On Saturday I attended a training session on Understanding the Characteristics of Effective Learning (COEL) hosted by the York branch of Early Education. The trainer was none other that Early Years legend Helen Moylett (the same co-author of the original Development Matters).
Helen spoke passionately about the current state of Early Years and about how we have the power to truly harness a child’s curiosity and really bring their learning to life. I came to a realisation whilst on this training, even making a solid connection to the #JigsawEPOP North Conference I attend just a couple of weeks back. The Characteristics should be our foundation when planning for the children and we grow from their natural ability to learn and become the scaffold/support on this exciting journey.
Too often we plan everything within an inch of its life that the opportunities for curiosity have been drained for the children, relax folks for goodness sake!
Fairly recently I gave the children the opportunity to explore something new, however I didn’t dictate what happened. Instead I just provided a commentary about what was happening with maybe a question said out loud. The activity was crushing cocoa beans in a pestle and mortar. The sensory experience was brilliant for the children and really fulfilled many of the COEL – Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.
After attending #JigsawEPOP North I wanted to start an #EYRevolution and now, after listening to Helen Moylett talking about COEL and how much it can impact our everyday work in such a positive way for the children, I now have that solid foundation to start the revolution!