In the summer of 2016, I worked with the education rangers at Sherwood Pines to develop a free resource for use at Forestry England sites. One Best Photo is one outcome from this partnership and is a resource that can be used with early years and primary aged children. In the planning pack, teachers learn how to teach photography skills to young learners whilst children capture the relationship between people, wildlife and timber. This resource is available for free on iTunes and the education rangers at Sherwood Pines are welcoming groups to their forest to use this pack for free. All you need to do it pack up your iPad devices and get your group to the forest!
Since publishing, One Best Photo has made its away to classes around the UK and across the world. At the Nursery World Show in January, I met Chloe Webster from Pebbles Childcare. Chloe took on some of the principles and practices of One Best Photo at her setting and kindly shares her experiences using this resource.
Over to you Chloe…
I have been working in Early Years for 7 years now, first as an Early Years Practitioner in a day nursery in addition to being a Playworker, working with school-aged children, part-time too. During my time as an Early Years Practitioner, I was primarily based with the Pre-School age group.
In 2016, I became a registered childminder and joined my colleague Bridgit Brown at her childcare provision Pebbles Childcare, in Worthing West Sussex; where we offer a professional and individual service for children aged 0-8years.
Attending the “Rich Potential of Children’s Photography” seminar at the Nursery World Show left me feeling inspired and excited to incorporate the principles of the “One Best Photo” framework into our practice.
The activities that Marc Faulder demonstrated were awe-inspiring and resulted in the development of our half-term photography project. The older children used the iPad to take their photos and we began by teaching the basics; how to focus on an object, take the photo, review the photos and delete the ones we didn’t want. I then tasked the children with a theme to photograph “Pets, People and Patterns”, and we embarked upon walks through our local town (led and guided by the children) to find things they wished to photograph. Back at the setting, once the children were happy they had captured enough material, they reviewed their photos, deleting the ones they didn’t want and selected their “Best 5 Photos”. I introduced the PicCollage app, performing a brief tutorial and then the children independently used the app to collate their photos into a collage; re-sizing, moving and decorating their photos. I then sent the collages off to the printers to be blown up and printed. Whilst we waited for the prints, the children set about decorating their own photo frames to display the photos on our display board, which we turned into our Gallery for this project, I also introduced some literacy here too and the children wrote a short piece on why they chose their photos for their collages.
As childminders, the children we work with vary in ages on a daily basis and so I felt it was important to adapt this half term project not only for the older children, but for the younger children too. As a result, the under 3’s used the Kiddicamera to set about photographing “Things I Like”, it was truly remarkable to see how quickly the children picked up the functions of the camera, and understood the task. The photos they captured are remarkable for someone so young. Again, I printed the photos and the children picked their “Best Five Photos” and collaged them onto paper to be displayed in the “Gallery”.
From attending the seminar, to bringing this project into my practice, it has truly opened my eyes to what an incredible impact technology has on our children. I have never seen the children so focused, enthusiastic and co-operative as they were, and as a practitioner, it was wonderful to watch all of their learning come together with very little guidance from me; they explored the resources independently, learning through trial and error and each other and took so much pride in not only taking their photos, but presenting them too.
The “One Best Photo” resource has been a wealth of inspiration and knowledge and moving forward I am keen to bring the principles into our every day practice, in addition to incorporating it into our Beach School sessions, which we will be launching soon. We had planned to create a “Beach Story” for each child, similar to a Learning Story, however as a result of this project, I am keen now to encourage the children to independently create their own “Beach Story” using the iPad and Kiddicamera to capture and collate their own Beach School experiences.
I am so grateful for the incredible seminar Marc delivered and the knowledge he has shared that has enabled me to create such an incredible learning opportunity for our children.
Thank You Chloe, and the team at Pebbles, for sharing your experiences! I look forward to hearing about your beach adventures with One Best Photo too!
Download One Best Photo from Apple Books (Free)
This course is designed to lead you through a photography project a Forestry England site.
This activity is self-lead at the forest site, where you will teach your children 3 photography skills: perspectives, close-ups and landsacpes. The course includes a recommended route to take through your forest which will help you to tell the story of a working forest through photography.
Forestry England have 3 priorities: people, wildlife and timber. Your children’s photographs should capture these stories through the 3 photography skills.
All of the apps, examples and resources are included in this guide are free.