At Boogie Mites, we have been developing our music workshops and resources for over 15 years. We believe in learning through interactive play, and there is nothing more uplifting and memorable than music. So, throughout lockdown we moved our EYFS learning online.
Music fulfils each of the 7 aspects of the EYFS, and in our blog for Nursery Management Today (NMT) we talked about how music benefits mental and physical wellbeing. However, it’s not just content that we need to reconsider when planning post-lockdown, we must also recalibrate our delivery and follow the EYFS online.
We usually offer our music and movement programmes in a number of ways:
- Trained music leaders deliver music sessions in nursery settings
- Freelance music leaders run community groups which are attended by parents and children each week
- Workshops with primary schools and EY settings – supporting school readiness for children transitioning into Year R
- Face-to-face training workshops for practitioners
We love what we do, and believe that learning through interactive play is the best way for children and practitioners to learn and develop. However, with the restrictions of lockdown, we must find other ways to deliver the magical benefits of music.
Moving the EYFS Online – Our Virtual Communities
At the start of lockdown, we noticed a surge on our social media channels. Parents and practitioners were looking for different ways to support their children. We needed to keep supporting the EY community through our delivery. So we decided to build several online platforms.
In order to move the EYFS online, we:
- set up free music workshops for parents and carers who were locked down at home in the first 10 weeks. We practiced and perfected our online delivery which then turned into our new Online Music Club.
- offered bespoke Facebook Groups for parents, nursery groups and practitioner training.
- delivered Family Learning funded courses in partnership with Primary Schools across Portsmouth and Hampshire
- our Local Area Business Managers provided Zoom sessions for families. Nicole Heard, who manages Boogie Mites Portsmouth CIC, was successful with a local funding bid to offer free sessions and portals for families who usually enjoy Boogie Mites community groups, and care homes that enjoy intergenerational sessions, so that she could deliver online Boogie Mites sessions for those suffering from social isolation.
This was a new experience for the Boogie Mites team and it was only possible due to the dedication and supportive nature of everyone.
We’re so glad that we’ve been able to keep delivering music and movement sessions to support learning during lockdown, but we’ve found both pros and cons:
- Sessions could be watched at any time and were available on repeat. This made them really accessible for working parents and great for children. Repetition is key.
- Reach. We reached families all over the world. Our workshops reached as far as India thanks to collaborations with our international partners.
- Parents had a direct line of communication with Boogie Mites tutors.
- We created a community and support network for families to enjoy from the comfort of their own home.
- Parents who may not have the confidence to attend an onsite session could still take part.
- There was a reduction in printing and paperwork as all forms were completed and submitted online.
- There’s nothing like leading music and movement sessions in person – you build relationships and children gain socials skills.
- Parents and children could not build relationships with other families.
- Teachers could not observe the progress of individual children or directly support families.
We hope that we can start moving back to community groups soon. Until then, we have developed a solid foundation for delivering sessions online. One that can benefit everyone.
If you’d like to enquire about:
- Bespoke Training Groups
- School Ready Online Transition Groups
- Online ‘Bubble’ Workshops for Children and Practitioners in their settings
- Online sessions for parents, childminders and home educators, and children at home
Please email Sue Newman, Boogie Mites Director, or call her on: 023 92 817274.