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Innovation in Environment Design Award Winner 2014

August 29, 2014

When is the last time you walked into a space that was so aesthetically pleasing it stopped you in your tracks? Reggio Emilia has a reputation for creating beautiful environments for children. This aesthetically pleasing innovation brings the Reggio Emilia philosophy into an Irish context. Cheeky Cherubs, a member service from Cork, have redesigned their environment to provide an inviting, spacious aesthetically pleasing environment filled with beautiful materials, and supportive educators.

artwork Cheeky Cherubs

Children are afforded the time, space and freedom to carry out their play and chosen activities. The educators trust in and build upon children’s abilities and competencies to choose their activity and move from room to room as they engage in meaningful investigation and exploration. As
you scroll through the images in this submission you are drawn into the spaces and can appreciate the wonderful sensorial experiences of the children who spend time there.

This approach also extends across the dining experience where care is taken to ensure meal times are holistic unhurried experiences that instil a pleasure in coming together to eat. Even the youngest of children are given roles and responsibilities in meal time routines, in a manner that they enjoy and from which they learn.
This Innovation challenges us to rethink the spaces we provide for children and appreciate the possibilities that surround us.

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Cheeky Cherubs also took part in the “This is Me” early years art exhibition in Millennium Hall in Cork City Hall alongside 5 other very creative and local preschools/nurseries and involving over 100 children.

Each child has created a piece in clay, pastel or paint, which represents themselves in some way. So this is a very visual and fun, creative story driven by 6 local preschools/nurseries and involving over 100 children:

1. Little Fingers Playgroup (Douglas)
2. St. Anne’s Day Nursery (Sharman Crawford Street Cork City)
3. Wallaroo Playschool (Military Hill Cork City)
4. Cheeky Cherubs Early Years Schools (3 locations – Bishopstown, City Hall Workplace Creche and Ballincollig)

The Deputy Lord Mayor officially opened the exhibition, which is a collection of works representing young children’s sense of Identity and Belonging and is the result of a collaborative project between the children from 4 local preschools and nurseries, their educators and an artist, Inge Van Doorslaer.

As local and experienced early years educators, “We encourage each child’s own intrinsic motivation by developing and following their own interests and experiences. By valuing the process rather than the product and showing children our genuine excitement and enthusiasm for their discoveries and attempts, we are preparing them to be creative thinkers, capable of solving problems. Each child has created a piece in clay, pastel or paint, which represents themselves in some way. They had a wonderful time and we all look forward to sharing this experience with you.”

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