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Mud Kitchen Project

Mud Kitchen Project


on 14 January 2016

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Transcript of Mud Kitchen Project

A Mud Kitchen Project in an F2 Reception Class
Steps to Implementing the Change
Extending the mud kitchen provision
Impact on practice
In EYP placement two, an audit of the outdoor provision was carried out ................

This revealed an extremely well resourced outdoor area

1. A meeting with the Foundation Stage manager.........

Very informal 1-1 discussion
What was the reaction to the suggestion of change?
Foundation Stage manager was very open to the idea of implementing a mud kitchen because:

Effective early years leaders:
Are willing to make changes to practice (Moyles, 2006)
Have a positive attitude to new experiences (Rodd, 2006)

This leader is an effective early years leader due to:
Workforce Reform
Has completed an ECS degree entrenched in child development theories and is a qualified EYP (Calder, 2008; Moss, 2008)
Has quite recently qualified as a teacher but has many years of early years experience
Is used to the culture of change within early years (Aubrey, 2007)

From my perspective:

How the rationale for the change was communicated
Through sharing my vision and enthusiasm for this project there was a realisation that we were working towards a common goal
(Rodd, 2006)
2. Gathering resources- in order to be creative and innovative
Keep an open mind
Be innovative
Look past the idea of 'junk'
Think 'outside the box'
Gather unusual items
Natural materials
Bear safety in mind
(White, 2008)
The finished mud kitchen
Reflection on the initial change
There were no barriers to this change, however bearing in mind that change can cause resistance due to:
Fear of unknown
Lack of ownership
Lack of knowledge and understanding
Excessive imposed change

In future I would ensure all the team were involved to minimise any resistance.

(Rodd, 2006; Aubrey, 2007)
Reflecting on the observations made during mud play..........

Children displayed high levels of involvement and well being (Laevers, 1994)
The children were learning in all EYFS areas of development
These observations could inform planning and extend the learning of the children by linking activities with learning outcomes to play in the mud kitchen
Necessary to start the change process again in order to initiate further changes
What next?

Although there was now a different Foundation Stage manager I had the same positive reactions to change
So why change practice and provision that is already outstanding?

Change is inevitable and continual (Mullins, 2007)
Ressurection of creativity (Hargreaves, 2009)
Application of research to enhance provision (Rodd, 2006)

Observing the mud play
The Mud Kitchen in action
Introducing the mud kitchen
Meeting with all staff
This time change was managed by:
Communicating continually
Staff participation in planning the change
Incorporating staff ideas (Schrag et al., 1985)

This was done to ensure that there was:
No conflict
No resistance to change
The change was a collective vision
All parties had some ownership
(Siraj-Blatchford and Manni, 2006; Rodd, 2006)
Reflection on leadership within the school
Positivity not all down to workforce reform and route taken into teaching role
Culture within the school
Although the area was very well resourced, many of the resources were expensive items which needed to be packed away or looked after in a certain way, therefore:

Children were limited to HOW they could use some of the resources
Children were limited to WHEN they could use some of the resources

so was this an
enabling environment?

Positive reaction to change also due to:
Team culture within the school
Based on collective vision
Through shared understanding

Characteristics of distributed leadership
Leadership within the school
Head - OVERALL displays a situational leadership style

YET regarding this project
Distributed leadership - collaborative style - trust placed in formal and informal leaders through mission and direction with constant open communication between head and FS manager.

FS Manager - Distributed leadership - trust placed with me to design and implement the change, however I was supported and given guidance throughout
Empowerment through feedback and evaluation of impact
Encouraging reflection to improve my professional development
Leadership capacity building' (Harris and Lambert, 2003)
(Siraj-Blatchford and Manni, 2006)
(Siraj-Blatchford and Manni, 2006)
The first activity linked to planning would be mud recipes
Although the children found this enjoyable; reflection with my mentor after the activity identified modifications to the recipe book were needed as although the children were fine with the numbers, only some of the children could read the words. So this was changed to symbols rather than words
Reflection on action (Schon, 1983)
Mud kitchen is still part of continuous outdoor provision and a hive of activity
Have also done 'mud painting' and linked to literacy planning
Staff continue to link the mud kitchen to the planning from time to time
This creative project has shown the practitioners that resources do not have to be expensive for the children to enjoy them and learn lots (many commented on doing similar things as a child)
Impact on my personal practice
Reiterated importance of:
collaboration and sharing ideas prior to change
Reflection to improve practice
Involving all stakeholders; this is something I will do on my next mud kitchen project
Other reasons for change
• Aubrey, C. (2007) Leading and Managing in the Early Years. London: Sage Publications.
• Athey, C. (1990) Extending Thought in Young Children. London: Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd.
Belbin, M. (2010) Team Roles at Work. (2nd ed.) Oxford: Elsevier.
• Bruner, J. (1978) 'The role of dialogue in language acquisition'. In Sinclair, A. Jarvella, R. J. And Levelt, W. J. M. (eds.) The Child's Concept of Language. New York: Springer-Verlag.
• Calder, P. (2008) ‘Early Childhood Studies Degrees: The Development of a Graduate Profession’. In Miller, L. and Cable, C. (eds.) Professionalism in the Early Years. London: Hodder Education.
• Department for Education (DfE) (2012) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Runcorn: Department for Education.
• Fjortoft, I. (2001) The Natural Environment as a Playground for Children: The Impact of Outdoor Play Activities in Pre-Primary School Children. Early Childhood Education Journal. 29 (2) pp. 111-117.
• Hargreaves, A. (2009) ‘Sustainable Leadership’. In Davies, B. (ed.) The Essentials of School Leadership. (2nd ed.) London: Sage Publications.
• Harris, A. & Lambert, L. (2003) Building Leadership Capacity for School Improvement. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
• Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.
• Laevers, F. (1994) ‘The Innovative Project Experiential Education and the Definition of Quality in Education’. In: Laevers, F. (ed.) Defining and Assessing Quality in Early Childhood Education. Leuven: Leuven University Press.
• Laevers, F. (2000) Forward to Basics! Deep‐Level-Learning and the Experiential Approach. Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development. 20 (2) pp. 20-29.
• Moss, P. (2008) ‘The Democratic and Reflective Professional: Rethinking and Reforming the Early Years Workforce’. In Miller, L. and Cable, C. (eds.) Professionalism in the Early Years. London: Hodder Education.
• Moyles, J. (2006) Effective Leadership and Management in the Early Years. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
• Mullins, L.J. (2007) Management and Organisational Behaviour. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
• National Wildlife Federation (NWF) (2012) Be Out There. Reston, VA: NWF.
• Palmer, S. (2007) Toxic Childhood - How the Modern World is Damaging Our Children and What We Can Do About it. London: Orion Books Ltd.
• Pretty, P. Angus, C. Bain, M. Barton, J. Gladwell, V. Hine, R. Pilgrim, S. Sandercock, G. and Sellens, M. (2009) Nature, Childhood, Health and Life Pathways. Colchester: University of Essex.
• Rodd, J. (2006) Leadership in Early Childhood. 3rd Ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
• Schon, D. A. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. USA: Basic Books Inc.
• Schrag, L. Nelson, E. and Siminowsky, T. (1985) Helping Employees Cope with Change. Childcare Information Exchange. September. pp. 3-6. In Rodd, J. (2006) Leadership in Early Childhood. 3rd Ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
• Siraj-Blatchford, I. Sylva, K. Muttock, S. Gilden, R. and Bell, D. (2002) Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years. Norwich: Department for Education and Skills.
• Siraj-Blatchford, I. And Manni, L. (2006) Effective Leadership in the Early Years Sector (ELEYS) Study. London: Institute of Education, University of London.
• Stephens, K. (2009) Imaginative Play During Childhood: Required for Reaching Full Potential. Exchange Magazine. (March/April) pp.53-56.
• Sylva, K., Taggart, B., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., and Siraj-Blatchford, I. (1999) The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education [EPPE] Project: A longitudinal Study funded by the DfEE (1997-2003).
• Vygotsky, L.S. (1976). Play and its Role in the Mental Development of the Child. Soviet Psychology. 5. pp. 6-18.
• White, J. (2008) Playing and Learning Outdoors. Oxon: Routledge.

The theories behind this project are:
Experiential learning (Kolb, 1984; Laevers, 1994; 2000)
Well being and involvement (Laevers, 1994; 2000)
Symbolic play (Vygotsky, 1976; Stephens, 2009)
Social, emotional and language development (Vygotsky, 1976; Bruner, 1978)
Outdoor play (Fjortoft, 2001; Palmer, 2007; White, 2008; Pretty et al., 2009; NWF, 2012)
Mud play (White, 2008, NWF, 2012)
Open ended play (Kolb, 1984)
Child initiated/child led-Adult initiated/adult supported play (Vygotsky, 1976; Bruner, 1978; Siraj-Blatchford et al., 2002)
Sustained shared thinking (Siraj-Blatchford et al., 2002)
Roles played within the change
Myself - Completer/Finisher - Conscientious, anxious and reluctant to delegate

FS Manager - Specialist - supplies knowledge and skills and contributes on a narrow front
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