BLAST 2 (2)
No. If you have completed BLAST (1) training then you can deliver BLAST 2 simply by reading the release notes and familiarising yourself with the pack contents.
If you have not completed any BLAST training then you will be required to train before you can deliver BLAST 1 or 2 – this helps us keep the standards really high and ensures great results.
If you pre-order a pack before January 31st 2013 you will receive your pack by March 15th 2013.
If you order AFTER the pre-order deadline we will deliver your pack as soon as we can after March 15th 2013 plus you won’t qualify for the introductory discount.
General FAQs (5)
We thought that the children may get fed up after a number of weeks in but the converse is true! Children enjoy repetition and the activities are fun. The children also enjoy being praised and rewarded and they don’t have to worry about getting anything wrong – because in BLAST they never do. We usually have the BLAST group coming along enthusiastically and another 6 asking when it will be their turn! This is also why it’s important for the BLAST resources to be kept for BLAST groups only as it keeps their interest. Each activity could be used separately but the reason that BLAST works is due to the structure, repetition and gradual increase in difficulty. If the children use the resources in other contexts, it won’t be so effective. Additional BLAST resources for use in class will soon be available via the website.
BLAST worked! The teachers in that cluster group discussed it and Nikki was asked to provide packs to them. From this cluster group, it spread to other Sure Start areas, cluster groups and schools / early years settings. We were asked to provide packs for them too. We received funding from Sure Start and the PCT to provide packs into every Early Years setting in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland and it snowballed from there!
Initially, Nikki really wanted to use real photos for the resources. There are difficulties with a family in representing all members of the community, all abilities, race and ages. Consequently, as with ‘Tellytubbies’ and ‘In the Night garden’, our own family of strange looking ‘neutral’ characters were formed! As children are so used to these kinds of funny coloured characters – they took to them extremely well and the BLAST family are very popular.
Neither Nikki nor the teachers involved accepted that 3 and 4 year olds should experience ‘failure’ so early in their school careers yet many of these children felt that they ‘couldn’t do it’ and many of them went on to play truant by 7 or 8 years old. It was important that whatever we came up ensured children always succeeded -failure is not an option!- BLAST is a teaching tool, not a testing tool. As professionals, we know when children struggle, their experience should be wholly positive.
BLAST was developed in response to an identified need within a Sure Start area of Middlesbrough. Children at aged 3-4 were entering the foundation stage without the basics of speech, language, attention, social communication or turn-taking. As a result, the foundation stage curriculum was way over their heads and the teachers were trying to push them to something unobtainable. Discussion between Nikki Joyce and one of these teachers identified this and identified that what was needed was a programme that started wherever the children were at and built them up in small steps….and so BLAST was born!