Planning in the Moment

I was very lucky to have attended a conference on Monday held by Early Years Consultant Anna Ephgrave. I really do share the same views as Anna and feel really passionate about ensuring children have rich learning experiences in a play based environment. I am really excited to be part of the EYFS team here at North Walkden as we begin to make changes to create our holistic and child led vision for our youngest children. 

In summary this is my Nursery pedagogy:-

Children are born with a natural desire to explore and learn and practitioners in Nursery can support them in this.  We do this by creating an enabling environment (both physical and emotional) and through the relationships and interactions that the children experience.  We do not plan ahead, rather we remain “in the moment” with the children as they explore and learn.  We observe carefully, and enhance the learning whenever we spot a “teachable moment”.  Our observations, interactions and the outcomes are recorded afterwards to create a personalised learning journey. This means that children are experiencing quality interactions with all adults, rather than singular snapshots of learning. 

Brain Development

Babies are born with billions of brain cells and with stimulation these cells connect and form synapses.  This is brain development, this is a child making “progress”, this is when a brain is “lit up”.  Without stimulation the brain will not develop fully.  This has been illustrated all too starkly in the case of the children from the Romanian orphanages.  These children were fed and clean, their basic needs were met - however they were left in cots without interactions or stimulation, for up to three years of their lives.  Their brain scans show huge gaps in their brains, particularly in the areas which regulate emotions and senses.  These children struggle to develop empathy and have extreme cognitive delays.

It is vital, that young children are stimulated and that the opportunities for synapse development are maximised.  We need their brains to be “lit up” as much as possible.  Brain activity and synapse formation are at their highest when a child is deeply engrossed in something which fascinates, challenges and makes them happy.  Every child is unique and we cannot predict or impose what will spark that deep fascination by planning for them.  Each child is at a different level of development and therefore something that will challenge one child will be mundane for the next. Equally one child will be at their happiest digging in the mud while another will enjoy sitting and drawing a wonderful picture.  We need to organise the setting so that each child can excel in their own unique way. 

Most importantly is the fact that we are delivering excellent early years practice which is best for the children.  As practitioners, we are passionate and determined in our defence of best early years practice.  The “top down” pressure for the “schoolification” of the early years is intense.  We need to demonstrate that children can achieve outstanding progress by playing, following their hearts, pursuing their interests and taking risks.  The environment and interactions that we offer are crucial in this endeavour.  I hope as parents you feel confident and inspired to trust that your children do have a natural desire to explore and learn and have an understanding of how we support children’s exploration and learning through the environment and the interactions that we offer.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, if you would like to discuss anything to do with your child at nursery please feel free to make an appointment at any time. 

Miss Kelbie

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Worsley Road North, Walkden

Worsley, Manchester, Lancs, M28 3QD

Tel: 01204 571039

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