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We have been using the Folens Reception ideas until recently for ICT input.

We have access to a suite, but find that quite difficult to manage with 30 children. We are looking at reducing group sizes in there but that has staffing implications so still on the planning agenda. We have 2 computers in our classrooms, but they are always accessed by those children who have prior knowledge & therefore skills. As a teacher led activity it seems to be always 1to1 which is difficult to manage frequently.



We have the opportunity to buy some new resources, possibly computers in child friendly desks!

We would like to integrate our ICT more fully.

What does everyone else use or do and how successful is it? :o

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I.... try to get the computer in the classroom to switch on normally (it's been broken for a month now).


We don't have an ICT suite, we have a set of laptops which are totally inappropriate for reception age children - so it's the one computer in the corner of the classroom when we get a minute type things.


We have done lots with roamer, radio controlled cars, digital cameras and the like too though which makes up for the lack of a computer at least partially.

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Hi there Susan,


Having spent the last 3 years working with primary and foundation stage teachers using ICT to support learning, I have seen a range of equipment and stategies used. With regard to orgainsation:

:) It might be nice to use the suite...but organising this can be chaos, if you can do this stick to very simple ICT applications, it will difficult enough just to get them in there and sat down so that they can see the screens and reach keyboards. I would stick to myworld type software or a simple graphics program. Most reception children should be able to use a mouse to point and click and drag and drop, but it is unlikely that many will be able to use a keyboard well enough to make it a useful learning activity.

:) If you have a projector or interactive board in te suite, there are some lovely website that could be shared whole class followed up by a quick graphics, draw a picture type activity. This would at least get them used to being in the suite and also give them a more varied short focused task with a change of pace to avoid restlessness


With regard to skills:

* All Reception children should be able to use a mouse ( you can get mini mouses/ mice? that are easier to hold in small hands..@ £10 each)

* They should all be aware of programmable toys ( this is part of the FS curriculum)

* They should be starting to aware of the potential of ICT

* They should be aware of ICT use in everyday life


For the last two....Aware of the potential of ICT

In the same way that we put up notices, read stories etc. to children to make them aware of text, we can use word, powerpoint etc. with them, us modelling, to demonstrate learning in an ICT rich environment. I have worked in nusery classes taking photos with children ( digital camera, the children take the photos) dropping these into powerpoint or word and showing the whole class whilst I type in text either for a story or notice or label. They do not need hands on to be learning. it can be modelled.


There are also lots of ways of using digital images or scanned photos with word labels or notices, messages, cards etc.


Aware of ICT use in everyday life

If they are using (play) microwaves in roel play, mobile phones, toy computers etc.. defunct keyboards ina role play office etc. then they are demonstrating awareness of ICT in everyday life


Finally...sorry for the length of this

Some staple activities

* graphics packages

* myworld type drag and drop

* good story type websites such as ( http://www.tlfe.org.uk/earlyyears.htm : http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/websites/infant.html )

* remote control toys


most important...have fun :D


I have tried not to name software for advertising reasons, but if this is OK and people would be interested in software that schools/ settings have found useful , let me know.


Sorry for the length of this

hope it helps


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Hi Debra -

I don't think it's a problem to name some of the developing organisations and products - as long as we're all honest about the merits and/or limitations of the product. I think a well balanced discussion of different products would be helpful for many people!


And don't worry about the length of the posts either - that's all interesting stuff! :D


Regards, Steve.

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Hi Debra.

Thanks for your reply.

Thats really useful info as you're confirming what we've been trying to do really.


Useful websites & software details are more than welcome. We've very little software and need ideas about what to look at before we purchase really. I can cope with ICT & "playing" to assess suitability etc but there are a limit to the number of hours in a day (or night)!!


We do have an interactive whiteboard but when I tried to use it with groups and an activity I found managment very difficult. Group kept standing in front of projector, others were more interested in group activity than their own task. Impossible to involve all in task due to space. Must be brave and have another go.

Our suite is new and lovely but I wonder whose idea it was as the computers go around the room and are in a central block-- not very easy for little ones.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi - The following message is from Suzies, who inadvertently sent it to me via the 'Report this post' button:



Hi Susan


Data projectors are not ideal on desks and can be much better if they are ceiling mounted, thus avoiding some of the shagows!


Children need to be sat rather than stood in front of the whiteboard and get them up one at a time to have a turn at writing, drawing, dragging, pointing etc. Use it to show picture stories or photographs of activities in which they have taken part. You can create your own resources quite simply by combining pictures and text within Word or PowerPoint.


A web cam can be used to show something happening; ice melting, a snail crawing up a glass jar, a caterpillar eating a leaf ......


With an Internet link you can show and talk about all kinds of things. If you have video conferencing you can set up links with people or places.


There is huge potential beyond commercial software - and there is now some excellent software. Some nurseries have several computers in a room in various areas. One may be set up with a maths program and children have their "slot" to work on their own at their own pace. RM maths is pretty good for this, one may be in the book corner with talking stories, another may have games that fit in with a particular topic.


Encourage children to use the digital cameras themselves - they are fast learners who are not afraid of the technology.


Don't forget video. You can take short video clips and insert them into PowerPoint. Great for recording things and discussing them later.


ICT shouldn't be a chore, it should be an enjoyable way to enhance teaching and learning.


Good luck!



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  • 2 weeks later...


We've got 3 PC's between 52 children 3 to 4 year olds

Software we use:


123 Maths CD Sherston

Animated Alphabet


Living Books - any of the titles tho Tortoise and the Hare and Little Monster at School seem particularly popular


I've just been recommended to buy Clicker

and I've had good reports about the Infant Video Toolbox


I have ordered a whole load of stuff today so I can get back on this in the autumn term if anyone's still interested

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Androyd, weve not long had Clicker and I think its great. At the moment we are only using it for making electronic books using the children's own photos (so a digital camera is essential). The children love it, and its amazing how observant they become looking at the photos an talking about who is in them and what they are doing. We have just returned to the first book we made at the start of the year, just with a photo and caption for each child, and they shriek with wonder, surprise and laughter at how much they have changed in that time (and so do we). We add our own speech (rather than those phoney American accents), and since most of our children are EAL, they record their voice in their home language and love to hear that!! Its very time consuming to do, but gets quicker once you have done a few, but well worth it. I would defintaly recommend it, but get some training time as well, as this is a big issue for us.

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Hello there.

We use all the usual My World and Number Train stuff, but my class are devoted to ' The Wizard of Oz' CD, made by Dorling Kindersley. Well worth every penny if you can get it. I can leave them to it now and I get frequent updates as they collect gems..........." We've got 3 and we only need 6 now". .........is just fine by me. Lots and lots of social interaction as they find ways together to solve the puzzles. Great fun so I recommend it to everyone.


from Carole

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Hi Carole -

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for posting!


That sounds like a good cd to me. I'll see if I can track it down.


I always find the co-operative way the children work on PC's incredible. There's rarely a tussle over who holds the mouse - they're just interested in problem solving, all of them throwing in suggestions!


Welcome again!


Regards, Steve

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Right - I've found the distributor for the Wizard of Oz CD for anyone who's interested. We haven't tried it ourselves yet so we can't recommend it personally - this is just one member's recommendation! (Puts you on the spot Carole :D )


You can buy it online from GSP - who are the distributors for Dorling Kindersley software apparently. Here's the link


There are actually 2 CD's. I guess Carole is referring to the first.


Regards, Steve.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Ruthanne Sireling

Last term I took over in Reception and used I.T. for Infants by Aircom ages 4-7. It seemed to cover all the Reception needed to know for ICT and they loved it. It also very usefully has a built in chart for each pupil so that you can see at a glance who has done what.


I'm just starting in the Foundation and terrified!! A programme from The Skills factory called Primary Complete - Early Years complete - definitely seems to be calming the nerves as it is so helpful for planning and assessment and even has lessons and advice online.


Have a lovely summer everybody,


Ruthanne :)

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Hi (again) Ruthanne -

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for posting! :D


I haven't come across the Aircom product - I'll have a look for it online. The Skills Factory software has cropped up a couple of times in conversations here, so perhaps I'd better put a link to it in the resources page.


Good luck with the start of next year - I guess it will be good to start from fresh with your own plans and a new group of children, rather than trying to take the reins half way through the year?


Best wishes, and look forward to getting to know you in the forums,


Steve. :)

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  • 9 months later...
Guest Tracey F

I always find the co-operative way the children work on PC's incredible. There's rarely a tussle over who holds the mouse - they're just interested in problem solving, all of them throwing in suggestions!


This reminded me of an incident last year... I had HMI in the computer suite with my class of Reception children...He was questioning the use of headphones saying that they might isolate the children. Not at all said I, just watch them - just at this point one of my 4 year olds asked the little girl next to him how she 'got there'. She proceded to take his mouse in her left hand, while still controlling her own with the right, and saying 'you have to click here then there' 'You see what I mean?!' I said :D

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I've been very pleased with a DK CD Rom too, 'The Three Little Pigs' has some good problem solving for the children to have a go at and they definitely collaborate on it - the other day there were 2 children on the computer with an 'audience' arranged in neat rows, of about 10 children! I was surprised!


Dianne xxx

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I work with 3-5 year olds and can recommend Reader Rabbit for this age group although I know they do software for older children as well. I rang up the Tesco computer voucher helpline this week for some information and they recommended Clicker as well.

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  • 3 months later...

The Primary Strategy materials for Learning and Teaching using ICT are really worth looking at. The Foundation Stage CD-Rom shows video clips of children using a range of ICT skills and equipment to support and develop other areas of learning. On the disc there are also word documents which give contexts for the activities and objectives and learning intentions for different area of learning. There are also some suggestions of software.


It is definitely worth having a look at!


Date of issue: 09-2004

Ref: DfES 0384-2004 GCDI

Tel: 0845 60 222 60


Hope this is useful to people.



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