February 2018 Inspired Practice Award Winners

Me and My Community: Let’s get unity into our Community Little Gumboots Having recently undertaken Inclusion, diversity, and equality training the educators in Little Gumboots began to reflect on meaningful ways they could put their new learning into action. They had a vision that entailed long term, medium, and short term planning but even they […]

February 2018 Inspired Practice Award Winners

Me and My Community: Let’s get unity into our Community

Little Gumboots

Having recently undertaken Inclusion, diversity, and equality training the educators in Little Gumboots began to reflect on meaningful ways they could put their new learning into action. They had a vision that entailed long term, medium, and short term planning but even they were surprised at how this community vision developed. It was a journey that was to bring them all around their community connecting with families, organisations, businesses, even the local council and the local railway station. What started with family visits to the service developed into deep relationships and meaningful actions that did indeed show unity in the community. Little Gumboots believe “A community is like a jigsaw, all the pieces have different colours and a roll to play but they all fit when we take the time to bring them together to eventually create a beautiful picture”. 

 

A Day in the Life of Predators and Prey by John

Child’s Play Early Education

Child’s Play have shared two stories with us that demonstrate how they as educators “altered their view on the capabilities of their children”. An altered view which has caused them to reassess and amend the type of experiences they provide for their children. These two stories from a group of preschoolers and afterschoolers reveal the children’s hidden skills and knowledge. We see these skills come to life when reflective and engaged educators go to considerable lengths to support the children’s emerging talents. We see how a group of pre-schoolers become successful authors who experience their own book launch and subsequent book tour. Meanwhile, following a chance introduction of a detective kit the afterschoolers turn into knowledgeable crime scene investigators. So knowledgeable in fact that they provided real challenge for the “criminals” who were cooking up the crimes. Stories such as these remind us of the capabilities and competences of children and prove how our image of the child impacts provision.

 

Child Centred Transitions

Appleseeds Preschool

Though children and families may experience the transition to Big School differently and uniquely there is no doubting that it is a milestone in the young child’s live. It can be a time of great excitement, anticipation and possibly some apprehension. In Appleseeds Preschool they have devoted a lot of time and effort supporting their children and families with this transition. They are situated in a complex that houses schools and community services and this has afforded them easy access and connection to two local primary schools. While the connections and collaborations they have fostered with these schools form the basis of this inspiring practice it is their attunement to the voice of the child that causes them to develop new practices. Through observations and conversations they gain insights into the children’s thoughts and expectations which lead them to new ways of exploring the big school transition. Read here to find out more.

 

All roads lead to one

Toddlers Lodge

As we consistently see from these award submissions inspiration comes in many forms and from many things. This particular inspiration for Toddlers Lodge came from an Early Childhood Ireland blog Making Children Visible and caused an ”aha” moment among the team. Identity, belonging and community were things to be addressed, to be done, a pillar of Aistear that required attention. Suddenly as if a light switch was turned on it became crystal clear identity, belonging and community are embedded in the living breathing realities and experiences of our everyday lives. We live it we don’t do it. As Jenny, her team and her children started on this new journey of exploration they couldn’t stop seeing connections to community all around them. What ensued is a wonderful example of how we can make learning meaningful and relevant to our young children. Starting with what they know they begin sharing and discussing local events and everyday experiences. The team at Toddlers Lodge give visibility to the people and places that surround them in a way that also makes the children visible to the community. The children’s horizons are expanded without even leaving their home townland. Read the story to see how the townland comes alive before their eyes and how through their play they further develop a knowledge, and pride of, pride, and connection to their people and place.

 

Design & Development