In the Pine Room we recognise that the parents are primary educators of their children. With this recognition we aim to build a strong and respectful partnership with parents/carers which in turn will help us to get to know the children as the unique individuals that they are. Understanding that the children are unique has helped theto become an immersive space for the children to explore and encourage curiosity within the surroundings.
We use the curiosity approach in implementing our Emergent Curriculum, creating and developing an ever-changing environment informed by the National Aistear Curriculum and Siolta Framework. Aistear’s four themes of children’s learning Wellbeing, Identity and Belonging, Communicating and Exploring and Thinking are core to how we plan our curriculum and observing the children’s emerging interests, this approach ensures that all children will develop into competent and confident learners.The Curiosity Approach introduces the use open-ended items into the rooms for the children to explore and play with. For example, there is no right or wrong way to play with a square of material. The children can use it to wrap a dolly, wear as a scarf, place as steppingstones or throw into the air and watch how they fall. This is all part of the children understanding and making sense of their environment and the wider world. Observing play with open ended items gives us as practitioners a better awareness of each child’s interests and how they make sense of things allowing us to develop activities that really interest the children.
Creativity is positively encouraged children given many materials and ideas that they can use for making and doing. We encourage experimentation with different mark making natural materials and different paints and papers to encourage motor control and hand to eye coordination. We help develop the Childrens' use of language and their listening and communication skills by having singing and story time throughout the day. We support their emotional and social development by positive interactions providing praise and support and taking the time to listen respond and encourage all that they do and say during their busy days at Higgys.
Developing Independence in all areas of their lives is part and parcel of the Toddler years. We encourage and support this part of their development by such things as having a clearly marked hanger with their photo to put their coats on and they are encouraged get these when going outside or home. This helps with their identity and belonging and life skills that they will carry through to the preschool room and beyond. Toilet training is an important self-help skill that is encouraged, once the parents have decided the time is right for their child to toilet train. All these steps towards being independent happen at different times for each toddler and we are there to support and encourage them and have lots of fun along the way.