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Articles Teaching and Learning

Cross-phase articles about teaching and learning
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.   
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…
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 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?’
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.
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 …
Sara Knight, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Anglia Ruskin University, discusses the historical meanings of "schooling" and their relevance to today's young children. She outlines four ways in which we learn, and explains her concerns …
Rousseau's understanding of the early years of child development as being a profound time in our lives is still relevant today. His appreciation of how much a child learns through finding things out for themselves, and of the role of observation and …
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…
Nature pedagogy is defined as a natural way of working with children that embraces nature. It is all encompassing, from the educational environments we create, to the process of assessment and planning, through to the Learning Journeys that we encour…
Mary E. Maunder presents musical activities to support young children's development and learning across the six areas
Many of the FSF members follow Alistair Bryce-Clegg's blog and have attended his very popular presentations. Following a discussion here about his innovative 'objective-led planning', we invited Alistair to explain this approach.
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…
Kathy Brodie examines how Sustained Shared Thinking can be used to enhance the four areas of learning and development in the EYFS known as the Specific Areas: Mathematics, Expressive Arts and Design, Literacy and Understanding the World.
It is not always clear  how observations should be used to inform planning, assessments and evaluation of children's progress. Sometimes the huge array of choices can make choosing a next step a really confusing task.
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…
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 this article, Kathy Brodie focuses on how sustained shared thinking can support each of the Prime areas of learning and development, as defined by the EYFS – Communication and Language; Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Devel…
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…
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…
In her lifetime, Maria Montessori was regarded as one of the foremost female educationalists and her legacy continues today in many Montessori schools worldwide.
How many times have you thought that it would be easy to use Development Matters as a 'tick list'? Which managers have had heated meetings with staff who say that 'ticking off' aspects makes it so much easier to plan next steps? I know that here at F…
Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is the Jewish Festival of Lights. The word Hanukkah means ‘rededication’, and it is a time for celebrating a great miracle in Jewish history and for showing hope and dedication against all the odds. The festival lasts for eight…
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…
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…