Children are ‘hard-wired’ to learn and they learn best by being active and autonomous – exploring, discovering, creating and taking risks, in other words, by playing. However, formal, subject specific lessons and a focus on data, targets and unrealistic expectations are causing young children to be bored and stressed and this is stifling their learning. Year One in Action reveals the remarkable progress children can make when they are allowed to pursue their own interests, ideas and challenges in a superb and enabling environment supported by responsive, skilled and empathic staff.
Demonstrating how a child-led approach supports the development of purposeful, calm, confident and independent children, this book offers a unique month-by-month insight into the workings of a highly successful Year One class. It covers all aspects of practice from timetabling, adult roles and transitions to the organisation of the classroom and outside area. It tracks the events of each month in the year, paying close attention to the physical environment and the learning that is taking place. Interactions between staff and children are recognised as, and exploited as, teaching opportunities. Throughout the book, Anna Ephgrave gives the reasons behind each decision made. She also explains what the outcomes have been for the children, emphasising that a child-led approach, with planning in the moment, enables rich learning across the curriculum for all children within a meaningful context.
Key features include:
over 150 full colour photographs to illustrate practice;
photocopiable pages of planning sheets, record keeping sheets and sample letters to parents
examples of individual learning journeys and planning in the moment;
guidance on what to look for when assessing children’s progress;
advice on risk/benefit assessments;
suggestions for managing transitions and minimising stress.
The achievements of these children have been remarkable and they have remained the enthusiastic, independent, happy and unique individuals that they were when they came into Year One. Written by a leading consultant teacher, this book will inspire teachers to be brave and do what is right for children – let them take the lead, trust that they want to learn and above all let them play!