How Does Your Current School Meet the Holistic Needs of a Child?

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Critically evaluate how the principles and approaches of your school meet the holistic needs of every child This assignment will look to critically evaluate how a school in which I am currently on placement meets the holistic needs of the children in their care. In order to protect the schools identity they will be known as School A. I will look to evaluate how the schools ethos is put into practice in everyday teaching and learning, and how this benefits/disadvantages the pupils. Due to the limited allotted word count for this assignment I am unable to describe in depth how the school meets the holistic needs of every child in attendance, therefore I will look at one group of children in particular who will be known as Group X. I am also unable to look in depth at all of the holistic needs and instead will focus on the intellectual and social needs. I will analyse the practice of Every Child Matters (2002)-(ECM)- this government initiative for England and Wales looked to help schools to meet what the government believed to be the basic needs of every child, these being: - Be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. Even though ECM is not current legislation, its themes still underpin the ethos of the majority of schools in England and Wales. I shall also look at current legislation and recent reports regarding education including: The Cambridge Primary Review (2009) and The Rose Review (2009) to examine how the government look to support and develop learning. I will look to debate the ideas of three major theorists - Jean Piaget (1932), Lev Vygotsky (1978) and Abraham Maslow (1943), to describe the practice that I have observed in School A. When looking at the holistic needs of a child we are really looking at the whole child, what they need in order to develop to their full potential. These needs are defined as the need for physical, emotional, intellectual, social and creative fulfilment. In order to meet the physical needs of a child we must endeavour to provide them with the basic provisions of air, food, water, sleep and exercise. Emotionally children need praise, love, trust, security, and a feeling of self-fulfilment. As teachers, it was often perceived in the past by people outside of the profession that we are solely responsible for the intellectual needs of a child, these being the need for challenging thoughts, reading, learning something new, and mind stimulation. In order to develop fully children need social interaction through companionship and friendship. Creativity is the need to express ones self in an imaginative way. This can include the arts, dancing, acting, and writing.

Holistic education is the idea that every child finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to spiritual values such as compassion and peace. This can be achieved, not through an academic "curriculum", but through contact with the outside environment. Montessori, for example, spoke of "cosmic" education:

“Help the person feel part of the wholeness of the universe, and learning will naturally be enchanted and inviting.” Montessori (1912)

It can be said that there is not one effective way to accomplish this goal, as there are many ways of learning and many types of learner and the holistic educator values them all; what is appropriate for some children, in some situations, may not be best for others.

School A has been judged to be outstanding in two consecutive Ofsted reports.

Behaviour is exemplary and pupils feel safe, confident and capable of, as they put it, 'reaching our potential'.

Ofsted, (2004)

This is an example of many praising quotes from the schools 2008 Ofsted report. From this report it can be seen that Ofsted viewed the school to be meeting the holistic needs of the children. It is without question that the school provides excellent provisions to meet the children’s...
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