Working together to provide educational opportunities for very poor children in Myanmar (Burma)

S4SK is a UK-registered charity, No: 1131559

The Importance of Play

  In British pre-school establishments it is generally accepted that Play is the best way to integrate and facilitate all aspects of children’s learning.

It is understood that;

  Children from an early age are motivated to explore and investigate their environment.  If this is encouraged and facilitated the child becomes an ‘Active Learner’ and will develop his/her interests and skills.

  An Early Years Curriculum should lay the foundation for future learning throughout life.  The curriculum should start from the Child’s needs and interests and be based upon what the child ‘CAN DO’, i.e. Child-centred.

  Children up to the age of twelve years are kinaesthetic learners, that is they learn best by doing things, so the curriculum should provide opportunities for practical discovery and experimentation, where the process is more important then the product and is valued by the adult.

  The curriculum should be broad and balanced considering the needs of the whole child- Social/spiritual; Physical; Intellectual; Creative ;emotional, and learning should be incorporated into daily routine.

  Paramount is the idea that each child’s needs are different and that each child is treated as an individual, who is valued as a member of the community.  If we value the child’s choices, decisions and actions, the child develops good self- esteem which enables them to make considered choices and decisions in the future.

  The course included plenty of practical work for the students, including observing the children playing in sand and with playdough, and each other interacting with the children. Observing the children enabled them to identify for themselves how much learning was going on and to consider how this could be improved.  Observing each other helped them to see how their interactions with the children could support learning better. Finally we considered the planning process and each student planned an activity for a specific child.

  On the last Day we watched a High Scope DVD, showing how this approach was implemented in three different settings.

Feedback six months after the course was that Agape staff are using what they have learnt and the children are happier and so are the staff.

                                                                                        Jennifer Mitchell July 2013