Sometimes a training course is so inspirational, it changes a nursery’s core provision. This was the case at East Prescot Road Nursery School in Liverpool. It began offering woodwork to its three- and four-year-olds in January 2019 after senior teacher and curriculum lead Craig Bolton attended an Introducing Woodwork in Early Years Education course by early years creative consultant Pete Moorhouse.
Mr Bolton said, ‘We were looking at opportunities for how children can demonstrate problem-solving, and integrate all their learning in a way that they’re self-motivated. I wanted the woodwork to happen, but I didn’t know the staff would be convinced to the extent they were.’
Mr Moorhouse delivered the course in-house during an inset day to all 13 members of staff. It covered woodwork theory, particularly in relation to the EYFS, how the practice contributes to creative and critical thinking, health and safety and practical training on using tools. ‘A crucial part of the day was how inspirational it was,’ says Mr Bolton. Mr Moorhouse asked staff to put themselves in the position of children and ‘go off and explore’ tools and wood during the course. ‘He made everyone feel valued and confident.’
The school introduced the practice straight away, using a woodwork station in classrooms to teach children the basics, after which they improve their skills in a woodwork shed.
‘We noticed a lot of impact on children’s language,’ says Mr Bolton. ‘We had children who were reluctant communicators, but in the woodwork shed as they’re working, they are chatting: marking up with pencils where they want things chopped off.’
After the course, Mr Moorhouse guided the nursery through setting up the provision, helping with risk assessments and providing a shopping list of resources.
Further information: www.irresistible-learning.co.uk