The planning for key learning opportunities for young children should reflect the following design principles of Curriculum for Excellence.
• Enjoyment and challenge
• Personalisation and choice
Although our focus reflect current developments within early years in Reggie The Queen Montessori School, our intention is to extend the pedagogy and principles of active learning across all sectors from 3 onwards. We recognise the importance of continuity of children’s learning and experiences to enable them to build “on prior learning and achievement in a manner appropriate to learning needs of the individual”.
Why Active Learning?
“Active learning is learning which engages and challenges children’s thinking using real-life and imaginary situations”.
Active learning embraces the holistic development of each child as an individual and fulfills their emotional, spiritual, physical and cognitive needs. It is a natural way of engaging children in their learning, helping them to make connections within learning and fostering a natural curiosity and exploration of the world around them.
As a result of reflection on the impact of the Early Level Active Learning Pilot staff identified the value of active learning in the following ways:
• Flexible, child-orientated approach to teaching and learning
• Learning through experience, hands on approach.
• Active learning engages all children in the learning process.
• It allows children of varying abilities to ‘work’ successfully at their own pace.
• Learning is set in a context, which is often cross-curricular, making it more meaningful to the children. Learning becomes FUN!
• Children are therefore motivated to learn and take more responsibility for what and how they learn.
• There is a greater depth of understanding and learning is no longer restricted/ pre-planned, so children can take their learning as far as they want.
• Self-evaluative – children more able/willing to discuss own learning and next steps.
• Learning without age and stage barriers.
• Confident and enthusiastic children and teacher.