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Articles Teaching and Learning

Cross-phase articles about teaching and learning
Time to throw open the gingham curtains and use what we find behind them to create a space that gives our children the freedom to be independent, motivated learners who can choose from a range of engaging and challenging resources that will promote…
Planning for individual children is a statutory requirement.   However, such plans do not have to be written down.  A skilful practitioner is making several hundred “in the moment” plans every day.   
In this article we look in detail at two observations and explain, in depth, how we assess and allocate refinements to what we are seeing.  From the article, you will learn how we, at Tapestry, use information gathered from observations, in conjuncti…
I spent over twenty rewarding and stimulating years as a classroom teacher in the North of England and for the most part as a senior manager responsible for the early years foundation stage (EYFS). I delighted in working with children and parents an…
As teachers, we are constantly making decisions. Choosing how to respond, to the events in any given day, is never a neutral undertaking. Our decisions have impact on not only our own experience, but also that of the children we teach and the commun…
It comes up on the FSF sufficiently often that I have begun to wonder if we, in early years, are perhaps looking for ‘an answer’ – the Next Step ‘Holy Grail’ as it were. Sensibly, we all know that there cannot be an answer, children are all different…
Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL) are a revived element in the current Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). CoEL advocate that in planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that …
This article is the third and final in our series on the Characteristics of Effective Learning, following on from Play and Exploration in Action and Active Learning in Action.
This article will focus on the need for early years practitioners to develop their knowledge of reflective thinking. It will focus on some of the history and theory of reflective practice considering and discussing how theory can help develop practi…
The provision of mark making opportunities can help children develop imaginatively, creatively and physically. Mark making is important for many reasons. It is a visible way for children to tell stories and express feelings, record what they have to …
As a student getting to grips with the world of early years, the word ‘observation’ filled me with fear and trepidation.  I knew it was important but what exactly, was it that I was being asked to do? I didn’t walk around with my eyes shut so why wer…
You could be forgiven for thinking that outdoor play is a relatively new phenomenon, driven by The National Trust (2016) and their ‘50 Things to do before you’re 11¾’ project.  Children and being outside seems to be a recurrent theme in the media and…
This article is about young children playing with digital technologies at home and in their educational settings. It draws on a series of research studies conducted at the University of Stirling over a period of 10 years with my colleagues Professor …
From Spring 2017, all schools will be required to assess and report on English proficiency in the Department for Education (DfE) census for any child with English as an additional language (EAL). As this will include children in maintained nursery sc…
This is the first article in what will be a series examining questions such as ‘What are next steps?’, ‘Who decides which next steps are appropriate?’, ‘What is the best way to record next steps?’ and ‘How often should next steps be reviewed?’
It is often noted in literature that planning and teaching should be based around children’s interests. Through doing so, practitioners can enhance development and progress in each area of learning. The National Strategies for Early Years suggest tha…
The use of milestones in the form of development checklists do not take on the individuality of each child. They are generic and imply that all children go through the sequential process. This article aims to introduce the concept of individuality of…
In this article we look in detail at two observations and explain, in depth, how we assess and allocate refinements to what we are seeing.  From the article, you will learn how you can use information gathered from observations, in conjunction with t…
A brief history and summary of the theories and practical aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach. Malaguzzi had a deep sense of respect for children's ability to be partners in their own learning, and this is at the heart of the Reggio approach to edu…
Isaacs had a passionate belief in the place of nursery education in society. She felt that attending a nursery school should be a natural part of a child’s early life: the early years setting was a place that should both mirror the family through lov…
In her lifetime, Maria Montessori was regarded as one of the foremost female educationalists and her legacy continues today in many Montessori schools worldwide.
Dewey partitioned childhood into different stages of development, the first stage being from the ages of four to eight years. He believed that during this period the key factors for successful learning were play, conversation, physical activity and s…
Like other educational theorists before him, Steiner divided childhood up into distinct phases. They fall in seven year cycles and are marked by physical changes in the child. He explained that the early years of childhood are a time of learning by b…
As the name of his system of schooling suggests, the 'kindergarten' or 'children's garden' allowed time for outside play and experiencing nature. Froebel felt that play should have a purpose if the child was to learn from it. He devised specific play…
Pestalozzi realised that children feel safe and secure at home and that it was this atmosphere that was most conducive to learning. However, he founded a number of educational establishments as he was aware that not all children could spend time lear…