Over the last year we have worked hard at Enya’s Childcare to identify what makes us special and our main areas of intent and implementation. In doing so, we have made sense of our unique practice and have been able to create our very own pedagogy in the style of this brofenbrenner diagram; something we are extremely proud of! Pedagogy is a fancy way of saying “what we teach and how”. Essentially, our pedagogy is the approach we use to educate your little ones.
Although our pedagogy has a focus on active learning and communication, it also embodies two other very important aspects; character building and reflective practice. At Enya’s Childcare, we do not prioritise academic education over the care we offer to nurture other important life skills, such as compassion, pride and inner confidence. We do this through spiritual learning and by allowing the children to find their sense of self and place within the world. We pride ourselves on awakening their senses and helping to broaden their minds and outlook on life. Our educators use our sessions as a window to enhance the encounters and opportunities available to our children and feel that to promote awe and wonder we should not limit their experiences to the perimeters of our setting. With this in mind, we immerse our little ones within the community on a daily basis and encourage them to build meaningful relationships and celebrate differences.
Reflective practice is fundamental in how we discover each child’s best motivator for learning. It is important to us as educators that we are researching the process of children's learning rather than placing all the emphasis on end products and we do this via long term projects.
We use pedagogical documentation to study this process, in the form of written observations, photos, voice recordings and video media that we can later revisit and reflect on. Using time-capturing media has a magical way of allowing us to slow down and snapshot vital moments in our children’s explorations, giving us the opportunity to pinpoint their individual learning styles.
We can then use this information to model our methods of teaching on and ensure that our approach is inclusive and tailored to the individual needs of each of our children.
Listening to the children's curiosities and questions, is what leads our emergent curriculum. Once a child asks a question, it is our role as educators to facilitate finding the answer; not just to give it to them. We believe that children are not empty vessels to be filled with facts, they are powerful people, full of the desire and ability to grow and construct their own knowledge.
At Enya’s Childcare, we are strong advocates of the Characteristics of Effective Learning and we place these at the heart of our provision. We push the boundaries of the traditional way to teach and assess children in the early years and are proud to be offering a uniquely innovative approach, fit for the 21st century.
We have always valued a holistic approach to nurturing our children as active learners and we do this by making their experiences meaningful and engaging. This relies on understanding each child’s interests and individual needs. With this, we can tailor our care and begin to use this understanding to foster a love of learning through discovery. By following the children’s line of inquiry, our pedagogical documentation highlights the process of learning and it's focus on allowing children to play and explore, think critically, have their own ideas and to be proud of them; all of the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
Nutrition is one of the building blocks for a healthy child and lifestyle. That is why Aunty Rhona treats us to all the tastiest, freshest and most nutritious meals and snacks! Whether it is a breakfast, lunch or tea, we are committed to providing food that aligns with our core kitchen values; fresh, locally sourced, homemade, flexible, nutritious & balanced. Our professional cook has undergone specialised training in nutrition, specifically for the early years and has produced a 6 weekly rotating menu. Alongside a healthy, balanced diet is exercise and we make this as simulating as possible with our Tree Top Toddler classes which are based around traditional story telling. We also have monthly sessions with Jo Jingles and these sessions have proven to be a fantastic outlet for dance and expression and is a fun way for our little ones to keep active. We feel it is important to role model to the children that keeping care of our mental health is just as important as physical education, so we also engage in mindful yoga in the great outdoors.
To tap into the children’s natural curiosity we look to find ways that excite their imagination and really encourage them to engage in all three characteristics of effective learning. We do this by being led by the child and their interests. With an enabling environment we have been able focus our energies on setting up lots of invitations to play and by providing themed play areas. We have a home corner designed using real life props to allow the children to explore risk management and how to take care of their things. Role play is facilitated to extend children's learning by giving them the resources to live out scenarios and by joining the children on their wild adventures, playing alongside them in their make believe world.
At Enya’s Childcare, we have an fondness for natural environments and we are passionate about helping children to develop a reflective, questioning and creative aptitude. We prize natural learning in the outdoors and take our children out on daily nature hunts and excursions. We find this offers an infinite source of smells, textures, sounds and tastes; a range of visual stimuli from near to far, high to low, very big to very small. Through these natural experiences, children are provided with opportunities to make connections, develop communicational skills and wonder. We believe that forming a long lasting relationship with the natural world will help the children to understand the cycle of life through experiencing the different seasons, and seeing the growth and development of plants and animals, which also give them the opportunity to demonstrate their own ethic of care.
Similarly, our outings within the community, support the children to embrace British values, attitudes and ways of living that will enable them to contribute effectively and positively within their community. To reinforce multi-generational relationships we take the children on regular visits to the elderly rest home and retirement centre. They also benefit from local bus rides, visits to the beautiful Abbey, story time at the Library, trips to the local fire station and shopping at our community ‘Friday Market’. Building meaningful relationships with our community and the people who live here bring opportunities for learning, sharing, acknowledging and celebrating differences.