Grant holder
Vicki Paterson, Balgreen Nursery School
Project status
In Progress

Balgreen Nursery School and Calderglen Murrayburn Early Years Campus are aiming to rediscover the benefits of the Froebelian occupation of Clay as this was identified to be underused in practice.

Project Summary

The practitioners at Balgreen Nursery School and Calderglen Murrayburn Early Years Campus intend to investigate Froebelian Principles and practice, through a book group and shared reading of key texts by Lucy Parker, Helen Tovey, Tina Bruce and Jenny Spratt focusing on the role of play and creativity in relation to integrating elements of development and learning.

The practitioners in the setting have recognised that clay is an underused resource and its benefits are not fully understood by all staff. Using practical training by Thelma Miller and the insight gained by the shared reading experience, it is the intention of this project to explore the benefits and value of clay with a particular focus on how clay experiences can support the Froebelian principle of the holistic nature of the child’s development through this open-ended resource.

Knowledgeable educators underpin a Froebelian approach and for the staff to have this training opportunity will be vital as it will provide the staff with the first- hand experience of the clay as the children would. It will support staff to feel confident in supporting, extending and introducing new skills to the children. The shared training between the two staff teams will help to support and increase confidence in documenting children’s learning and how to support and extend the setting up of a clay area.

Through observations, the team aims to highlight the value of clay as an open-ended resource, and they hope that as children explore clay with the company of a knowledgeable practitioner, they will be able to express their own ideas and make connections with the world around them through their own symbolic representations. The team recognises that there is an interconnectedness of the resources offered to children and skills can be promoted using a variety of open-ended resources in every area of the setting.

Other Research

Discover more Froebel Trust funded research on clay

Read the report
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Froebel Trust pamphlets

Take a look at our pamphlet on Exploring Clay by Lucy Parker to know more about how clay can be used with young children at home and in early years settings

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