A – Reflect on the importance of a child centred approach in the Early Years A child centred approach in early years settings is important as it makes sure the children’s needs are met fully and it helps them reach their full potential. Children reflect their interests through their learning and different experiences. It is important for practitioners to encourage this so they can find out what the children are interested in and then later use the information when planning activities. Having a show and tell gives practitioners a chance to find out about what the children like and enjoy. They are also showing the children that they are interested in what they get up to when they are not at school. (Also relates to C) Another way of finding out more about the children is by getting them to take a toy home for a period of time then getting them write a diary of activities they did with the toy. Knowing what the children like can also help the practitioner improve their teaching methods.
For example, if they know some of the children like the police, they can turn the home corner into a police station. This would encourage the children to take part in more activities because they would enjoy what they are doing. (C) It is important to have different ability groups in an Early Years setting because it can help the children reach their full potential as they would be going at a pace that is suitable for them and not for someone else. This also gives the children the chance to help each other in the group because they would be at the same stages and most likely get caught out at the same sections. According to Vygotsky, “By letting students of similar but differing abilities work in groups, they can help each other: often a lot more effectively than a teacher would be able to.” (Urbano, 12/07/12, Scaffolding and Peer-learning: Thinking about Vygotsky’s “Zone of Proximal Development”) Performing observations can also help children reach their full potential because practitioners can see if the children are at the expected development stages for their age, and if they are not, they can support the children in the specific areas they need help with.
It is important to work in partnership with parents because “parents have the most knowledge and understanding of their child” (Beaver et al, 2008, pg 27) so practitioners can learn from them about how best to help the children and encourage them to improve their abilities. The planning cycle is a useful guide for helping practitioners look at the different types of development in a child. Using the cycle can help practitioners respond to the children’s needs because they can work out what needs to be observed, then after the observations they can analyse their findings and make plans that would benefit the child. When the plan has been put into motion another assessment can be done on the child to see if there have been any improvements. The cycle can be repeated to continue helping the child.