Di’s starting points for children and practitioners

  • OBSERVATION– understanding children’s development and  HOW young children learn (0-7)
  • PLAY –  particularly imaginative and creative play
  • COMPETENT AND CAPABLE  – Seeing children as competent and capable thinkers and learners who can regulate their own learning –  the Reggio view of the child
  • UNDERSTANDING – Understanding the Characteristics of Effective Learning to  develop and enrich  ‘learnacy skills’ so that children have a repertoire of ‘tools’ (dispositions) to approach new learning with confidence and enthusiasm
  • THINKING – Understanding  the fundamental  role of Sustained Shared Thinking in children’s development and how to support this
  • MASTERY – Following children’s interests and fascinations and using these to develop deeper levels of understanding, thinking and learning
  • KNOWLEDGE – Knowing why and how children become involved, engaged and absorbed in their play and learning  and what we can do to  support them in this process
  • ENABLING – Enabling creative  and critical thinking so children can articulate their ideas, thoughts and questions through talk, play, drawing, painting, reading,  writing, construction and imaginative materials –  The One Hundred Languages
  • PROGRESS  – Understanding how to recognise, evaluate  and map children’s progress, observation, assessment and planning for progress
  • TALKING – Knowing that talk and language development is crucial. Listening to children’s conversations, with each other and adults and how this develops confidence, self-esteem, thinking and learning.
  • FIRM FOUNDATIONS – Understanding the importance of laying firm ‘authentic’  foundations for reading, writing and mathematics

Playing with tyres a rolling race

PLAY  is a good deal more than recreation. It has a fundamental role in early childhood education, supplying the foundation upon which learning is built Rumbold Report DES

Baby role play

FANTASY PLAY is the glue that binds together all other pursuits, including the early teaching of reading and writing skills Vivien Gussin-Paley 2004 p.8