Children learn best when they:
- Make choices and contribute to learning experiences
- Share their opinions and diverse experiences and discuss their learning
- Have positive role models
- Learn in a responsive and supportive social environment
- Learn through multi-sensory experiences
- Participate actively in experiences that engage them emotionally, physically, cognitively and socially
Imaginative Play – The children learn to play together, to share, to use their imaginations and to expand their vocabulary. Children will often develop social skills through this type of play as they act out different situations and negotiate with each other. This type of play encourages children to express their feelings and engage in imaginary situations such as doctors and nurses and going to the post office. The children build on their knowledge of the real world through this type of play and develop thoughts and ideas about the community / world around them.
Reading / Picture Books -The children learn to listen when a story is being read. Acting out or reading stories and describing incidents from their own experiences helps to develop their language. Storytelling is an activity, which fosters the enjoyment of books, and can be a motivating factor in learning to read. Storytelling also encourages a positive relationship between adults and children and can often provide children with new ideas about the world they live in. Books develop vocabulary and often other skills such as counting, colour recognition and understanding of various topics and concepts.
Music -The children enjoy singing songs, using instruments and listening to a wide variety of music, from rhymes to classical and pop music. This helps to stimulate their awareness and enjoyment of music and gives them an opportunity to use music as a form of expression. Songs also encourage language development and often include mathematical/ intellectual concepts such as counting, colours, places and time and therefore are a fun way for children to learn new information at their own pace. Music also encourages lots of physical movement or can help children relax or sleep.
Creative Play – Children are introduced to activities such as painting, colouring, sticking, cutting, play dough, building sculptures etc. This allows the children to develop their creative and pre-writing skills. All these activities give the child a different medium to express their individual feelings, thoughts and emotions. Children will naturally learn about colours, numbers, weight, density and balance all while having great fun making a mess!
Sand & Water / Messy Play – We provide a range of sensory activities, which most of the children love. While messy play is great fun, it helps develop manipulative, early science and pre-math’s skills. By exploring and experimenting with sand, water and other materials such as rice, paper, pasta or leaves children learn about volume, quantity, texture, weight, density and form. Many children can express their emotions and feelings when playing with sand and water as well as finding it a very relaxing and soothing activity.
Play Dough – This is not just a fun activity for children; it can also help strengthen muscles in their hands and develop hand eye co-ordination. Once again this is an activity where the children’s imagination can be encouraged and developed. Play dough also allows the child to manipulate the material, which may relieve such emotions as anger/frustration. The children often also enjoy learning to make the playdough, an early science experiment.
Construction – Jigsaws, building blocks, Lego, shape sorters and so on, provide children with an engaging activity during which pre-reading, pre-writing and hand eye co-ordination are developed. The development of reasoning and problem solving is also developed and encourages fine motor skills. Matching, sorting and pairing are all early skills developed through play.
Energetic Play – Organised energetic activities, such as running, jumping, dancing, cycling and skipping, will be a part of the curriculum and encourages large motor movement. As well as aiding physical growth, such activities can be a learning opportunity and a great reliever of built-up energy. Children also need to be active throughout the day for their physical health and to develop skills in controlling their body by taking risks and developing confidence in their abilities as they develop.
Montessori Programme – We offer a range of Montessori materials in each of our pre-school rooms. Usually, at least one of our Pre-school teachers is trained in the Montessori method. We combine these resources into our play-based rooms to ensure children have free choice of a large range of activities and materials.
Montessori’s method is structured around, and promotes, the child’s natural, self-initiated impulse to become absorbed in an environment and to learn from it. These experiences cover areas such as practical life, sensorial, maths, language and culture.
Everyday Activities – The routine and timetable of each room is important to the children and is also part of the curriculum. Arrival should be engaging and encourage children to feel welcome (a fun way for children to register their attendance is a good idea). The activities for the day should be clear to all children (picture-based timetable) and they should be involved and aware of transitions from one activity to another. Meal times are a great opportunity for social interactions and education about healthy habits. Handwashing, toileting and clean up can all be used as fun learning activities for children to develop skills.