Explain the features of an environment that supports creativity and creative learning.
Children need challenging places to jump, swing, climb, run and skip. The outdoor area offers major learning opportunities. In her book, Playing Outdoors: Spaces and Places, Risk and Challenge (2007), Helen Tovey lists the following features as important in creating a challenging and creative outdoor area:
designated spaces, but children should be allowed to rearrange them and use them in a different way connected spaces, which encourage children to join in such as sand and water areas elevated spaces- mounds, trees, ramps, steps, climbing frames wild spaces, so that children do not only experience neat and trim tarmac areas spaces for exploring and investigation
spaces for mystery and enhancement
space for the imagination, providing children with open ended props spaces for movement and stillness, climbing, dragging, swinging on bars, jumping, balancing. As well as sitting in secluded, tucked away places in peace and calm social spaces- outdoor seats for chatting together
In my setting the resources are set out carefully to ensure the children have enough space, the dry sand is close to the wet sand area, the bikes are in a designated space set out using tyres as boundaries. The den is great for mystery and enhancement, inside is cushions and natural materials for the children to sit in peace and calm or explore the resources. The outdoor role play area has a variety of hats, shoes and tools; this is placed next to the wooden kitchen to encourage imagination. This is a popular area with the children who all take on different roles such as looking after the baby whilst mummy is cooking.
The doors which lead outside are open for the majority of the day to ensure the children have choice. Indoors the space is limited, therefore needs to be planned carefully. The quiet area is in a separate room with a variety of books for the children to choose, lots of jigsaws, soft teddy’s and cushions. The drapes give a cosy, warm feel. The painting area is placed next to the sinks to allow easy access to hand washing; there is a variety of paper- all different sizes and colours to choose from. Next to this is the drawing area, again with lots of choice- felt tips, crayons and natural objects with a variety of textures such as acorns and leaves. Resources on this table are regularly changed. The construction area has a large carpet area for the children to set out the equipment how they want, large wooden logs have recently been introduced to this area for the children to explore, stack them up or make bridges for the trains. The small world area is constantly growing, if staff notice the children have a particular interest in something, such as Scooby Doo, a basket full of figures is introduced. At present there is Scooby Doo, The Simpson’s, Star Wars and Ben 10.
The doors which lead to reception are opened for an hour every day and the children from both nursery and reception can go and explore each other’s class rooms if they wish, this allows the children to see what differences there are between the two and also great to encourage socialising and transitions.
Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of aspects of the environment in supporting young children’s creativity and creativity learning.
In order to support children’s creativity and creative learning, Ofsted states that all school should:
ensure from the EYFS onwards that pupils are actively encouraged to ask questions and share ideas and that these skills extend in to their writing provide continuing professional development to ensure that teachers and support staff have the knowledge, skills and confidence to encourage pupils to be independent and creative learners, and to monitor and assess the effectiveness with which they develop these capabilities ensure that all pupils develop skills in...
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