We are child led in our approach to learning and development. Research shows that if a child is interested in what they are doing the learning evolves organically. Child-led learning in short describes when a child is given the opportunity to choose their own activity within a setting or at home. Whether this be playing in the sandpit, sitting at the arts and crafts table, or choosing to read a book etc. The main focus of child-led learning is to observe how children approach an activity or task and what they do.
A good example of this would be making a sandcastle. As an adult, you may set up a sandpit and direct the child to make a sandcastle – however if the child plays with the sand themselves they may create something else. Encouraging the child to think intuitively is a valuable lesson and one that can help with their cognitive and creative development. Once a child is happily playing in any way they see fit, we as experienced practitioners can add or incorporate new elements to their play, to scaffold learning around their choices and interests.
At LA Childcare all of our settings provide a wide range of resources and activities, for the children to decide what they wish to play with. What looks like “just playing” to some, is in fact the perfect opportunity to learn!
You may be wondering “How do we prepare them for school? Can they read and write? Can they count?” The truth is we don’t get children ‘ready’ for school. We certainly do not pull them away from their play to learn how to trace over letters, or to ask them to recite numbers 1-20 (however if a child independently shows an interest, we will support their choice)
Children are innately curious and eager to learn, and given the right amount of adult interaction, and the perfect environment, they will naturally make progress.
Do our team just sit and watch the children play? Absolutely not! We are highly trained educators, and will spot over 100 teachable moments throughout the day, scaffolding learning around the child’s individual interests.
Our team will play with the children, and by gently encouraging, prompting, suggesting, modelling, praising and supporting – your child will begin to show an interest in all of those things you may associate with school. Take writing for example, by playing, observing and following a child’s interests you just might find the perfect opportunity to introduce a pencil and clipboard, or some chalk!
“Play is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein