Google+ ONE project / PHYSICAL places - enhanced learning opportunities

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ONE project / PHYSICAL places

The One Project - As practitioners we are always aware of our children’s needs, more recently we have noticed that some of our them struggle with communication, personal and social skills and language.

As a company we firmly believe that being outside helps children develop those and many more skills, that is why our children have free access to our garden spaces, but we wanted to do more… 

So working with our Out of School Co-ordinator, Angela, we have developed a programme that has allowed some of our children access to our local natural  environments to experience nature and all it can offer and to help them with the skills they will need for the future.

The One Project was created in September 2015 to give children the opportunity to go out once a week with Angela and an Explorer Guide (from their setting) on the mini bus to local natural sites. They visit the woods, local beach, playing fields or occasionally their own nursery site.

Each week they explore something different, they have painted with mud, jumped in muddy puddles, picked blackberries and even made dens and had hot chocolate and cookies while inside. The children are free to explore, run and be as loud as they want, they can connect with the world around them and learn about their local environment and what nature can offer.

 The children are tracked and the information that we are collecting will help to give us a clear idea of how the children are progressing and so far has shown that 90% have exceeded expectations.

The project is due to finish in July 2016 with the last weeks being filled with exciting family and staff opportunities and a day camping at our field. We hope to continue with the project.

               

PHYSICAL PLACES -Growing Places is proud to provide enhanced learning opportunities for boys under 5.  Case studies have proven that where individual boys were demonstrating behavioural difficulties and/or staff were struggling with motivating them, by developing their physical learning opportunities boys' individual attitudes to learning changed and impacted on all areas of their individual development.  Ultimately this has had a positive impact on behaviour and abilities of children to build appropriate relationships with their peers.     

"Physical means any activity that a child takes part in that involves movement to either support health or strengthen bones and muscles.  Physical relates to gross motor skills* and fine motor skills* and can be active, like running and jumping, in order to get the heart rate up or concentrating on muscle development, like crawling and stretching.  We believe that opportunities for enhancing physical skills are vital to a child’s development and allow them to improve their levels of fitness, health & well-being and movement capabilities alongside strengthening children's muscles/bones.  Through the development of physical skills and enjoyment in play, children’s individual confidence develops and they become able to persist with activities for longer periods of time. As time goes on, attitudes to learning change and impact on other areas of their development, including communication skills"

*Gross Motor skills are large scale movements like running and mark making using chalks on the floor etc.  Fine Motor Skills are much more controlled and smaller, like writing, using tools and building. 

Senior Lead Practitioner, Chris Warren, says...‘I have been able to use my own experience to develop opportunities to meet children’s, particularly boys, individual learning needs, through PHYSICAL development. I have seen how this successfully impacts on other areas of learning, boy’s motivation and attitude to learning in the future.’