When I Became A Teaching Assistant For The Day...
They spent the day with the Reception class, helping out with the children and observing how they learn through play.
Here, Kate shares their experience from her own point of view…
Full of excitement and a little bit nervous, Ellen and I headed into the school ready to take part in a fun filled day of learning through play. Firstly, we met the early years teachers and were given a run down on how the day would go once the children arrived and prepared for the organised chaos that comes with a free-flow provision.
Once the children arrived, they all gravitated to where they needed to be – putting their water bottles, bags and coats away before sitting nicely and quietly on the carpet waiting for their teacher and classmates to sit down with them.
We started the day with saying good morning to each other as the register was done. Some maths was inputted into this early morning routine as we counted how many of our classmates were in and subtracted it from the total of children there should’ve been: finding out how many children were off school, unwell.
Once the register was done and the children were settled, off they went to learn through play, accessing the free-flow provision.
A number of activities had been set up within the provision, including writing Fathers’ Day cards since Fathers’ Day was only a few days away and creating wonderful under the water themed artwork since it is something the children were very interested at this point in time.
Other resources such as paper, pens, small world toys, construction toys and much, much more were out and available to the children.
Many of the children were very interested in writing and drawing everything and anything – particularly animals. Naturally, we sat down and drew with the children, asking questions and watching as they became engrossed in what they were doing.
After this, we joined in some mathematical learning as the children had built transformers out of mobilo. We watched as they transformed their models into submarines, cars, lorries and other vehicles – using their imaginations and developing their social, communication and language skills.
Before lunchtime, we sat with the children to do a little bit of mathematics as a group on the carpet, using dinosaurs to learn about mathematical vocabulary like more and less, big, small, height and width, too! It was amazing to see how engaged the children were in this activity.
In the afternoon, we all put our coats and wellys on and adventured outside to go on an exciting ‘welly walk’.
Adventuring outdoors, the children were naturally excited and had been looking forward to this part of the day. We headed straight to the Gazebo and sat down, waiting for the teacher to inform us of the activity we would be participating in.
The teacher explained that we would be exploring the huge school grounds, including the forest area and the school field, looking for treasure. All the children were provided with cardboard featuring double sided tape to stick their treasure onto.
After listening carefully to our instructions, we were sent off to look for treasure with the children.
Walking around the school field and forest area, we found many leaves, pretty petals and different types of features which we tried to guess where it had come from by the size (there were many guesses including from the geese we had seen at playtime, pigeons and even dinosaurs!).
Of course, we couldn’t go on a welly walk without jumping in the enormous muddy puddles that had formed in the middle of the school field due to all the rain!
The children had an amazing time running around, investigating and exploring the natural environment.
Once we had completed the welly walk, we went back to the Gazebo to have a look at what everyone had collected before heading back to the classroom.
As it was nearly home time, we sat and watched a quick video before participating in story time. This experience was a fantastic insight into how early years children play and interact with one another, along with how children learn through play.
Ellen and I loved spending time with the wonderful teachers and children at Lindow Primary School and cannot wait until we are able to spend time in another primary school!
At Pentagon Play, we pride ourselves on innovation and service which is why we spend time with teachers to better understand how we can improve outdoor learning in schools and nurseries. Feel free to Contact Us to see how we can help develop your school playground for the better. Alternatively, you can view our full, ever improving range of Outdoor Play Equipment here.