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Behind the Scenes: A day in the life of an early years teacher

At BIS HCMC, our Virtual School Experience (VSE) provision draws upon the expertise, resourcefulness and creativity of our teaching heroes to deliver an engaging online learning experience across the Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS), allowing our youngest students to interact with their teachers and with each other. 

This article will follow the educational journey and impact of Foundation Stage 1’s (F1) ‘Rhyme of the Week’, to highlight one of the learning processes we promote for Early Years children during  Virtual Learning. One of our F1 teachers at BIS HCMC,  will be reflecting upon how we plan, prepare and produce our content and provision to maximise learning and social well being  for the students and to build effective student - parent-teacher partnership.

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Teaching online for EYFS teachers is very similar to being in school with the children. One day I am pretending to be a superhero saving the world and the next day I can be a doctor saving lives! We dress up to give the children a concrete picture of what we are learning about and we produce resources with just about anything.

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Singing nursery rhymes and songs to children whilst they are young can help develop their language and communication skills from an early age. This is why in F1, we have decided to pick a rhyme to focus on each week which then promotes familiarity with language patterns, numeracy and rhythm. Our rhyme for the week is 5 Currant Buns. This video was filmed with home-made resources, including a make-shift green screen from a piece of material hung over two dining chairs and featured a cameo appearance from my partner who wore a variety of bracelets and other accessories to play the different roles. Our little puppy even made an exciting appearance which the children truly loved!

As learning and teaching continue to evolve as children learn online due to the pandemic, our technical skills have also required upskilling, as well as increased teamwork amongst all Foundation stage staff. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning and developing my own skills when using a variety of applications, websites and tools such as ‘Canva’ and ‘iMovie’ to create animated and child-friendly videos and stories that the children will enjoy. This professional development has not gone unnoticed, parent feedback has been positive regarding the energy that we teachers bring and how engaging the videos are for the young learners during our Virtual School Experience.

The pre-recorded nursery rhyme video was made accessible to all F1 students. This allowed them to watch and rewatch the content with their parents and families, to help them acquire the language, inspire them to play the roles and engage with the counting aspect of the rhyme.

During our live calls, we revisited the nursery rhyme to extend on the children’s understanding and learning with support from our teaching assistants. The Foundation Stage teachers have found ways to create their own resources to make the live calls interactive. I found myself transforming from the usual Ms Christine into the baker from the rhyme, fashioning an apron and a baker’s hat to role-play interactions at the baker’s shop. As you can imagine, my students loved buying buns from me, pretending to pay me with their imaginary penny and trying to pull the bun from the screen. Furthermore, we personalised as we sang along by using our students’ names which improved engagement and even encouraged children to invent their own versions at home.

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Following our live online calls, we also prepared a creative activity for our students and families to engage with. With resourcefulness as a huge consideration, similar to our situation, we must appreciate the limitations of the materials families have access to at home. Other  F1 teachers at BIS HCMC supported by, creating a Seesaw Activity how-to video to explore recycling everyday items and materials into props. With these resources, our children and families were able to: retell the nursery rhyme at home, practise counting and even perform their own role-play activities with their parents and siblings! We really enjoyed seeing them pretend to hand out the buns, count with their fingers and innovate different versions of the rhyme with us.


 We have loved seeing photographs and videos of our students engaged and exploring these learning opportunities, and must recognise the parent involvement throughout this learning journey. Especially at this age, the parents are our partners in this Virtual Learning Experience and we appreciate all that they continue to do. The positive feedback we have received so far indicates how engaging online learning can be, and that it is truly possible even with the youngest year group in the school. Beginning with a simple nursery rhyme, I hope we have demonstrated the many possibilities to enhance Virtual Learning provision for EYFS learners. Despite the challenges of Virtual School, creativity, collaboration and adjusting to the new technologies are helping us to provide the highest quality, personalised learning and social wellbeing for our youngest students at BIS HCMC.

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Christine De Ubago
EYFS Class Teacher

Learn more about our Virtual School Experience here.