British Orchard Teachers Academy collaborated with CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education, UK, under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen) bringing together hundreds of early years experts, teachers, KHDA and parents at the forum.
Focused on how play should be structured in early years settings to promote development: Key ways include Adult-led, Child-initiated and Adult-initiated play. Discussed ways to be an effective play partner to the child.
- Appropriate quality models and framework essential for nursery settings to achieve highest outcome.
- Experts pointed out how active play serves as a healthier alternative to screen addiction.
Understanding the vital importance of early years learning through play for a child’s cognitive development was thoroughly explored at the Early Years Education Conference held in Dubai. The event brought together parents and owners, managers, and practitioners in schools, kindergartens and nurseries from across the region to gather and learn from the experts the role of early year’s play in the emotional and mental growth of a child and the various settings in which it can be implemented.
Through the presentations, attendees learnt how to expand child’s play to promote higher levels of engagement and learning.Experts also pointed out that active play serves as a healthier alternative to screen addiction, a growing phenomenon among younger children.
Forum explored different types of play opportunities that early years settings can offer. There are three key ways in which play can be structured and organised: adult-led play, adult-initiated play and child-initiated play.
For a child, a play setting where he/she can experiment without inhibitions is the first building block towards self-discovery.Psychology has proven that early years play is instrumental in developing a child’s creative skills, boosting imagination anddexterity as well as physical, cognitive and emotional strength. It helps them adjust to peer culture and build team spirit and relationships, and provides them with freedom to take decisions independently, take risks, enhances their problem solving ability and eventually assists them in managing their own behaviour. Moreover, adult-supervised play allows children to explore and experiment within a safe play frame, and enables them to learn new skills and explore concepts, while preparing for the right attitude for school life.
Vandana Gandhi, Founder and CEO of British Orchard Nursery, said: “Early year’s emotional and mental growth is no child’s play – in a manner of speaking – but requires careful planning for best possible outcome. The fact remains that children get bored easily, which is why we need to infuse their day’s activities with a fun element.
“This is why it’s imperative that we have a suitable organisational structure in place in educational realm that can serve as the basis for early year’s play. Generally, the appropriate quality models and frameworks include Early Years Foundation Stage(EYFS), EFQM model, ISO, Lean models and Investment in People. At British Orchard Nursery, we appreciate the importance of quality review, and through our newly launched KHDA-approved Teachers Training Academy – where we also conduct Corporate Quality Training – we hope to assist other educators evaluate their settings in terms of curriculum, leadership and management, creating a learning environment, forging partnerships and involvement of parents, among other yardsticks,” said Ms Gandhi.
Presenting the salient features of EYFS, Lynne Saint, Business and Training Manager & CACHE Centre Manager, British Orchard Centre added: “EYFS is an effective model for educators seeking Continuing Professional Development or CPD. The framework works as a guide to develop Early Year’s setting’s policies and procedure, create a staff well-versed with latest tools of early year’s development and help put together a successful curriculum among other benefits.”
The event was jointly organised and hosted by British Orchard Nursery’s Teachers Training Academy in partnership with CACHE, the UK’s leading early years awarding organisation. Speakers at the forum included representatives from the Ministry of Education, KHDA, Early Years Experts from the UK, CACHE Specialists and educationists. The programme also included seminars and training for early years practitioners, which introduced them to a number of techniques to incorporate in their educational structure. Parents also learnt their role in encouraging and supporting play at home to build a closer adult-child bond.
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