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The Week Ahead 20160415

15 Apr 2016

It’s all in the plan! Learning through play looks easy; it looks like you simply set out some toys, sit back and let the children go! That misconception couldn’t be farther from the truth. Here at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai, every time you walk in to a classroom or a learning area, a team of practitioners has already spent hours considering what learning opportunities will be presented to each child; how those that need it will be extended or supported to explore, discover and achieve. How do we do that? We plan; that’s what we do. To maximise learning opportunities, we use a mix of child-initiated activities and adult-led activities throughout the day. Adult-led activities focus on extension of the theme and concepts and engage pupils in an opportunity to ‘have a go’. Child-initiated activities are presented around the classroom, affording pupils the chance to find something they enjoy, something that can challenge them. These are linked to development documents which outline what children should be demonstrating at every age and stage of development. Pupils are observed whilst undertaking these activities, allowing the team to document observations; noting progress, areas requiring support, areas requiring extension, pupils’ preferences and those areas not engaged with (plans can change quickly in response to the pupil’s needs). How do we make this happen whilst preparing the room for the next transition to another learning space or activity? We plan; that’s what we do. And once the pupils arrive at the next learning space, do they just play? Well yes, they do, but with purpose. For example, when a pupil enters the role play area – what do we want them to learn? What opportunities for development are to be planned for? How do we make this happen? What do we want to observe in each age group? How do we make sure we are promoting learning and development in every area? We plan; that’s what we do. Planning takes commitment, time and sensitivity to the needs of the pupils. We may follow the plan, often we go on a journey from the plan. But the plan is always there to support us as practitioners. It is an acquired skill which is reliant on collaboration, understanding and teamwork. These skills are abundant in our teams, who demonstrate the value of responsibility towards the pupils in their class. A reminder to Wellington College Bilingual parents – please come and join us as we celebrate the occasion of Julian Thomas’s visit to Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai on Monday 18th April. Julian, Master of Wellington College, will be addressing the Wellington parents at 15:00 and planting a gingko tree in the garden space behind reception shortly after. We are delighted to be able to share this event with our founding families and hope to see many of you there.