up high!

wiggle fingers near the sky!

give a smile, give a grin!

turn around and spin!

well done, everyone (thumbs up)

our music has begun!

Later on in this lecture we looked at creating our own songs. I thought this task would be quite difficult however the lesson proved me wrong and showed just how easy it is to make a song your own and to create one from scratch.

I looked at the traditional story song of goldilocks and the three bears and changed the lyrics. I have included a video of my group singing the new version of the song.

Goldilock’s and the 3 bears

Tune: – One finger, one thumb

Verse 1:

Opening line repeated twice more: –

There was a girl called goldilock’s x3

Whose went for a walk in the wood.

Verse 2: –

She came across a cottage x3

and opened up the door

Verse 3: –

She ate up all the porridge x3

and broke the babies chair

Verse 4: –

Goldilock’s was tired x3

So went upstairs to sleep

Verse 5: –

The bears came home and found her x3

and gave her a telling off

Verse 6: –

Goldilock’s was frightened x3

and then she ran away.


When teaching music lessons in school I now get the class to make the lesson their own. For example when teaching any new song as a class we think of the instruments we could use to suit the beat and mood of the music. We also sing the song together as a class and think of actions we could use. This ensures all of the children are involved and motivated to learn as they are the ones who have created the actions so the song is theirs.


Presenting using ICT

ICT Lecture 3 – using computers to present lessons.

During this lesson we looked at the various different websites and apps that are on offer to make presenting information to children more exciting.

What to wear with the weather

We have created a quiz presentation aimed at early years Reception children, to help gain understanding with the appropriate clothes to wear in the different weather conditions.

This links to the EYFS- PSED personal, social and emotional development area of being confident to speak to others about own needs, wants, interests and opinions 40 – 60 months.
Understanding the world – looks closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change. 40 – 60 months.

This is possible to use in a wider curriculum, and is easily adapted to different age groups.

We made the presentation on photo peach –

The presentation was easy to make. We started by setting up an account, we then uploaded our own photos which we found from google images. We then clicked the add quiz button and made up appropriate questions (these can be changed depending on the age group). We decided that as this was going to be aimed at reception children having the answers written would not be accessible so we decided to add a photo of the correct answer displaying after the slide with the questions on. We then added music and a timer and the presentation was finished.

When in school the children have access to a range of computers and different learning games. The children can use this video to decide what the weather is like today and choose the correct clothes to wear to go outside.

Art – Learning outside

Art Lecture 1 – Monday 4th November 2013

The first art lecture was an introduction to expressive arts and design. We went into Northampton Universities forest school where we looked at the different ways of incorporating media and outdoor art into a lesson for early years.

Outdoor artistic opportunities are a fantastic idea for early years as the children gain first hand knowledge and experiences of the outdoor areas, as well as being able to see real life creatures, plants and trees as well as their natural habitats.

During the session we worked in groups to create a person out of anything that we could find in the forest. We looked at the different plants and things that were growing in the forest, and used different things to create the different features of a person’s body and face.

We used different sized logs to create the persons body, legs and arms. Using thinner sticks for their arms (this would be good to show to early years as they can see the difference in size between a humans arms and legs so it would be good to explain to children the need to use different sizes of logs). We then used leaves for the hands as this was the most realistic objects that we found in the woods to resemble hands. The outline of the leaves looked like fingers which is why we thought it would be an appropriate object to use. For the face we found a circular object and used a large pebble for the nose, mushrooms for the eyes (this would be good to explain health and safety to the children of not picking up mushrooms in forests as they could be poisonous. We collected a large gathering of thin sticks for the hair and found a curved stick which was perfect for the mouth.

After we had created the forest man we had to create a story as to who he was and how he had come to life. We decided that the children had gone on a walk through the forest and found an empty campfire. There was nobody to sing campfire songs or play a guitar so they built a forest man who knew how to play the guitar and knew all of the campfire songs. They built him and when the children started to sing he came to life to join in with them.
I have taken both a reception class and a Year 2 class to forest schools during my training year. Outside learning has its benefits for both age groups and both classes loved learning outside.

ICT in Early Years

First ICT lecture – Monday 4th November 2013

The first ICT lecture was an introduction to the world of ICT in schools, and exploring different types of media. During this lecture I learnt about the different apps and websites that can help to create movies, videos, pictures etc. These include:

– Imovie

– Moviemaker

– Popplet (good for planning lessons)

– Morfo – talking app

– purple mash

– 2 simple software

During this lecture I had a go at experimenting with the different apps and softwares. I made a simple movie on the iPad using iMovie. The app was easy to use and was displayed in simple terms so anybody (including small children) would be able to use it. I have attached a video from youtube explaining how to use the iMovie app on the iPad.

Imovie Video

Throughout the lecture we looked at the different ways of implementing ICT in the classroom. Both when teaching through the use of interactive whiteboards, the internet and websites as well as incorporating ICT for the children to use. While teaching in Year 2 I encouraged the children to use iPads and tablets to research certain topics as well as using books.

While teaching a Year 2 history lesson on castles each table was differentiated into ability groups and I put two tablets on each table. As a group the children were asked to research the different parts of a castle and label their castle drawings. Then each table was given a part to research using both books and the tablets and they made notes and fed back to the rest of the class.


Kennington, L. and Meaton, J. (2009) Integrating ICT into the Early Years curriculum. In: Price, H. (ed) The Really Useful Book of ICT in the Early Years. Abingdon: Routledge.