One of the new things you may have noticed if you have been in pre-school recently is our use of Floor Books. These are big books where staff record by annotated photos  and  written descriptions our observations of activities children are involved in. This is just one part of an approach to early years education called the Reggio Emilia Approach which we have decided to adopt here in Bowes.

Reggio is all about empowering children to explore the world, create meaning and challenge their own thinking. It emphasizes the following concepts

  • Emergent curriculum – We build upon the interests of children, our topics are often directly captured from talk with the children. The children have the idea ,the teachers then work together to decide on the direction of a project.
  • Project Work – projects are child centred  and follow their interests, projects may last for days, weeks or months.
  • Daily Documentation – Through the floor books we can gain insight into the thoughts and feelings of the children, determine further investigations.  You as parents can be made aware of children’s experiences and children can value their own work
  • Third Teacher – The environment is the third teacher,. The learning space is carefully organized for group projects. Documentation is displayed and space available for creativity and investigation
  • Parents and teachers as partners – Parents are viewed as collaborators and advocates for their children. Parents are encouraged to be fully involved in pre-school.
  • Teachers as learners – Staff become skilled observers of children in order to inform their curriculum planning and implementation

Here at Bowes we want to encourage children to learn by exploring their environment with their senses. To  create a pre-school full of opportunities for stimulation, rich in possibilities and provocations that invite the children to undertake extended exploration and problem solving.  Children’s interests and discoveries will propel our curriculum. Our goal is to challenge children to generate their own ideas and theories and develop deep thinking and positive interactions by posing thought provoking, open ended questions and activities

We use In the Moment planning here at Bowes. We believe that young children naturally learn through play, exploration and investigation. We provide an environment which is rich in opportunities and provocations. Through observation and interaction we enhance their learning whenever we spot a teachable moment. Our assessments of key children allow us to have next steps, called learning challenges, which form focused observations and one to one provision. Observations and interactions are recorded in the floor book and individual learning journals. Progress summaries will still be produced in the format with which you are familiar and we will still be assessing children against The EYFS. The changes are in the way we engage with the children and the types of activities we provide them with.

This is the start of our new journey. We hope you have found this information useful and will join us in our exploration of learning. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask us.

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