A big part of the ‘Muddy Boots way’ is fostering a sense of awe, wonder and joy with the children. This links with both the Curiosity Approach and our Free to Be ethos.
Part of being Free to Be means that children are learning through what they love. We allow and encourage children to explore their environment and the world around them and develop their own interests and passions. As practitioners, it is our role to facilitate these passions and extend children’s learning through them.
One of the most joyful moments in nursery is when a child discovers something for themselves. This discovery could be anything, it might be learning how to make bricks balance to build the tallest tower they’ve ever built, finding out what happens to ice when it gets warm, learning to skip. Whatever it is, for a child it is as if they are the first person to ever discover that thing. So, to the child who has realised that ice will melt if they pour water over it, the sense of awe and wonder is a thing to behold. That child, in that moment is the scientist who discovered this for the first time, the engineer who has just made their invention work, the artist who has created their finest work of art.
We are so passionate about instilling this at a young age because we know how easy it is for this love of learning to get lost as children get older. Our hope is that if children are passionate and joyful in their learning from a young age that this will stay with them as they get older and will set them up well for life.
I think we can all relate to how much easier and enjoyable it is to learn when you are given the freedom to explore something which you are passionate about. There is a joy in learning something new and sometimes we forget that children need to feel that too. They will learn much better if they are learning through something which they love.
“Play brings with it joy, it is within this context that learning can occur”
Mel Shepherd – Acomb Nursery Manager