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I have been working in a reception class and the teacher was saying that in d&t they don't use clay till year 1. I'm not entirely sure why, is it because it's hard?

I remember about 7 years ago at an early conference one of the speakers showed us a PowerPoint of pictures and there were two pictures of a child aged around 4, they were taken a few months apart and one showed her exploring clay which we were told she did most days for weeks and weeks and the next one was her working on a clay duck, showing that exploring and experimenting with a material on a long term basis meant she learnt how it behaved and how to mould it. This always sticks in my mind because it makes sense to me that's the way I have been trained.

Have things changed so much now that I'm out of touch?

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We love clay, our 3 year olds were playing with it yesterday, it was hard but they learnt kneading it and putting fingers in water soon makes it malleable...and a fab activity for muscle building, maybe it's more a 'mess' thing.

Yes this is exactly what I thought Mouseketeer, it's great for muscle building. Apparently they use play dough and salt dough but its not quite the same is it?

 

We have used clay. In fact I am going to order some more as we haven't had any for a while. We have plenty of play dough but a different feeling from clay. They may not be so tempted to eat it!!

Well this is it, give them the experiences and they are less likely to eat it! And yes it's a totally different feeling to clay.

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Yes we use clay. We don't have it out as much as we could actually! But it's a lovely hand strengthening resource and great for observing how materials change as it gradually dries - very gradually when the children's beautiful creations are often massive lumps! :D

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Perhaps you need to question the teacher as to why, it maybe just a decision that has been made that until they are in year 1 the school thinks they don't "make" anything recognisable with clay and that dough up to that point will provide for all of the children's physical and creative needs. It's a shame as I love the idea of layering understanding of how properties of malleables change and the children's undertstanding that comes from perseverance.

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Ooh we are definitely using clay with our 2, 3 and 4 year olds. They are loving the sensory experience so much that we are going to attempt to make some Christmas decorations with this wonderful resource. This week we have made some Diwali lamps. Next week once dry they can paint them if they would like too, we are popping a little tea-light in them too.

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Perhaps you need to question the teacher as to why, it maybe just a decision that has been made that until they are in year 1 the school thinks they don't "make" anything recognisable with clay and that dough up to that point will provide for all of the children's physical and creative needs. It's a shame as I love the idea of layering understanding of how properties of malleables change and the children's undertstanding that comes from perseverance.

I think that may well be the reason Panders. It sounds like it's the schools policy but I would like to know the reasoning behind it? Like you I think it's important t to explore the properties of different materials and that there should not necessarily be an end product but the process should be highly valued.

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Ooh we are definitely using clay with our 2, 3 and 4 year olds. They are loving the sensory experience so much that we are going to attempt to make some Christmas decorations with this wonderful resource. This week we have made some Diwali lamps. Next week once dry they can paint them if they would like too, we are popping a little tea-light in them too.

 

not convinced ours will be dry this term let alone next week Fredbear ...so its just as well they stuck bits and pieces on to them to decorate lol

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not convinced ours will be dry this term let alone next week Fredbear ...so its just as well they stuck bits and pieces on to them to decorate lol

We made the little lamps before half term giving them a good week to air dry, when we went back they painted them and a few days after decorated them, they looked great, sent them home yesterday - one of our Indian mums made barfi for us, and brought in sweets and little presents for all the children. For the first time, I think, the children we had really took on board the story of Rama and Sita because we had told them the story a few times, shown them it on the ipad as well and yesterday they took the puppets I had made and were telling the story for themselves - soooo pleased with them all.

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Oh good grief.

Sometimes I despair.

What possible reason can anyone give that is sound educationally that you can't do clay before Yr1.

Within expressive arts and design would have thought clay was a great medium to explore and make with. It is also a great medium to use for exploring the properties of materials within UTW too.

Such narrow mindedness makes me want to scream sometimes.

Cx

Edited by catma
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We 'do' clay in year R - have it out to explore as often as I can.

 

We did have a whole school discussion about 'progression', so in year R we explore it and treasure the children's creations. Year 1 and 2 use it to create a preplanned end product - a diva in Year 1 and a something else (can't remember what!) in Year 2. Came about because all three year groups were making the same divas one year.

 

Love the tree man Finlaysmaid.

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I'm intrigued as to the reasoning behind it. I can actually imagine it being a decision to try and avoid the situation marywilliam mentioned above and also to avoid having children announce "Oh we've 'done' clay in reception" rather than it being about children not being able to use clay.

 

In my very first job the FS team were frequently being moaned at for covering topics that were considered to belong to older children. In another school I was roundly told by one of the Y6 teachers that I wasn't allowed to use the proper watercolour paper - that was just for Y6.

 

I tend to just use whatever I like (different team around me now!). We are exploring and using the materials in a different way.

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Clay is just a medium. Like the difference between a child reading a book in yr r and yr 6, they will bring different skills and experiences to the medium and use it differently. I would always argue that to enable children to have the skills in yr6, they need to go through the process of playing with the media and understanding its properties. Unless you have experienced what happens to clay when you overwork it, and how to revive it how will you develop the sensitivity to know how to work it carefully when you have the physical skills to make a beautiful coil pot or a slab pot for example? progression is about learning and deepening skills not a narrow sequence of products you can only do at one age or another. Why is clay only for making a diva? :ph34r::ph34r: There are so many other skills that can be developed through learning how to work clay: flat work, 3d work, moulding, using coils, using slabs...so much more than a thumb pot!!

Cx

Edited by catma
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so if we 'do' clay in nursery does that mean the children don't learn anything from doing it next year? or perhaps I should only Do playdough once (instead of every day!) if I have read the bear hunt maybe they should never hear it again....or perhaps paint should only be available every other year!

 

.....sorry been a long day and i'm being facetious Honestly i'm going to turn in to Catma in a minute...I will be watching carefully as to what the excuse is for this :wacko:

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FM and Catma - you should definitely only ever do things once ? Including reading the same story! I always thought it was a bit bonkers and illogical. That was reinforced by some brilliant science training I did once where we looked at doing the same experiment across the school from nursery to Y6.

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You see I have such a problem with this idea because I know (as do we all) that children need to bed things in.

I have one little chap with ASD ...he needs to do everything 3 times before he will do it willingly by himself

My little ones with Downs syndrome need to do things up to 24 times to learn a new skill

my daughter who has dyslexia and had hearing issues when young needed repetitive and imaginative teaching at this age group to learn anything sequential

We've been experimenting this year with having a couple of books that don't change ....we've read them often. The children get something new out of it every time and the language skills are reinforced ...which with so many eal children is great. We all know that lots of children LOVE to have the same story again and again. As an adult we might find this repetitive and boring but as children they are acquiring new ideas each time they hear it.

I guess what i'm saying is children are not young adults ....they learn through a process not a one off event

sorry rant over ....goes back in to cave shuts the door and tuts loudly for several hours :mellow:

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attachicon.gif2015-06-308 (2).jpg

 

 

'green men' in the forest........nuff said!

Our tiny ones in forest school have adored slapping clay on trees.

 

Oh good grief.

Sometimes I despair.

What possible reason can anyone give that is sound educationally that you can't do clay before Yr1.

Within expressive arts and design would have thought clay was a great medium to explore and make with. It is also a great medium to use for exploring the properties of materials within UTW too.

Such narrow mindedness makes me want to scream sometimes.

Cx

My thoughts exactly Catma!

 

We 'do' clay in year R - have it out to explore as often as I can.

 

We did have a whole school discussion about 'progression', so in year R we explore it and treasure the children's creations. Year 1 and 2 use it to create a preplanned end product - a diva in Year 1 and a something else (can't remember what!) in Year 2. Came about because all three year groups were making the same divas one year.

 

Love the tree man Finlaysmaid.

Yes yes yes! Completely agree Mary, using it for exploration in the first instance and then building upon that experience when they move up the school.

 

I'm intrigued as to the reasoning behind it. I can actually imagine it being a decision to try and avoid the situation marywilliam mentioned above and also to avoid having children announce "Oh we've 'done' clay in reception" rather than it being about children not being able to use clay.

 

In my very first job the FS team were frequently being moaned at for covering topics that were considered to belong to older children. In another school I was roundly told by one of the Y6 teachers that I wasn't allowed to use the proper watercolour paper - that was just for Y6.

 

I tend to just use whatever I like (different team around me now!). We are exploring and using the materials in a different way.

I had this experience when my class chose a topic of space but oh no they can't do that till year 5. Erm I thought the children were meant to lead the learning.... Edited by Jester
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You will find that clay dust is considered a substance hazardous to health under COSH regulations that is why they don't use it in reception classes.

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You will find that clay dust is considered a substance hazardous to health under COSH regulations that is why they don't use it in reception classes.

Welcome to the forum Dulce :1b

 

How interesting - we use air drying clay and I can't say that it is particularly dusty at all........

 

I can think of many 'dustier' activities that we engage in :blink:

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Hmm! Not sure about that. We eat on clay made plates and drink out of clay made cups. Guessing the raw material could have something in it but it has been used since the beginning of time and the population has not quite died off. Can't be that hazardous!

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