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Session 6 ICT and Art

Posted by: | April 25, 2014 | No Comment |

I was absent for this lecture so was unable to make the clay models and also I was unable to participate in and engage with the I-pad software in relation to creating a scene for a story. However I completed the directed task. Here is my E book.


This E book is about a child starting a new school and the worry and anxiety that this can often cause. This type of story links to several areas of the EYFS however the area of learning that would be most developed would be

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

 Making relationships

• May form a special friendship with another child

• Demonstrates friendly behaviour, initiating conversations and forming good relationships with peers and familiar adults.

Self-confidence and self- awareness           

• Separates from main carer with support and encouragement from a familiar adult.

• Confident to talk to other children when playing, and will communicate freely about own home and community.

• Shows confidence in asking adults for help.


Managing feelings and behaviour


• Can express their own feelings such as sad, happy, cross, scared, worried.

• Responds to the feelings and wishes of others.

Understanding the world

 People and communities

• Beginning to have their own friends.

• Learns that they have similarities and differences that connect them to, and distinguish them from, others.

• Remembers and talks about significant events in their own experience.

This book could be used as a basis for other events in children’s lives that they could all then relate to, such as a new baby or friendships. This would ensure that all children would be engaged.

This E book was created using story bird. This is a very simple software programme that children could easily access and create their own simple stories.



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Session 5 ICT

Posted by: | April 25, 2014 | 1 Comment |

This ICT lesson focussed on computer programming at different levels. Although computer programming may not be a concept that is usually associated with the EYFS however the new EYFS developmental matters – Understanding the world- Technology states


 40-60 months • Completes a simple program on a computer.

  It is for this reason that as early years teachers we must ensure that children are able to access computer programmes that are age appropriate for them.

 Morgan and Siraj-Blatchford (2010) recommend that ‘ICT capability rather than ICT skills should be the central focus of education in the early years and beyond.’

 I found the the guide below is particularly useful for new practitioners such as myself  as this outlines the ways in which ICT can be incorporated in the EYFS.


 During the lesson we were asked to create plugged and unplugged activities that children could access. Me and my partner choose to make an interactive sorting activity game (plugged activity)

Children could easily make this game once they have understood the basic concepts behind sorting activities and also once they are familiar with given instructions to a programme. As an unplugged activity children could play a hands-on sorting activity game before creating their own.

In addition to this purple mash has some basic positional language games that the children could play, this would be the beginning of children learning how to give directions and completing simple programme’s. The u-tube clip below is a demonstration of 2Go on purple mash.


As well as this children could also access certain apps on the I pad to help with programming. Apps such as; Move the turtle,

This involves the children giving the turtle instructions on how to get from A to B, this app is particularly good as it as it starts on a basic level and then increases in difficulty thus ensuring that the child’s learning is extended throughout.

 Links to the EYFS in relation to the above activities are as follows;

 Communication and language- understanding

 ELG Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions

 Mathematics- Shape, space and measure

 • Uses positional language.

 • Can describe their relative position such as ‘behind’ or ‘next to’.

 Understanding the world – Technology

 • Knows how to operate simple equipment, e.g. turns on CD player and uses remote control.

 • Shows an interest in technological toys with knobs or pulleys, or real objects such as cameras or mobile phones.

• Shows skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images.

• Knows that information can be retrieved from computers

 • Completes a simple program on a computer.

 • Uses ICT hardware to interact with age-appropriate computer software.

 Early Learning Goal

Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

 The importance of children learning how to programme

The article below published in the guardian has highlighted the reason why children should learn about computer programming. 


 In addition to this Forbes (2013) is of the opinion that ‘teaching children to code gives them a skill for life’ this statement could arguably be true especially as the society that children are living in now is becoming more and more dependent on technology.


Morgan, A. and Siraj-Blatchford, J. (2009) Using ICT in the Early Years: Parents and Practitioners in  Partnership. London: MA Education


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Session 4 music

Posted by: | April 25, 2014 | No Comment |

The second music session began with a very basic concept of singing ‘follow the leader’ whilst passing a musical instrument around the circle. This would be a good introduction to music and also a simple way to see which children have a good sense of rhythm. This type of activity also ensures that children are listening and paying attention so that are able to follow the leader. This type of activity can also be done on a music app called simon says, this involves the children listening to and remembering which sound went off and how many times,

This would link to the EYFS developmental matters,

 Mathematics- number

• Counts actions or objects which cannot be moved.

 • Counts objects to 10, and beginning to count beyond 10.

 • Counts out up to six objects from a larger group.

 •Recites numbers in order to 10.

 Communication and language- listening and attention

 • Focusing attention – still listen or do, but can shift own attention.

 • Is able to follow directions (if not intently focused on own choice of activity).

 • Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly during appropriate activity.

 • Two-channelled attention – can listen and do for short span.

Other music apps that could be used in the early years are;

 Rhyme and time

This app involves children finding words that rhyme and pairing them up. This app would help children to meet the following developmental matters.

 Literacy- reading

 • Enjoys rhyming and rhythmic activities.

 • Shows awareness of rhyme and alliteration.

 • Recognises rhythm in spoken words.

 The teacher could use this app as part of a lesson looking at rhyming words and then the children could access it individually or as a group. This is a very interactive way of using apps to teach children aspects of literacy.

 Simply kids instruments

This is a really good app to introduce children to different musical instruments especially if the school does not have all the instruments to hand for the child to explore and play. It also helps children to meet the following developmental matters

Expressive Arts And Design- Exploring and using media and materials          

•Explores the different sounds of instruments

• Imitates movement in response to music.

• Taps out simple repeated rhythms.

• Explores and learns how sounds can be changed.

Early Learning Goal

Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

 This is a link to fantastic blog which really show cases the use of I pads and Apps in the early years and primary classroom, it’s definitely worth a look


Linking music to technology is fantastic way of ensuring that children are able to access musical instruments that they may not otherwise have access to. In addition to this it allows children who may not otherwise access music to also explore musical instruments in a context that they may be confident with. 

Gardner (1989) argues that music intelligence is equally as important as mathematical and linguistic intelligence. Peery and Peery  (1987) further emphasize this point by stating that ‘making music is as much a basic life skill as walking and talking’


Gardner, H (1989) frames of Mind. New York: Basic books

Peery, J., C and Peery T., C (1987) Music and child development. New York: Springer Verlag. 


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Session 3 Art

Posted by: | April 6, 2014 | No Comment |

David Miller

David Miller’s paintings consist mainly of seascapes and the above and below style of painting became popular back in the early 80s when artist David Miller started showing his artwork in Hawaii. These paintings show two worlds separated by only the surface of the ocean. Some examples of his paintings are;

This type of art work could be used as a source of inspiration in the early years firstly to introduce the children to the different colours in the sea. The children could explore with colour and either using paint, chalk or pastels they could attempt to recreate some of the colours in the picture.

Following on from this they could attempt to recreate some of the paintings using different materials and objects. This would emphasise the use of different textures and also enable the children to extend their vocabulary of rough, smooth, soft, hard.

This could then be followed on by looking at patterns in the sea. At this point shapes could also be mentioned as the children would be able to further explore the painting by looking at the shapes that are visible.

Expressive Arts and Design- Exploring and using media and materials.

•Explores colour and how colours can be changed

•Beginning to be interested in and describe the texture of things

•Uses various construction materials.

• Explores what happens when they mix colours.

• Experiments to create different textures.

• Understands that different media can be combined to create new effects.

• Manipulates materials to achieve a planned effect.

• Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources.

Mathematics – Shape, space and measure

• Shows an interest in shape and space by playing with shapes or making arrangements with objects.

• Shows awareness of similarities of shapes in the environment.

• Uses positional language.

• Shows interest in shape by sustained construction activity or by talking about shapes or arrangements.

• Shows interest in shapes in the environment.

• Uses shapes appropriately for tasks.

• Beginning to talk about the shapes of everyday objects, e.g. ‘round’ and ‘tall’.

Callaway et al (2012) assert that Art actively supports intellectual, social and emotional development while offering opportunities to develop essential skills, knowledge and understanding that can be applied across the curriculum. It is for this reason that children should be exposed to art regularly so that are able to express themselves through this medium.


Callaway,G., Leach, A and Kear, M (2012) Teaching Art & Design in the Primary School Abingdon, Oxon: David Fulton

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Session 2 Music

Posted by: | April 6, 2014 | No Comment |

The importance of music in the early years was the focus of this session, looking to recognise the crucial role of music in the development of the child. The session began with looking at the elements of music: pitch, duration, texture, dynamics, tempo and structure. Sue informed us that it is important for practitioners to understand what these elements are and what they mean so that we are able to engage in music fully.

The developmental matters in the EYFS make mention of several developmental that link directly to music, rhythm and rhyme-

Listens to and enjoys rhythmic patterns in rhymes and stories.

Enjoys rhymes and demonstrates listening by trying to join in with actions or vocalizations

Shows interest in play with sounds, songs and rhymes

Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories.

In addition to this there are several other areas of the EYFS that could be linked to music one aspect that we explored was linking music to maths, Sue introduced us to a song called ‘Im a train’ which could involve the children linking singing with counting, matching and looking and longer and shorter.

Additionally we were also introduced to making instruments by recycling everyday items. Below is a picture of some of the items that Sue had created;

The u tube clip below provides an example of how to create some of these instruments


Directed task music –

This task involved the creation of a song to a familiar tune. This would a good activity for children to do as using a familiar tune would provide them with the framework within which to work with. The tune that was used was Row Row Row your Boat and the words to the song were related to ‘Tidy up time’ this song could then be extended by children substituting this to ‘time for lunch song’ or ‘time to go home song’ This song links to the  (EYFS) to the particular development matters:

Communication and Language- Listening and Attention-

Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories

Listens to and enjoys rhythmic patterns in rhymes and stories.

Enjoys rhymes and demonstrates listening by trying to join in with actions or vocalisations.

Literacy- reading

Enjoys rhyming and rhythmic activities.

Shows awareness of rhyme and alliteration.

Recognises rhythm in spoken words.

Listens to and joins in with stories and poems, one-to-one and also in small groups.

Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories.


Expressive Arts And Design- Exploring And Using Media Being Imaginative 

Joins in singing favourite songs.

Creates sounds by banging, shaking, tapping or blowing.

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Session 1 ICT- E Safety

Posted by: | April 6, 2014 | No Comment |

Today’s ICT lecture focussed on E safety, this was firstly in relation to social networking and the negative and positive factors associated with this. For example Social networking is an innovative way to look for a job and this link below is a useful website to go to for novices like me who know little about how to use social media to find a job.


A study carried out by CareerBuilder found that ‘37% of employers use social networks to screen potential job candidates’ and ‘34% of employers who scan social media profiles said they found content that has caused them not to hire the candidate.’ With this in mind as professionals we must always ensure that we are careful with how we use social networking sites as this link below shows a number of individuals who have lost their jobs as a consequence of using facebook inappropriately.  


In relation to the early years it is important to ensure that children are made of of E safety so that they are able to use IT safely and confidently.

The Byron Review is a national strategy that is in place and highlights key points on how the internet can be used safely within the classroom. One example of this is restricting the availability of materials available on the children’s computer/laptop/Ipads. 

The EYFS states –

Understanding the World: Technology- 40- 60 months

 -Completes a simple programme on a computer

-Uses ICT hardware to interact with age appropriate computer software

Once children are aware of the rules of E safety this developmental matter and other areas of the EYFS can be accessed safety by all children.

Story bird is a tool that can be used to create E safety books which can be made child friendly.  Have a look at this one I created


The toolkit below is also very valuable for teachers to use and is made with the Early years in mind.


This U tube clip is also a good way of making children aware of the rules associated with E safety.



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Session 1 Art

Posted by: | April 4, 2014 | No Comment |

This lesson firstly involved going into the forest (attached to the university) and exploring the outdoor environment in order to realise the potential of teaching children through the use of the environment. The Forest school approach is based on a Scandinavian concept that values the outdoors as an important tool in children’s learning. O’Brien (2009) asserts that What makes forest school unique is its emphasis on learning outside of the traditional classroom and having the freedom to explore the ever changing environment. In order for children to explore the outdoor environment children need to be made aware of the potential risks in the outdoors. It is for this reason that before we explored the forest we had to recognise potential hazards. Hazards such as poisonous mushrooms and fallen branches were identified.


Following on from this we were asked to use the discreetly placed props and the outdoor environment itself to create a story that would be captured using the I Pad. In my group we used branches and leaves and created our story around the theme of a forest queen, as pictured below.




The first part of the lesson involved looking at creative and expressive arts in the early years. The lesson involved firstly looking at mark making, Mark making in the early years is very important as firstly it helps children to develop their fine motor skills whilst simultaneously helping them to use to express themselves through the medium of art. 


The importance of mark making in the early years has been recognised by the government and is evident in documents like the one below;




Stimulus’s for art in the early years can be as simple as asking the children to create a line this is what our activity was which we created as a group.


Task: Draw as many different lines as possible, in as many ways as you can think of.Use as many different drawing materials as possible.


Digital art

As society these days is very driven by media and technology it could be argued that

‘Children need to be visually literate to function effectively in a society where visual images enter our lives through the mass media…where so much information is presented to us through visual means in our everyday environment’

(Clement and Page, 1992, p.35)

For this reason as a teacher I will have to ensure that I provide children with as much opportunities as I can to explore art through as many different mediums as possible. This website below provides a number of teaching resources and ideas on how to incorporate art and technology together.


Photography is another medium in which children can explore art. In the lecture today we were provided with a photograph as a stimulus and as small groups we had to create a piece of music to describe the photograph. This would link directly with Expressive Arts and Design: Being imaginative. Early Learning Goal: They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.

The use of digital media in the outdoors is a fantastic resource for children especially in relation to either retelling stories or children using their imaginations and props provided by the practitioner and creating their own stories.


Clement, R. and Page, S. (1992) Principle and Practice in Art. Essex: Oliver and Boyd.

Early Education (2012) Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). London: DfE.

 O’Brien, L. (2009) Learning Outdoors: The Forest School Approach. In International Perspectives on Outdoor and Experiential Learning, Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 37 . 1, p.45-60.

Directed task for art 

Chosen artist Andy Goldsworthy,

Goldsworthy is famous for creating his art work by using nature. This is an example of a piece of art using pebbles;

This website shows more of Andy Goldsworthy’s creations


This artist would prove to be a brilliant stimulus for children as they would be easily able to relate to these pictures because they are all found in the natural environment. This type of art work could  also be easily re-created by children as schools would not need to provide extra resources the children would just need to have access to an outdoor environment.

I have added a link to the resources bank of Andy Goldswrthy recreating a piece of his art work, his work should prove inspirational for other practitioners.

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