The whirlwind that is Alice Smith continues this week with Year 5 visiting Paradise Valley in Semenyih and Year 6 receiving a visiting author… however the visit that has caused the greatest amount of ‘whirl’ this week has been the awesome force of inspiration that is Alice Sharp.
Alice is a qualified primary school teacher who became an early years consultant - after years of being ‘on the floor’ working directly with children from birth to 8 years old, she is now an internationally acclaimed specialist in early development - most significantly to us - she is a huge advocate of child led, play-based learning, both in the classroom and at home.
Alice has spent four days in school - a day working solely with Alice Smith teachers, and three days working with Alice Smith teachers and practitioners from all over Asia as part of the FOBISIA professional development session we hosted this week - she has left dropped jaws, inspired minds and a love of playful learning everywhere she has been!
Parents were enthralled by Alice at our parent workshop on Thursday where she shared her research, passion, experience and inspiration with us talking about Home Learning - the way play can be incorporated into the home as a positive form of ‘homework’ that builds emotional and intimate relationships between parent and child!
There were gasps of awe and amazement, audience participation and exceptional feedback!
Who knew there were 18 different ways to sing ‘Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes’, or that there could be 52 words to describe an apple! Or that by replacing a tea spoon with a ladle for spooning out your cereal in the morning you could be training your child for orchestral conducting or olympic athletics! How often do we just spoon it out for them and limit the opportunity for them to learn from the process?
We do too much for our children - and we leave them alone to spend too long on the wrong things! How often do we bake, make, test, experiment and play with our children? It is time for a play revolution! Our children are growing up in a different world to the one we did! We are competing with TV, IPhones, IPads, video games, DVD players etc. We need to win the competition!
One parent was so inspired they went home and started a website about the positive influence of play over the use of technology in the home! Read Jennifer Elliiott’s reflection on the workshop here.
As always the presentation will be available on the parent portal for all parents to see! Please take time to watch, your views on how to ‘play’ with your child could be changed forever! Please also click here to view some photos from the workshop.
As Alice put it - as teachers and as parents we are ‘architects of the brain’ and ‘memory makers’ what an awesome responsibility and huge privilege - should we be leaving the learning of our children to chance - or should we be actively engaging in the building of the architecture and the making of the memories!
Have a wonderful weekend filled with meaningful play! I know I will!
Principal Primary Campus
Click here for this week's full issue - 29th January 2016