For this assignment I have chosen the video Lark Centre. I chose to focus on this particular video as I felt that there are many similarities between the Lark Centre and the setting I manage, for example, they can provide full day care as we also can. The Lark centre also reflects many of the same principles that I use within my setting where children are the centre of the provision and the practitioners are there to help and guide them through their learning. Although there were many similarities between the Lark centre and my setting there were also some significant differences that I found very interesting for example we are a private childcare centre that predominantly provides childcare to working parents with some additional services to the community, and the sure start centre is a government funded childcare service providing support to families in a socially deprived area bringing the community together so everyone in the family feels valued as an individual. As you will see in the following sections there are clear examples within the sequence of children’s learning and the theories of philosophers Louis Malaguzzi and Jean Piaget.
The Lark Children’s Centre provides among other services a childcare facility that focuses on children learning within their own routine rather than an adult led structured routine. During the commentary of the DVD at 02:35 the practitioner is describing the childcare services at the Lark Centre and states that “the child is the centre of the nursery, you are there to guide them through their daily routine”. This reflects the Louis Malaguzzi theory of the Reggio Emilia system of Early Childhood Education which is based on his beliefs that “society should nurture a vision of children that could act and think for themselves” (Miller, Devereux, Paige-Smith and Soler, 2008, pg84). By giving children the opportunity to choose their activities and direction, with practitioner’s available to support and guide them through these decisions, the provision is giving the children a good foundation for learning life skills that they will require when growing up and use later on as adults. There is a good example of this shown in an activity taking place within the nursery at 01:31 when a child is using a saw to cut a piece of wood. The practitioner is assisting the child by supporting the saw whilst it moves back and forth so he doesn’t become frustrated with the tedious strain of repeating the difficult action. After sawing the wood the child moves on to nailing in the wheels to finish the model. Whilst hammering the nails the practitioner provides support and encouragement to help the child achieve his goal (E100, DVD 1, Block 1). (KU2)
E100 study topic 4 discusses the stages of Piaget’s theory of ‘schemas’. In stage 1, the sensori motor stage, these represent new knowledge about how to do things in the world, which is stored and can be used again in new situations. As contact with the environment increases and towards the end of this stage the child’s patterns of behaviour become increasingly elaborate. What marks the end of this stage is when schemas become something the child is able to represent mentally (Study Topic 4 pg. 86). There is evidence of a child reaching the end of her schema in the DVD sequence starting at 02:38 when you can see children playing in the home corner with the practitioner and a microwave. The girl walks over and closes the microwave door she then attempts to turn the dial on the microwave and when it doesn’t move she lets go and steps back looking at the microwave, the practitioner then asks her “is it cooking” and she stumbles over her words and says “yer….er….it’s not it’s not turn around” whilst once again trying to turn the dial on the microwave. The practitioner then asks “why is it not turning around” and she replies “because it’s broken” the practitioner then suggests that they...