As the situation in Australia begins to regulate and we experience a decrease in restrictions children are gradually returning to Flinders. It is wonderful to reconnect after time away. The Houses and gardens are gradually filling with colour, light, and the sound of children playing. It is like music. As we reconnect, we observe the children as they rediscover their peers, educators and environments. Inquiries, questions and curiosities that had emerged prior to March are no longer quite the same; children have moved and the dynamic has shifted. And so, we watch carefully, wondering what will happen, waiting to see what path the children will lead us down next… Some possibilities we have seen so far; Millipedes, and the wonderful world of minibeasts Sticks as sculpture and art media Jellyfish – did you know jellyfish don’t have eyes, a nose, a mouth or a heart? We are all beginning to look forward, to the unknown future, and place our trust in those around us. As our community rebuilds, we look forward to discovering what our youngest citizens will see and explore. We look forward to seeing the world anew, alongside.
Outcome 2 of the Early Years Learning Framework discusses children’s connection to community, peers, and the wider world. It addresses the importance of relationships, and the way children, in the context of these relationships, begin to understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Viewing children as citizens, with rights from birth, is sometimes difficult to comprehend as it requires us to dramatically shift our perspective. This reframing can be complex, but as educators, we have an ethical and legal responsibility to undertake this work under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Whilst the shift in perspective requires ongoing critical work, the way in which this manifests in our practice with children is much more transparent. The simplest experiences can often be the most powerful, and this is certainly the case when we think about children as citizens. The EYLF states: When children participate collaboratively in everyday routines, events and experiences and have opportunities to contribute to decisions, they learn to live interdependently.” Early Years Learning Framework p.24 At Flinders we interpret this to mean that active, meaningful participation in routines impacts on children’s understanding of citizenship. When children are supported to participate in cleaning and caring for the environment and resources which they benefit from, they feel a sense of authentic contribution: not only do they experience the joy of playing in this space, they also feel the satisfaction of caring for it. Children frequently seek to participate in cleaning and associated environmental care routines, however asRead more