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our creative curriculum

learning for life

As young children burst through our door, we see it as a responsibility, joy and privilege to find out what their abilities are and foster positive dispositions in new and exciting ways. Our curriculum focuses on equipping children with knowledge, skills and attributes that they will need throughout life. And, because creativity is at the heart of our ethos and philosophy, we encourage children to think for themselves, ask questions rather than answer them, solve problems through trial and error, share new ideas, original thought, fathom things out, discuss and debate and express themselves in 100’s of ways. 

At Wingate, we strive for innovation, original and critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving, resilience, leadership and creativity, as we aim to prepare our children for a future – their future. In an increasingly creative world, where technologies are changing faster than ever before and organisations are needing people to be creative, innovative, imaginative and entrepreneurial, surely schools have a duty to prepare its children for this kind of future? 

 

     ‘Since we cannot know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in        

     advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they

     will be able to learn what needs to be learned.’ John Holt 

In this country, schools and settings are given guidance for implementing the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. The EYFS Statutory Framework defines what providers must do to promote the learning and development of all children, but it doesn’t prescribe a particular teaching style or approach to curriculum. It states that educators must find the most effective way of teaching what they want their children to learn, gifting us the responsibility of doing what is right for children and protecting their childhood. Within the principles of the EYFS Framework are Educational Programmes for each of the seven areas of learning which clarify some of the intent. 

 

What children learn is important, but how they learn is even more important. The context for learning must be playful and rooted in the children’s interests, so that what they learn is relevant, meaningful and long lasting. With permission from the Government, to decide how we teach what we want children to learn, we have created our own emergent, creative curriculum that is jointly co-constructed by the children and the educators. We believe our approach to a purposeful curriculum, best equips children with fundamental skills and learning power for life. 

 

And true to our values, having a respect for children and their childhood means we will not impose inappropriate expectations on them or do things we believe are unrelated to the ‘here and now’ of being 2, 3 or 4 years old. Neither will we set out to teach pre-determined goals that prepare children for the next stage i.e., reception class. 

 

Sir Ken Robinson explains, 

     ‘...education is a living process that can best be compared to agriculture. Gardeners know that they don’t

     make plants grow. They don’t attach the roots, glue the leaves, and paint the petals. Plants grow themselves.

     The job of the gardener is to create the best conditions for that to happen. Good gardeners create those      

     conditions, and poor ones don’t. It’s the same with teaching. Good teachers create the conditions for learning,

     and poor ones don’t.’

 

A creative curriculum is one that is co-constructed by both the children and the adults, embraces fresh thinking, new ideas, imagination, and innovation, combined with teaching skills and concepts, factual knowledge and practical ability. The driving force of creativity is the motivation, excitement and desire for discovery that evolves during the exploratory process. And so, our curriculum is ‘a laboratory of possibilities’ within a rich climate for learning, because:

  • it works like a laboratory, nurturing creativity in its broadest sense; original thought, exploration, design, talk, debate, test, refine, research, evaluate, re-think etc., and

  • it positively believes in possibilities.   

The Wingate Way

Our Creative Curriculum, known to us as, 'The Wingate Way' has been written down and made into a book. Currently, it is a really useful tool for staff, especially new members of the team. We are considering the possibility of making this available to other settings, as part of a training and development package with us, to ensure it is fully understood, with less chance of being misinterpreted or misconstrued.  

 

Enquiries about 'The Wingate Way' should be made to Pat via her email: pat@wingatenursery.com 

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