Tuesday, 8 May 2012

This is What I Did in Nursery Today?

My previous blog focused on a teacher's view on Democracy and Freedom in their Early Years setting in Gothenberg, Sweden.


This entry continues with reporting the views and practises of Maria (teacher of 4 and 5 years old from the pre-school in Gothenberg). She tells me about effective teaching and learning, use of technology and assessment:supporting children's project ideas; share this learning with family and friends.

"We always follow the children ideas for projects and the process of their learning is documented almost immediately. Evidence is uploaded to a platform on the internet, which is shared with parents via a secure  log in. This means that the children can so easily show what they did during the day with family members and friends when they are at home.  

 "Every school in the (local authority) is required to use this  system. We also upload the same work to a screen that is live in the reception of the nursery. This means that the parents who don't use the interenet so readily, can see what has been happening during the day too. 

 “this system is not for proving that we are doing things right or making ourselves look good , the parents know that we do our jobs”, it is for the children and families to share the experience together

The Space Project
" Last week, the children completed a project about space, it lasted for two hours" she said, "it was so intense. It began when the children were using pastel crayons and one of them said “ this looks like a stars falling”. It seems that this comment from one child ignited interest in the children and their ideas developed, they discussed stars, space, planets, they created picture of planets, looked at books about space and made up stories too…"

 “My role is to step back...not saying no to anything until I understand what they are meaning (they can do anything , unless of course it is dangerous.) sometimes when you hear their ideas you think oh no but when they explain what they want to do and when, and what they want me to do…the projects are brilliant most of the time and often they take care of the documentation too, they take photos of their work and we upload them, tell me their stories and sometimes I type them

"We believe in using the computer and digital techniques as early as possible with the children. We as a group together with the children believe in democracy. What we are allowed to use, they too are allowed to use. We want digital techniques to be as common as traditional crafts in inspiring children"

Following the childrens lead, supporting learning, ideas, solving problems  and recording their learning seems so easy in this setting...I guess if we adopted this approach in our pre-schools too it would mean that the following standards might be met quite naturally, without any effort at all...

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage - UK 2012
Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five

"In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice.

Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

• playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
• active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and

• creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things."
"In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress, and observations that parents and carers share.
Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. Paperwork should be limited to that which is absolutely necessary to promote children’s successful learning and development. Parents and/or carers should be kept up-to-date with their child’s progress and development. "

"Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes."

If you would like to join me on a trip to Sweden sometime or speak to me about a workshop at your nursery, please like this page on face book and correspond with me directly


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