“We believe that we need to teach our children the impact that we make on the world and the importance of looking after our environment for their future and that of others. We live in an egocentric and throwaway society and children need to learn the impact that we have, and could have in a positive way, on the wider world. They also need to learn the value of money and that they can make decisions about how it is spent. The children have enjoyed the ESC work and have been proud to share what they know and what they can do. We have seen them replicate their experiences in their play and this has cascaded down to other children who have been learning by copying them.”
How has this project impacted your practice?
“It has developed personal interest and awareness of nature and what we can do as a setting to involve the children. The children’s Understanding of the World has increased significantly not only in the nature and growth but also how we are using ICT in a number of different ways on a day to day basis. We feel we have gained different ideas about how to capture the children’s interests and schemes and follow the way they learn to extend their learning . Their language and the ability to speak about different aspects of wildlife and understanding of how to support the birds in the garden has been tremendous. They have understood the impact of the rainforest of Madagascar in respect of the lemurs and compared it with their own lives, moving house as the lemurs have to move trees when the trees are cut down and how the Rangers are there to track them and rescue them which they wouldn’t have been open to should we not have ben part of this”.
Has this project had an impact outside of the setting – community/parents?
“The parents have really taken this project on board, they have supported the children and have been really interested in how they have spoken about the different wildlife and been fascinated with the knowledge the children have taught them in respect of Lemurs learning from their children giving them a new understanding of how the lemurs are endangered. The nest box and bird cams have really sparked interest in the parents and we have heard parents talking about what they have seen – they are coming in to the setting and look at the live cam offering discussions about their nesting boxes at home in their gardens. Many have visited the lemurs in zoos, bought lemur toys or clothing to continue their children’s interests, and taken them to places to continue their learning of wildlife such as bird sanctuaries”.
How has this project supported your target children and other children within the setting?
“Both target children have extended their interest in nature, occupations, local environment, Morris in particular has been introduced to money and using language of money enjoyed being a shopkeeper with the hyacinths and acting as a leader telling the children what they had to do where as before he was more on the side watching. Ben has become much more confident and involved in group play extending his own play where as previously only constructed roads, he now constructs ramps, tunnels, bridges, carparks with different layers and letting other children join in and assisting them. The other children have been interested in the different activities we have been introducing and are within freeplay copying and helping each other imitating the play and leading and extending them themselves. Vocabulary has been increased and enhanced with different words not previously used. They can now name birds and are beginning to understand life cycles. The children have themselves extended the hide and seek game using trackers”. Brenchley May 2017