Courses Menu

Using Social Media to Regain Some Normality for Children during Covid 19

Circle Time Live on Instagram

On Monday, 23rd March ’20, Natasha Murphy, Manager of Portobello Institute’s pre-school streamed circle time live on Instagram to the children of our setting. It was such a success with over 150 EY practitioners joining in including some of our past-pupils now living overseas! Children and their parents from our setting all logged in and here is Natasha’s feedback on the session.



Regaining a sense of normality

“Monday’s circle time was brilliant and enjoyable. The interaction through comments was amazing and has just given me so much confidence to do this again! I am going to make sure to refer to the replies from the children in the next session as some children were so happy that I mentioned their name! I am overwhelmed with all the positive feedback, parents of my own setting have stated how happy their children were to see me, and that even the parents enjoyed it!

One parent said that it was wonderful to regain a sense of normality for their child during these difficult and hard times. I even had a follower, a past pupils of Portobello living overseas, who woke at 6am to watch the live circle time, due to a time difference.

Thank you to all those who joined in and who said their children are excited for our next circle time. I really appreciate it. I was delighted with everyone who viewed it live and, on our story, afterwards. I always dreamed of becoming an early year’s practitioner, as I come from a family of teachers, and I feel so fulfilled that I have had the opportunity to chase and catch my dream.”



When will Circle Time stream live again?

We are planning to stream circle time live again this Friday, 27th March ’20 at 10am.



Join us -  Links to our Instagram & Facebook 

 Instagram link - 

 Facebook link - 

We welcome everyone, children, parents, EY practitioners to join us – please spread the word to any children you know, get their parents to stream the session for them. We will try to mention as many of the children’s names as possible to make it real for them. Below is the plan for the session;


Circle Time Plan – Friday 27th March 2020: 

  • Welcome everybody  
  • Sing ‘hello song’  
  • Invite everyone to join in for exercise  
  • Following this, everyone will be invited to do yoga 
  • Relax and focus on breathing  
  • Ask the children – what day is it today and what is the weather like today 
  • Story book 
  • Selection of songs to sing 
  • Goodbye song 
  • Reminder that our next live circle will be Monday 30th  



What if I miss the session?

Don’t worry if you can’t make the session at 10am on Friday, it will be recorded on our story so you can see it at a later time.


Courses available for Early Years Practitioners



Discounts available on all programmes & Contacting Us

We appreciate the difficult circumstances the early years sector is facing with forced closure. There are substantial discounts available on all programmes commencing this year. We are working remotely so please ring Jenny on 01-8920031 or email her



What is Blended Learning?

Many students are seeking a combination of being able to study at a time that suits them but with the support of a tutor and the learning from peers included. Blended learning suits this student perfectly as it is a combination of contact tuition and distance learning. Everything needed to complete the course is available on a web-based learning platform. At the commencement of each module within a course, there will be a tutorial workshop held. This allows students the opportunity to meet their tutors. At this time, workshops are being delivered as webinars - that is a live tutorial delivered over the internet. During the webinar, a comprehensive overview of the content of the module, the learning outcomes and assessment requirements is covered. A demonstration on how to use the web-based learning platform is given during the induction. Assessments are uploaded online, and in many cases, a draft of your assessment can be submitted for feedback by your tutor before you submit the final version. Blended Learning for many is the best of both worlds, it gives you the independence and freedom to study at a time suited to you whilst also offering you the guidance from expert tutors.



About the author

Natasha Murphy is the manager of the Portobello Pre-school. This is a small pre-school in the inner city with as many as 25 nationalities among the 32 children in attendance. Natasha started her career as a Montessori teacher an undertook the BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Studies by blended learning with Portobello whilst continuing to work full-time. She continued her studies to the level 8 last year. Natasha was promoted to the role of manager as a result of her absolute dedication to the children and families she works with. Natasha constantly seeks opportunities to innovate and develop her practice and she is the epitome of a professional early years practitioner. Natasha has developed links with the local primary school and implemented a very successful transition programme with the school for children progressing from Portobello’s pre-school to their primary school. We are very proud to share Natasha’s story across our website and social media and hope early years practitioners as inspired by her as we are!



We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. Read More Allow Cookies