Discovery: the magic word for Early Years pedagogy
The formative years of a child are crucial for developing cognitive, emotional, social, and physical faculties. The experiences attained till the age of eight years have an indelible impact on their personality. Hence, the stimuli to observe, absorb and grow must be abundant and pragmatic.
At Shiv Nadar School, the principle of “Lifelong Learning” is at the root of everything that we do. Nurturing the little ones who become part of our family as lifelong learners is our most cherished goal. Our Early Years Program is designed to foster curiosity. Even amidst the pandemic, children are exposed to varied experiences.
A lot of thought and insight is involved in creating methods that make education a sensory and tactile experience. The curriculum includes physical, aesthetic and creative development, apart from languages and numeracy. We try and keep the learning as interactive as possible. These interactions go beyond the student-teacher communication and involve the larger community. At a time when children are in a confined state, such connections become all the more essential. A few methods that we employ to make the learning wholesome are:
- Creative Reading:
The culture of reading and appreciating literature is deeply ingrained in the fabric of Shiv Nadar School. We sow the seeds of love for books from a nascent age. Our pedagogy goes beyond reading and comprehension. Children are encouraged to narrate and predict stories, which boosts their communication and imagination. They engage with books by discussing cover pages and identifying characters. The classes are sprinkled with fun activities like dressing up as different characters and role-playing with friends.
- Circle Time:
During circle time, children learn the essential qualities of listening, sharing, and interacting with peer group in a respectful way. Moreover, abundant and unrestricted conversations with facilitators help them to express thoughts and observations.
- The I-Can Chart:
As children become responsible for their actions, a sense of independence also grows in them. Doing small tasks self-reliantly helps to develop their motor skills, balance, and sensory faculties. At Shiv Nadar School, students face small challenges that go a long way in boosting Personal, Social, and Emotional development. Each child has a chart of chores that they can do independently. The reward for us is their immense joy and sense of achievement as they accomplish tasks mentioned on the I-Can chart with minimal help from teachers and parents.
- My World:
The confidence that children gain while doing everyday chores assists them to expand their periphery. Eventually, we introduce our Early Years students to the concept of 'My World', where they explore, observe, understand, classify and predict. We invite guest speakers from various professions who explain the contribution of people in different roles.
Going for nature walks, exploring the school surroundings, and meeting our helpers are all part of developing their world. For instance, during the Joy of Sharing week, students of Early Years plant saplings and serve food. They interact with gardeners, electricians, and other support staff and become conscious of their services.
It takes a village to raise a child. Parents contribute immensely as our partners in the teaching-learning process, with their feedback, ideas and participation. We also hold frequent workshops to address any parenting challenges.
Mindfulness is an integral part of our Early Years curriculum, percolating everything that we do, whether it is within classrooms or outside. The methods mentioned above are instrumental in helping us to nurture mindful beings. Through a wide range of experiences and dialogues, children become confident, focused and channelize their energy in creative ways, leading to a happier and fulfilled childhood.Jul 27, 2021 by Shiv Nadar School