Ruth Moyler is an experienced EY teacher, team leader working at leadership level, active SLE and associate lecturer involved in Initial Teacher Training. Her key skills are in championing creative approaches to learning and critical thinking. Ruth is best known for her work in ‘Fabulous Phonics’, reading for pleasure and the development of ‘Green Studios’ for children, on school playgrounds.
RECENT EXAMPLES OF RUTH’S CONSULTANCY WORK
CREATIVE APPROACHES TO TEACHING ‘LETTERS & SOUNDS’ (2.5 hours)
Staff Workshop at St Anthony’s Primary School, London SE22
Since the client group represented staff working with children from year 1 to year 6, it was necessary to include all 6 phonic phases in my presentation, whilst emphasising Phases 2, 3, 4 and 5. I provided copies of my own materials, with a detailed overview for future reference. As I raised challenges the staff were keen to interact, so I was able to ‘try out’ my play-based teaching methods using tiny toys, and to also persuade them to join in the songs and raps, using the corresponding materials.
Apart from the active learning, there was an opportunity to address broader issues such as the importance of parent engagement and the promotion of reading for pleasure.
EARLY LITERACY SUPPORT (half day x 6 weeks)
Staff support at the Grove Nursery , London SE15
The Local Authority hired me to to support Early Literacy within this Nursery as an area ‘requiring improvement’ by OFSTED. After the initial staff meeting, I introduced my ‘Pre-Fab Phonics’ scheme with related sensory tasks, currently being trialled at John Donne. I provided materials, modelled the approach and also observed and encouraged others adopting these methods. During the six-week period, OFSTED re-inspected and upgraded the Early Literacy provision to ‘Good’.
WORKSHOP: ‘FROM CREATIVITY TO CRITICAL THINKING’ (1 hour x 2)
Southwark’s ‘Good to Outstanding’ Early Years Conference, London SE15
These were practical workshops designed to raise the bar for ‘Creative Workshop’ activities within an Early Years environment in order to support teachers who find this challenging. The activities, many of which were based on plastic milk-bottles, were offered at three levels, bronze level being a predetermined task, devised by the teacher, with pre-set materials only on offer. The ‘silver level’, based on the Vygotsky notion of ‘scaffolding’ , offers a starting point such as a part-drawn picture or a very basic boat design, on which a child can build and extend their ideas, given an interesting range of materials. The ‘gold level’ is then the totally child-initiated approach, with a free range of materials. There was a good range of materials offered, and pre-made samples to examine.
This workshop, enthusiastically received, served to raise teachers’ confidence in teaching Art & Design, since it offered a structure rather than relying on their own skills.