“What did I do today? Let me think”
Eloise, age 4
During our “focused weeks” this Summer Term we explored in detail a specific educational approach every time. As part of this process, we made a lot of progress in implementing more elements of the High Scope approach. This is one of the four core early years educational methodologies that we follow as part of our overall hybrid philosophy.
Importance of Reflection
The High Scope approach is based on a so-called “Plan, Do, Review” methodology, where children are encouraged to choose what they want to do at the beginning of the day, then venture out into different projects, and then at the end of the day they get a dedicated window of time to reflect on what they enjoyed.
We used choice boards to facilitate the first step and stickers to write down the reflection so it can be shared with parents. This idea was loved by practitioners and parents who mentioned that it gives them extra feedback and meaningful talking points with their child when they get back home. It was so well received by our children that after a day or two they would ask by themselves for their “special sticker” at the end of the day.
Some children were even asking for a second one, telling us, “Get another sticker for me then! I did so many things!”
Big and small groups
High Scope provides a structure for the day which is very close to what we do at Alphablocks Nursery School anyway, emphasising the importance of big and small groups.
During our High Scope focused weeks, we introduced a new Numeracy group and more Letters and Sounds groups, following our children’s expressed and/or implicitly observed interests. This balance between free play where learning is emerging and rich and adult led short groups, where learning is more focused, supports children in their next steps with adults and the development of several of their core skills.
High Scope has established a specific 6 step guide to conflict resolution. The big idea behind it is that children need to be actively involved in resolving conflict because this is not viewed as a stressful, negative situation for them, but as a learning opportunity for their Personal, Social and Emotional development. Our staff looked at how conflict resolution works for this specific approach and implemented certain principles.