Resources to Support Science in the Foundation Stage
The ICT interactive whiteboard has been selected to support teaching and learning for teacher-led and independent activities. The audio and visual aspects of the interactive whiteboard have been highlighted as key resources. The other resources include picture folders and art and craft materials (e.g., stencils, paint, etc.).
Online video clips and songs displayed on the interactive whiteboard will indiscriminately introduce and extend learning concerning minibeasts. The use of online video clips and songs will develop pupil understanding and discussion techniques concerning minibeasts. The clips and songs will also contribute to creating a highly effective, concentrated learning atmosphere within the classroom, the consequence of which will enable all of the pupils to progress in healthy educational development – allowing them to work towards achieving the set goals and outcomes.
Visual and audio sensory learners will particularly benefit from the use of the interactive clips, as they serve as instant visual aids to learning. The most appropriate and levelled video clips for the learning topic have been chosen, ensuring that pupils are able to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. The use of picture folders which pupils colour in will greatly enhance their learning.
The understanding of individuals who learn kinaesthetically will be greatly increased through these mediums, especially as the mediums will serve as forms of enjoyment and revision techniques within the lesson. Thus, the use of the interactive whiteboard maximises the opportunity for the lesson objectives to be understood well by all of the pupils. The individualised learning opportunity, recognised as personalised learning by DSCF (2007b), will then be revealed as a goal of the teacher when assisting all pupils, allowing them to become ‘independent learners’ (Whitebread, 2003).
The use of realia will also assist learners. By touching, using and smelling objects and materials, new types of understanding will come to light. These include an appreciation of random shapes made from bubbles, used to create imaginative minibeasts.
As Atkinson and Fleer (1995) mention, added encouragement from the teacher, in this case motivating pupils to find enjoyment through all of the resources mentioned, will help pupils to form an understanding from their own questions. Such questions will arise from an in-depth understanding of scientific literacy, which in this instance is delivered through the said resources (Roden, 2005). The combined actions of the teacher and the pupils will serve to accomplish the goals of pupil enjoyment and achievement in lessons, goals listed amongst the crucial aims of the EYFS (DCSF, 2007a).
In short, visual, kinaesthetic and audio learning work together to complement and aid the successful understanding of minibeasts of reception class learners and mark the teacher as a creative educator (Oliver, 2006). Indeed, a diligently creative teacher who thus creates a firm grounding of understanding for reception class pupils will also recognise that planning for the learning preferences of pupils is of utmost benefit to the success of lessons (De Boo, 2000; Johnston, 2005).