Classrooms with No Walls
Children are naturally curious about the world around them. In order to promote and develop children’s innate drive, impulse and urge to learn, we need to make careful and planned choices about what we provide in our learning environments. We need to offer opportunities for children to celebrate their individuality, following their own learning styles and their own passions and interests.
Regent is gearing up to introduce the Forest School Programme that encourages a nature-based community where children learn about the environment and sustainability, and come to appreciate, love and preserve Mother Nature. Children’s character, empathy and wellbeing blossom, and they develop a deep commitment to a future we all share.
With nature-based discovery and exploration in the outdoor environment, our teachers encourage children to learn how Mother Nature nurtures us and our wellbeing, and of the importance of conserving Nature in return. Our mission at Regent is to inspire the next generation of global environmental changemakers to make a positive life-long impact on not only their own lives, but, indeed, our planet.
Until we do, here is how you can use nature to encourage curiosity at home?
1. Spending Time in Natural Environments
When you provide an environment with natural, interesting and inviting spaces, children can have time to discover and explore the world around them. Celebrate children’s individuality and own learning styles.
2. Adding Purpose and Intension to Every Activity
Children learn most when they are engaged through something which they are interested in. By including children’s own interests, we are able to make learning more meaningful with a clear purpose behind it. For example, teaching writing needs to be for a clear purpose – whether its letter writing, creating posters or sending messages for people to read, and reply.
3. Creating a Calming and Tranquil Space to Learn
Rich, open ended environments provide invitations for children to learn and develop through curiosity. An environment that ensures children don’t become over stimulated by a barrage of laminated signs, posters, and number lines.
4. Encouraging Open Ended Toys/Games
When choosing toys for your child at home, ask yourself if the toys allow them to make their own choices about their play or do they tell them how to play? Be intentional about providing children with toys that let them make choices about play, and support them in strengthening their cognitive, language and social skills in the process. Who knows, as you watch your child figure out how to build the tallest block tower ever, you could be watching a future engineer begin to work out solutions to building skyscrapers, or an architect working on their very first building design. The options are endless! Open ended toys can be anything that does not have a ‘way’ it is supposed to be used. Some examples include blocks of all shapes and sizes, mark making supplies including paper, paint, chalk, pens and scissors; large pieces of material and blankets; sand and water play baskets; and nature items such as sea shells, leaves and pine cones.
5. Planning Experiences
Kids remember experiences, the excitement they felt in planning and the happiness afterward. Memories can last a lifetime. Planning trips to the zoo, camping in the desert, trekking up a Wadi, are likely to help your child’s curiosity and happiness more than a trip to the mall.
Regent will be launching the Forest School Programme in 2021-22, focusing on how to problem-solve and take remedial action. Connect with us to find out more about our upcoming Signature Programmes.