Evaluation of a Learning Environment

1412 words (6 pages) Essay in Childcare

17/10/17 Childcare Reference this

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  • Katie Gallagher

Every child has the right to be treated equally and for that to be done in a diverse setting. We can see that through the home corner this is so. The children have access to the materials in this area during their play time. There are many utensils such as a wok, chopsticks and knives and forks. This allows for cultural difference to be recognised.

The child’s interests are met when they use materials that they may have used during break time for example.

1.

In researching the best curriculum planning process for the home corner in my Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) setting I set out with the goal of incorporating Siolta’s Standards within my curriculum. I questioned the staff, parents and the children themselves to make sure everybody’s view was taken into consideration.

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Creating an appropriate environment for the children is of vital importance to ensure that the children to reach their full potential and to ensure that they reach their holistic development potential whether that be indoors or outdoors. I believe that the children should be able to move freely from each area and environment. In my ECCE setting the children can do this as there is a retracting canapé in the area which allows for the children to play in all-weather circumstances. There are also retractable sliding doors.

Standard 2 Environments: “Enriching environments, both indoor and outdoor are well maintained, safe, available, accessible, and adaptable and developmentally appropriate and off a variety of challenging and stimulating experiences.” (Donohoe and Gaynor 2011:49)

Standard 6: Play “Promoting play requires that child has ample time to engage in freely available accessible, developmentally appropriate and well sourced opportunities for exploration, creativity and ‘mean making’ in the company of other children, with participating and supportive adults and alone, where appropriate.” (Donohoe and Gaynor 2011:50)

These standards can only be put in place if the staff members are supportive and caring childcare professionals.

2.

I carried out some research by conducting some questionnaire’s with both the parents and the staff. I also asked the children during recall time how they felt that diversity was included in their play in the home corner.

As per Donohoe and Gaynor (2011:91) its states that “Pretend play provides an opportunity for children to make believe, role play and dramatize while planning, solving problems, using imagination, developing creativity and language and refining social and physical skills.”

Aistear was included in the questionnaires and how it was included in the home corner.

  • Well Being: Getting the children to make nutritional meals for themselves. For example mixing would promote the use of both gross and fine motor skills.
  • Communication: Talking to one another about what meal’s they will make. New vocabulary. Recall.
  • Exploring and Thinking: Take on different roles in the kitchen such as the chef. Mother making the dinner.
  • Identity and Belonging: Gave the children a sense of been part of a team (at times.)

The home corner is set out towards the back of the room in a corner. This area is spacious in size considering there are many other area’s such as the sand and water area and dress up corner. This enables the children to move freely from the kitchenette area to the table and chairs that are also in place.

All of the utensils are washed and sterilised on a regular basis to ensure hygiene in particular the cups as the children tend to have these in their mouths during imaginary play.

As mentioned there is a stole in place for the shorter children. This allows the children to reach come of the higher presses where some materials are located. The children have been shown how to use this piece of equipment safely by a staff member.

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By having a wide variety of equipment/ materials for the children to use in this area it promotes diversity and equality amongst the children. It also represents Aistear’s theme of identity and belonging. By providing such materials as chopsticks and rice for the children to use it represents some of the children. At times the children’s parents are asked to bring in something relating to the home corner that they use at home in their kitchen experience.

As my setting is based on a HighScope setting I find that this is a great opportunity as it allows for the children to use these materials as part of their recall.

As you can see from my research the staff member agrees with me that the positioning of the home corner is appropriate and spacious. It ensures that the child’s safety is of paramount importance ensuring that all materials are accessible. The kitchenette is firmly positioned and secured to the ground to avoid it falling over. The home corner has been made as realistic as possible. Such materials provided include real cups for the children to use and apron’s. As per the Pre-School Regulation 2006 Regulation 5 states that “A person carrying on a pre-school service shall ensure that there is sufficient furniture, play and work equipment and materials and that such furniture, equipment and materials are suitable, non-toxic, in a proper state of repair and are maintained in a clean and hygienic condition,” (dcya.gov.ie/documents)

I find it good when the children dress up in the chef costumes that are located in the dress up area as they are role playing.

I got a parent to fill out a questionnaire as part of my research. She mentioned that her son liked to play outdoors which is where he also likes to play in the crèche. She seemed happy with the materials available to her son.

Recommendations:

  1. In my opinion the utensils/ materials should be changed around according the weather.
  2. I would like to introduce a toy BBQ for the children to play with outdoors. Not only does this change the environment where the children generally play in. It allows for the children to think/explore/be imaginative by using materials outdoors. This also links with home as many parents use BBQ’s at home which the children see.
  3. By doing so it allows for different food to be used and utensils such as skewers (wooden in the crèche) and tongs. This helps with their Holistic Development in the following ways:

Physically: Children are standing up and moving around to gather materials out doors to put on the BBQ.

Intellectually: New concepts are used such as placing imaginary food on the wooden skewers.

Language: New vocabulary is gained in carrying out this activity. e.g. skewers, leaves, coal, different meats and vegetables.

Social: Children use this time to build on relationships with one another by interacting with one another.

Emotional: The children’s emotional needs are met e.g. happiness.

  1. I would also like for the children to be able to use the produce from the vegetable garden in their play both indoors and outdoors. This is in keeping with Siolta’s thoughts in relation to creating an enriching environment for the children to grow on a holistic level.
  2. Allow the children to move some of the kitchenette from indoors to outdoors(with adult supervision)

I plan on implementing these recommendations by suggesting it during a team meeting with the room staff.

Bibliography:

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