This year’s preps children have commenced their first year of schooling following the complications of 2020 and COVID. We were conscious of this unique set of circumstances and as such we were receptive to observe, listen and document the children’s transition into their new environment and community.
As we set about collecting and analysing the documentation throughout the different learning experiences, we were ready and willing to adapt, when and where it was needed. We wanted to respond to these children as individuals and as a community of unique learners. We wanted to create a sense of belonging, a community of learners. Our Prep Neighbourhood for 2021.
We made changes. We created more provocations that linked to the children’s previous environments and settings, we responded to their play with further provocations and we altered our timetable and environments. We wanted to create a greater sense of safety, trust and care. We wanted to take time and concentrate on building relationships and helping the children to build new routines and practices for learning.
As these changes took place we continued to listen and observe the children. We began to notice and document when and where the children were becoming focussed with their learning.
Some of the provocations that were proving successful included storytelling through drawing and beginning writing, constructing parts of our city including roads, docks and bridges, creating playscapes for dinosaurs, exploring new art materials and an exploration of detail through portraiture and still life.
What was it about these provocations that captured their attention, focus or curiosity?
How could we continue to build on these provocations to create a sense of belonging in our learning community?
How could we use the knowledge we were learning from the documentation and observations around these provocations to capture more of our childrens’ focus, curiosity and engagement with the learning processes?
How could we use these experiences to build a sense of community in our new 2021 prep Neighbourhood?
Could explorations and inquiries about constructions in our city, stories from our community and the details of our world through art help build a strong sense of belonging to a meaningful and authentic learning environment?