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Improving the use of ICT in the Foundation Stage: Halton

Case study evidence 2: A pre-school case study

  • Date: Feb 2007
  • Focus: Using ICT to create transition passports for children from pre-schools to Reception Year.
  • Number in series: 9
  • Phase: Early Years
  • Key Stage: Foundation Stage
  • Local authority: Halton

Focus of enquiry in using ICT in the Foundation Stage

Key questions

The main purpose of the case study was to support children in the transition from home into pre-school and the transitions from pre-school into school reception, introducing the digital camera using key words ('ready', 'steady' and 'click').

We produced a covering letter for parents/guardians informing them of the new and exciting Primary Strategy Foundation Stage project and Halton Early Years team funded by the Department for Education and Skills, and attached the consent forms. We had discussions during circle time with the children and we introduced the camera; then the fun began.

Process

  • During the training day the reception teacher and I decided to do a day in the life of preschool/school, we also made arrangements to meet up to review the project at a later date.
  • After reading the manual several times and taking the camera home I began to understand how to use this modern equipment, how to edit images taken, and then how to save these images onto the computer.
  • I incorporated this in our weekly plans and the children had access to the digital camera and laptop on a daily basis, it was used with and without support depending on the children's ability. During the day children were able to take snapshots of their day, their friends, and activities of their choosing.
  • We began to build a portfolio of the children's work for them to view as often as they wanted; we continued to add to this. The portfolio supported the children during recall as they had visual reminders of what they had done that day. Open-ended questions were not needed and all the children were able to participate and the language and communication gained from this alone was impressive.
  • Monday 3 April 2006 meeting with reception teacher: we both feel that this is just the beginning and are already thinking about future developments; we will also plan more opportunities to meet up.

Barriers or problems encountered

  • Time: due to the short time scale we didn't have enough opportunities to share information or review the project with the reception teacher; this will be done at a later date.
  • Printer: we contacted technical support about the printer and they arranged to come but unfortunately didn't arrive. Because of the time-scale we used our own printer.
  • Parental consent: time again. I also had to photocopy an extra twenty copies because they had been mislaid or left at home. We also had to discard work because parental consent was not given.

Practices

  • I feel my own confidence has grown, I don't have access to laptops or digital cameras, and I'm one of the few who does not own such equipment. I have only ever used Microsoft Word. I'm now able to use Publisher and PowerPoint. I will also be looking at improving my own ITC skills and will be looking into training available in the near future.
  • We will be able to use the project on a day in the life of the pre-school on home visits, so that new families will have an understanding of what the pre-school has to offer their child – a visual book, a starting point, a friendly, non-threatening introduction.
  • The language from the children when looking back at the pictures and the comments made has had a massive impact alone – this was unplanned. The children are able to maintain their attention and concentration and recall past experiences.
  • The children have produced this work with and without support. They have seen the end product and this has been displayed for their families to see. The families of the children are making positive comments about the display – their children's work, their photographs and the comments they have made are displayed for all to see. That's when the smiles and anecdotal notes come. This must have a positive impact on the children's self-image and self-esteem.

Possibilities – next steps

  • We will use the portfolio during home visits so that new families will have an understanding of what the pre-school has to offer their children. This will be in addition to the pre-school prospectus and policies.
  • The reception teacher and I are also consider doing a passport to support children in the transition from pre-school to school, along with visits to the school and for schoolchildren to come back and visit the pre-school.
  • We will continue to display the children's photographs and their work so that parents/guardians and their families are able to visually observe the topics their children have covered. We will also use photographs in each of the six areas along with key words.
  • We will also use the camera to support our written observations, displays, children's next steps and fundraising. Having this opportunity and equipment will support us in so many ways.

One boy watched the video clip from Simple City about being a mechanic and went on to 'build' his own car using another part of the program.