September 2017 Inspired Practice Winners

Mini First Responders Manor Kilbride Montessori, Wicklow In Manor Kilbride the children and educators were engaged in circle time sharing news and views. Rebecca the educator and her colleagues had just attended First Aid Training and were sharing this with the children, explaining what it was all about. The next day they noticed some of […]

September 2017 Inspired Practice Winners

Mini First Responders

Manor Kilbride Montessori, Wicklow

In Manor Kilbride the children and educators were engaged in circle time sharing news and views. Rebecca the educator and her colleagues had just attended First Aid Training and were sharing this with the children, explaining what it was all about.

The next day they noticed some of the children intently playing “First Aid” with the dolls and teddies and recognised an emergent interest was growing. Having engaged in Siolta training that introduced emergent interests and child led curriculum they were inspired to defer their planned Autumn theme and follow the current interests of these children. What we see in this story is a successful mix of following and leading where the children are given opportunity to play their way into understanding the concepts of First Aid and are scaffolded to recognise the contents of a First Aid Box by making their own. Mini first aid courses suitable to their age and stage popped up during the week as children were eager to explore the First Aid theme. Role playing mini responders was proving to be a fun activity which they took quite seriously.

A little bit of magic happens when they bring their First Aid Boxes home, suddenly feedback begins to flood in from families, telling stories of the children’s conversations, actions, and first aid play all over the house. For one family with triplets their sitting room was as busy as an ER. The children’s funds of knowledge regarding First Aid prove quite impressive. And so another life skill is introduced through play, no doubt these experiences will inspire and create some future first responders.

Click here to read their story

 

Penguins Gardening Adventure 

ABC Childcare Cork

This inspiring story is as much about the educator as it is the children. Over the past number of years Kim the early years educator (Penguin room) watched the Afterschool Section of ABC win numerous Early Childhood Awards. While delighted for her colleagues she was often envious. Weary with the paperwork demands of her role, and the everchanging expectations that many of you can relate to she had avoided the niggling thoughts of submitting an award application herself. The work that an awards submission would require seemed a step too far in an already very busy day. But inspiration has a funny way of seeping into your spirit. She knew that she was as committed to her work as her colleagues and felt that her young children were every bit as inspiring as the older ones.  

Throughout the year she kept seeing the interests of her small group in all things living: insects, plants, flowers be it in their explorations during outdoor play, or the excitement of planting flowers indoors for Mothers Day, or the conversations they shared with each other about flowers in their garden, or how they were gardeners with their grandparents.  It was a recurring interest that she felt demanded attention and exploration.  By following their interests Kim became more immersed in the children’s experiences, the weariness lifted into wonder. What she had initially felt was additional work now became a story that she was excited to tell. Observation was transformed from burden to belief as she became more attuned to the children’s capabilities and competencies. The more she involved the children in the planning the more inspiring the practice became.  Kim and the children set about finding a small space to plant a flower garden. They designed it, planted it, and cared for it. The ripples this had within the centre, within the families, and the wider community can be seen in their story.

Click here to read their story

Design & Development