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Articles by Juliet Mickelburgh

 

The FSF and Tapestry Education Team are all trained teachers and we like to keep our skills sharp and our knowledge up to date so that we can give the best advice to support Tapestry users and FSF members. For this reason, we occasionally visit schools and nurseries. I was very lucky to be invited to visit Blue Door Nursery, a day care setting for babies (Kittens), toddlers (Cubs) and pre-school (Lions), owned by FSF Rebecca.

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Cultural capital is a term that has recently been added to the 2019 Ofsted draft inspection framework as part of the ‘Quality of Education’ judgement.  In the Early Years draft Inspection Handbook1 it states:‘Inspectors will evaluate how well leaders ensure that the curriculum they use or create enhances the experiences and opportunities available to children, particularly the most disadvantaged. Some children arrive at an early years setting with poorer experiences than others, in their learning and play. What a setting does, through its curriculum and interactions with practitioners, potentially makes all the difference for children. It is the role of the setting to ensure that children experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live, through the seven areas of learning.’ (p. 31) In footnote 16, on the same page, is this definition: ‘Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that children need to be educated citizens’  

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We all know that feeling of starting something new: a bit excited, probably quite anxious about where everything is and what is expected of us, worried about not knowing people, the nervous butterflies in the stomach that can range from a flutter to a full flip! Some of us will take this in our stride, lots of us will try to, and for others it is a really unpleasant experience.  We ask children to do this every year as they move from Reception to Year 1. They might not be moving very far geographically – just up the corridor – but without careful thought being put into this transition it might end up seeming to them like being parachuted into another, rather worrying, world. 

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Here is the final article in the Aspects of Art series, looking at how children can be creative in 3D through sculpture. Working in three dimensions gives children the opportunity to practise skills such as planning and problem solving, fixing and joining, shaping and assembling. This is an art form that involves imagination and the technology of transformation as children explore how to change an object, or a collection of objects, into something else. Sculpture can be done on a small or large scale, by an individual or collaboratively. The key to inspiring children to work in 3D is to have a wide variety of interesting and unusual resources available and to embrace each child’s creative ideas.

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Here is the fourth in our series on Art in the Early Years. This time the focus is on Textiles. Fabric is a big part of children’s lives. They wear it, they sleep under it and they sit on it. The familiarity of textiles is what makes them so much fun to explore with young children, encouraging them to look closer, ask questions and use fabrics in new and unusual ways. Some children might be interested in the textures of fabrics, brocades and lace. Others might want to investigate patterns and colour on fabric. Or children might enjoy manipulating textiles, weaving and stitching and knotting. Any textile project in the early years will become embellished with the children’s interests as they learn more about the fabric around them.

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We continue our series on Art in the early years with a closer look at printing.

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Paint is such a versatile and energetic medium for children to explore. It can be thick or runny, pale or bright. It can be layered up with other things and it can be dabbed, spread, brushed, flicked or squelched. This article is the third in a series about art in the early years setting and looks at ways to introduce exciting painting experiences to young children.

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This is the second in a series of articles about the different aspects of art in the early years. Here we look at ways to approach drawing with young children.

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Art is a rich and magical area of learning. It can open children’s eyes to the world around them and offer them new and exciting ways of seeing, thinking and doing. But this doesn’t just happen; presenting children with the opportunity to use clay, paint or charcoal is not enough. Adults working in the early years need to think creatively themselves, explore ideas and resources with the children and celebrate the artistic process.This is a new series on Art in the Early Years, with activity ideas for six different aspects of art – drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, textiles and collage. It begins with a brief look at how we should approach art with young children.

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Continuing Juliet Mickelburgh's diary of her daughter Clemmie's learning and development from her first birthday to her second.

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A mother's diary of her daughter Clemmie's development from birth to her first birthday. These snippets of Clemmie's learning and development were first published a few years ago as "Clemmie's Column". We republish them here as two articles for those members who may not have come across them before.

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Babies and young children are able to make decisions that are relevant to their lives. This article examines what kinds of decisions children can make at different stages of their development and how practitioners can support them.

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As adults, we tend to think about time in terms of chronology. Time is linear and ordered. The past stretches into the distance in one direction, the future into the other, and the present sits in the middle. We understand that the past can be recent (yesterday) or long ago (1066). But even as adults our concept of time is subjective – our idea of what was a long time ago or what age a person could be described as 'old' is dependent partly on our own age and experience. Young children are only just beginning to fathom the way we order time.This article looks at how early years practitioners can introduce young children to the past. It examines how children perceive time and discusses simple ways to explore 'a long time ago' with children.

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This is the second of two articles looking at building partnerships with parents. Here we discuss how settings can open up to parents and families to achieve true partnership.

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Working in partnership with parents is now considered to be one of the key areas of good early years practice, illustrated by the focussing of four Standards in the EYPS on this subject. In the first of two articles we look at why partnership with parents is so important, with the following article exploring how to establish successful partnership.

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What exactly are schemas, and how useful are they in providing the right learning environment for our very young children? This article brings together various definitions of schemas, followed by a brief description of named schemas and a discussion of how we can support children engaged in them.

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The Key Person Approach is now a fundamental part of developing secure relationships between staff and children in early years settings. Why is it so important and what is the theory behind it?

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This article is the first in a short series by Juliet Mickelburgh, looking at recent developments in our understanding of how children learn.

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Discussing the forthcoming Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) with the National Director for the Foundation Stage, Ruth Pimentel.

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The last in a series of articles examining recent developments in our understanding of how children learn. Here, Juliet Mickelburgh looks at what is meant by child-initiated learning, its presence in the EYFS, and how it influences good early years practice.

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