The curriculum at Doodlebugs Play School can be described as the means whereby the child learns all that is intended and as such, embraces the totality of the experience available to the child. While the curriculum facilitates the development of skills and the acquisition of knowledge, it is also concerned with the promotion of sound relationships, attitudes, values and self-discipline.
The first five years of a child’s life is a period of rapid physical and intellectual growth. Recognising the vital importance and formative nature of the learning that takes place during this period, constant effort is made to ensure that every experience offered to the child is of the highest possible quality.
While much emphasis is placed on providing experiences which structure the child’s learning, there is a constant awareness that for the young child, the process of education – how the child is encouraged to learn – is as important as the content – what the child learns.
The learning environment within the school takes account of the child’s need for active involvement, sensory exploration, discovery, creativity, interaction with others and opportunity to practice and refine skills.
Our play school and day care’s curriculum is therefore; broad, balanced and provides for progression. The wholeness and all-round development of the child are kept at the forefront of all curriculum planning.
Objectives of the curriculum
Children experiencing the play school curriculum have opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding and to develop skills, concepts, positive attitudes and values. While full recognition is given to the integrated nature of learning, planning hinges on three broad areas of child development, divided as follows:
Moving towards an awareness of sharing, fairness, forgiveness, respect and independence – leading to self-confidence and self-discipline.
Developing friendships; recognising the varying roles and backgrounds of others, both adults and children; learning to appreciate their rights and responding to them in an appropriate and acceptable manner.
Increased awareness, control and care of the body; co-ordination of gross body movements and refinement of manipulative skills.
At Doodlebugs, it is our belief that children are affected by the context in which learning takes place – whether they are at crèche, nursery school or day care. Consequently, much attention is paid to the learning environment with particular reference to:
Much time, thought and effort are spent on fostering sound relationships between child care staff, parents and staff, children and staff, children and children, staff and community – creating a warm atmosphere where the child feels secure.
Continuous attention is given to ensuring that the play school environment is clean, attractive and that equipment and materials are safe, appropriate and stimulating without being threatening; displays are changed or updated regularly and materials are structured to match the emerging abilities of the children.
Role of the Adult in the Play school…
At play school or nursery school, the adult’s role is one of facilitator rather than instructor.
Teachers, assistants and child care professionals are constantly engaged in:
- Responding to children’s comments, questions and requests.
- Talking with children, offering views, suggestions and observations.
- Sensitive and informed involvement and, when necessary, intervention in the play.
- Careful observation.
- Planning and preparing curriculum details – on the basis of observed interests, abilities and needs.