Play. Learn. Dream.

UK Early Years teacher trained to teach 3-7 year olds (Nursery - Year 2), currently doing supply work in both Independent and State schools in a wide variety of roles. Sometimes I'm the teacher, sometimes I'm a teaching assistant gaining experience in Key Stage 2. NO day is ever the same!

My training to become an Early Years teacher took the form of a PGCE and prior to this I did a degree in Childhood Studies. This course provided insight and practical experiences into many aspects affecting childhood (0-18 years) and really heightened my interest in the Early Years domain. My dissertation focused on the Early Years Foundation Stage and two areas of learning that are not often brought together in learning. My research involved talking to teachers, as well as questionnaires to discover how each setting used these two areas of learning independently and together (if at all). The results were VERY interesting.

As well as all this, I am an avid fan and participant in outdoor pursuits and sports. I regularly take hikes, go climbing, caving etc in my local area (or beyond), as well as playing Netball for a local team. Netball I've learned is full of teachers and support staff! These interests have had a huge impact on my teaching philosophy of education. AND (and?) with all that, to top it off I am also a graphics designer (amateur - fan art anyone?) and coder, which comes in handy for making resources!! :)

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I also do volunteer work when I have some free time!!

Ask Away...



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, because its importance cannot be overstated. It is more important for children to be able to hear the difference in the SOUNDS letters make (auditory discrimination) than for them to know the NAMES of letters.

As a matter of fact, I’ll take it one step further to say that it is not important for them to know the letter names at all.

Children can learn to read (fluently!) without knowing ANY letter names!

Here, these children are sorting pictures by beginning letter sound. These consonant sounds (“ssssssss, fffffff, lllllllllllll, mmmmmmm”) are often taught first because they (the sound) can be drawn out and are more easily distinguished from each other. As always, if the children do not know what sound each letter makes, I will tell them. (This means they are still using their auditory discrimination skills, even if they do not recognize the letters.) 

We’ve been working on the “sssssss” sound since the beginning of the year, but notice we’re STILL working on it.  We’ve simply added to it. This is because the “ssssssss” sound is STILL important, there is no sense in learning and forgetting. It’s also important that each child experiences success. Some of the children may not remember what sound our newest letter “Ll” makes, but while they are being challenged, they still can experience success. 

Notice we use lowercase letters (we used uppercase and lowercase with “Ll”) for our activities. Often, children will be taught uppercase letters first, but it’s more important to be able to recognize lowercase for reading because the VAST MAJORITY of letters used are lowercase. If you don’t believe me, just re-read this article (or any article!) and count how many uppercase vs. how many lowercase letters are used.

Tagged: educationphonicsletterssoundsearly yearseyfskey stage oneteacherteachingteachschoolnqtpgceqtsreadingwritingspellingcommunicationliteracylistening

Video to accompany this photo.


Video to accompany this photo.

Tagged: educationteacherteachingteachresourcesclassroomcoloursphonicssoundsreadingspellingsight wordsnumeracynumbersmathmathscountingaddingminussubtractionprimarypgceschoolqtsnqtnational curriculumkey stage onekey stage two



I saw this idea on the Organized Classroom Blog a few days ago. My kids are loving these “Magic Revealing Words”. I’ve got them in my art center. Be sure to follow the OC Blog if you haven’t already!

I like it!



I saw this idea on the Organized Classroom Blog a few days ago. My kids are loving these “Magic Revealing Words”. I’ve got them in my art center. Be sure to follow the OC Blog if you haven’t already!

I like it!

Tagged: educationteacherteachingteachschoolphonicsreadingwritingspellingletterssoundsreceptionnational curriculumkey stage oneeyfsearly yearsnqtpgceqts

Source: from-student-to-teacher

Mr Thorne Does Phonics →

Tagged: educationteacherteachingteachschoolphonicslinkresourcesclassroomreadingwritingsoundslanguageenglishliteracyliteracture


My favorite new addition to our “learning room”. I still need to find objects for some of the cubbies. But I’m on a roll!

Tagged: educationteacherteachingschoolnurseryclassroomlettersresourceslearningreceptionkey stage onesoundsphonicswritingreadingspellingeyfsearly yearsearly years foundation stagenqtpgceqts


Bubble Wrap is a great Motivator! Write sight words on the flat part of the bubblewrap and when they a student reads or spells the word correctly, they got to pop the bubble! (You could do letter recognition, number recognition, math facts, etc.)


Bubble Wrap is a great Motivator! Write sight words on the flat part of the bubblewrap and when they a student reads or spells the word correctly, they got to pop the bubble! (You could do letter recognition, number recognition, math facts, etc.)

Tagged: educationteacherteachingteachphonicssoundsreadingwritingspellingenglishlanguageliteracyliteratureactivityeyfsearly yearsreceptionearly years foundation stagenqtpgceqtsbubblewrapplanningplannerkinesthetic

Pre-Reception (3-4 years) ~ Sound Table

A selection of some of the items the children have brought to our sound table, over the past academic year.

Tagged: teachteacherteachingschooleducationphonicssoundsreadingwritinglisteningspellingdisplayclassroomearly yearslearningeyfsearly years foundation stagekindergartenkindergardennurserybgreception


Science Discovery Bottles

Lots of ideas for making discovery bottles for children to make and/or observe.

Saw this post and it reminded me of what the early years (0-2 years) section of the Nursery, have in one of their sensory boxes. Not quite the same, but has given me a few ideas of what kind of sensory bottles to add :D

Tagged: bottleletterscoloursmixingcolour mixingraindiscoverysensorysciencephonicssoundsdensityhidehiddenmysteryclassroomeducationteacherteachingschoolprimaryearly yearsnurserydisplaycreativeartcommunication

See Kels Learn: Phonics Week 1 →


This is the first week I am teaching phonics in my kindergarten student teaching placement. This will entail a 10-15 minute mini lesson and three small groups for the rest of 20 minutes each day. For the small groups, I will be doing beginning sounds with 4 students, my cooperative teacher will be doing segmenting CVC words with 4 students, and the rest of the students will be reading.

Here are a few of the activities I planned:

Phonics mini lesson:


As a group, we will use a pocket chart to sort these cutouts into those that start with the Dd sound and those that do not. For those that do not, we will figure out what the beginning sound is.

Segmenting CVC words:


The students will draw two consonants and a vowel from baggies to create CVC words. They will practice reading and segmenting the words they create. This will also introduce them to nonsense words (I hope it isn’t too soon for that…it might be).


These and other items with CVC names will be in a bag. The student with the bag will choose an item without taking it all the way out of the bag (so that others will not know what they’ve chosen) and segment the name of the item so that others can guess what item they’ve chosen.


To play this game, the students will draw a card with a CVC word on it. As they segment the word, they will move their game piece forward one space for each phoneme they say aloud (for example, a student would move their cat forward three spaces for the word cat: one space for /c/, one space for /a/, and one space for /t/). The game will continue until all players reach the end.

Beginning sounds:


The students will sort objects by their beginning sound. This game will span two days: I will cover three letters at a time so that the students are only sorting objects with three beginning sounds.

Unpictured beginning sounds activity: I will use magnets to hang three letters on the board. Two at a time, the students will get pointers and race each other to point to the beginning sound of a word I say aloud.

For those who will be reading during the small group work, I made these to help them track print:


Whew! I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m going to be observed for the first time on Wednesday.

Tagged: phonicssoundslettersreadingwritingspellingcommunicationactivitiesphase 2early yearsprimarynurseryschoolkindergardenkindergarteneducationteacherteachingkey stage one

Source: seekelslearn

Some inspirational photos for some Guy Fawkes / Bonfire Night / Fireworks poems!!

"Remember, remember,
the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why
Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!”

Credit: Play. Learn. Dream

Taken: Chicago & New York, USA & North Yorkshire, England.

— I’m off to my local Bonfire Night celebrations tomorrow evening, which this year, or so I’ve being set to Music!! Can’t wait to discuss this with the children on Monday!! Especially as Monday (5th November) is the official day of celebration/remembrance.

History of Guy Fawkes Night / The Gunpowder Plot

Random Fact: The day before the 5th November (4th November) is known as Mischief Night, as this was the day when the Gunpowder Barrels were planted in the Houses of Parliament.

- I’m not sure where this comes from but this night is commonly known in my area and others throughout the country. Guy Fawkes was born and educated not to far from where I reside and I have visited the city where he grew up, the church where he was baptized and the school that he attended (Yes, the School is still open and flourishing to this day). Guy Fawkes also has very strong links to the town where I live, due to his parentage and therefore… we made a big deal about this day!! ENJOY and STAY SAFE!!

Tagged: acrosticalliterationbonfirecolourseducationenglishfireworksgunpowderguy fawkeslanguagelightliteracypoemspoetrysoundsteacherteachinghistory