18th April 2018
Charlotte Street Creates Their Own Kindy Village
As a childcare centre in Brisbane’s CBD, children are exposed to a bustling urban experience daily. It is from this that Guardian Early Learning – Charlotte Street’s Kindy Village project grew.
The centre’s Curriculum is based on the Reggio Emilia approach, which means there is a focus on community learning, with multi-age experiences and flexible spaces within an open plan setting. The centre’s Educational Leader Pip Ivers says the Kindy Village began as a thread of learning stemming from the Kindergarten children’s love of small worlds. Through this, she wanted to support children as they explored concepts of identity and community.
They began the project by discussing what a village looks like, and the idea of community. The children listed physical qualities of a community space, and how those spaces differ from their home environment. The city became an interest for the children, as they unpacked the mysterious place their parents came to work in.
Pip says, “This aligned well with my work in exploring our identity. One exchange struck a chord with me. One child said, ‘I want to play in the city’, to which another responded, ‘No, you have to work in the city’. I thought this dialogue was really representative of the child’s experience of the city.”
During the project, the children have been employing a lot of design thinking – empathising, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing.
“The prototyping was amazing to watch, as the children experimented between two and three-dimensional representations, refining their process and product each time,” says Pip.
“We researched iconic buildings we see on a daily basis, and role played the parts of people in the community. We sourced recycled materials from home and Reverse Garbage, and suddenly everything was filled with potential. Their buildings became so elaborate and impressive, as their representations moved from symbolic to abstract.”
She remarks, “The biggest surprise to me, was the improvement in the children’s storytelling skills. They began using open ended materials with mastery, and confidently communicated and cooperated throughout their play.”
To support the learnings from this project, the children and educators continue to take part in regular excursions into the CBD. We look forward to reading about these excursions!
Learn more about Guardian Early Learning – Charlotte Street
To find out more about this amazing early learning centre in Brisbane head here – you can also book yourself in for a private tour where you can explore the environments and meet the friendly team of educators.