So what are the adults doing while the children are busy being independent learners?
Each week we select a few children from each class who become ‘focus children’ for that week. During child initiated time, adults will observe and interact with the focus children, finding out their current interests, identifying next steps in their learning, and addressing those next steps in the moment. Working in this way allows staff to give differentiated input, depending on each child’s needs. This may be suggesting an alternative strategy to solve a problem, showing a child how to do something or encouraging a child to think about something in a new way.
While interacting with focus children, it is of course expected that other children will be involved in the play and learning too. Adults will include any children that wish to join in and will scaffold and support their learning, just as they do for the focus children. We also like to encourage focus children to share their learning with their friends and explain what they have done or found out, really embedding what they have learnt.
Before each focus week we will send home a parent contribution message on Tapestry, asking you a few questions to further support the children’s learning during that week. Every child will have 3 focus weeks over the year (one per term).
Adult directed sessions:
As important as it is for the children to have time to freely explore the classroom environment and choose their own learning, we recognise there are some skills that need to be taught more directly, or situations that arise that need to be addressed as a whole class. Our typical daily routine includes large periods of child initiated time and 3 adult led sessions. Whole class sessions before lunch focus on an interest, issue or learning area that has been noticed by staff during interactions with the children.