Children learn best when they’re tuned in to what they’re doing. “When a child is totally absorbed, digging in the mud, for example, we don’t actually know what they’re learning, but that’s not necessarily what’s important – what’s important is that they’re deeply engaged in it.
Our day starts at 8:45, when the children come in and self-register. They then choose what they want to do and where they want to do it. We encourage outdoor play as much as possible.
We have a snack style café which encourages our children to be as independent as possible. They choose what time they want their snack.
At 11:45 we sit down for circle time which can include letters and sounds, songs and stories.
We have lunch at 12 then play inside or outside.
We measure quality here by using Ferre Laevers’ levels of involvement – that’s how we assess children, and every bit of equipment. What Laevers did has been backed up by brain-scanning research, which shows that when a child is engaged, their whole brain lights up. That’s actual, physical progress happening – a child’s brain growing. So if we’re getting level 5 involvement, we know we’re doing it right. If we’re not getting level 5, we keep changing things until we do.
At 2:45 we get ready to go home. Those who stay an extra ½ hour have stories/songs and games.
We finish our day at 3:15.