5.1 Definition of the area
A place for children to feel comfortable, rest and have informal discussions with their peers. A place to be able to pull away and be with your own thoughts for a while. A place to settle and run to, whenever children have the need to relax or freely express their emotions with their peers and/or teachers. Having a designated quiet place for children to take some time out, it can provide them with a plethora of benefits. For instance, children may be able to focus better and faster and concentrate on controlling themselves. In addition, children are assisted to develop an understanding of themselves. That would be their need to stop and relax for a while. Helping children to develop skills to manage stress can lead them to the ability of handling other bigger feelings. Moreover, by taking the time to relax, children build their inner confidence and are provided with the opportunity of reflecting upon their day and to develop self-awareness. For example, that space could be a natural space out of wood/trunk, where the children can socialise and relax. The space should also be calming, not too stimulating, appealing to the children's interests and away from noise. A place that may be surrounded by greenery or other material that creates an opportunity for transparency, where adults can have an overview when the children are there themselves. It can also be a place where you give the children the opportunity to rest and sleep outdoors in, for example, carts. Then it needs to be a wind-protected place with a roof.
5.2 Learning Objectives
- PLACE FOR REST AND RELAXATION:
An ideal place for tranquillity and self-reflection, where children feel safe, calm and are able to perform self-reflection. A relaxing and meditative environment, which can also be used by children for relaxation, when they need to.
A place where children can reflect on their actions and consequences that might be dangerous/reckless behaviors might yield. Opportunity to stop and think about their feelings and behaviors
- SOCIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS:
Children can strive towards a smooth coexistence of all children in the same class/school, while they act respectfully with all other children and have meaningful social interactions. Children's communication skills can be enhanced, together with understanding language better and communicating it in different ways across different situations. This includes both verbal and non-verbal expressions, such as gestures, body language and the way children talk. An overall culture of communication and understanding is developed.
- RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER:
Children respect and treat other people with courtesy (using polite words), observing the children that need additional help/support and providing this, while avoiding things that can hurt other children. Listening to other children's/people's wishes and needs, children to start compromising their needs when other people are in need.
5.3 Curriculum References
Content: The space must be welcoming, warm, well cared for, oriented towards aesthetic taste, an expression of the pedagogy and educational choices of each school. The space speaks of children, of their value, of their play needs, ... of intimacy and sociality.
Area of development: personal and social awareness
Keystone 1: Moral and Spiritual Development - Aim: - Children to respect the needs of other people (need for relaxation), compromise of their own need to serve the needs of others.
Keystone 2: Social identity - Aim: - Children to contribute in their smooth coexistence under the framework they are in.
Keystone 1: p. 46
This page focuses on respect for diversity. Some indicative learning objectives are the following:
- The child to realise that all people have needs
- The child to recognise that all people are equal
- The child to respect the needs of other people
- The child to be aware of the similarities and differences across himself/herself and other people.
Some indicative practices towards reaching those goals are the following:
- An activity during which they exchange a personal toy with another child and justify their choice
- A visit to a classroom of younger children or a nursing home and talk about what they can do to help these people
- Giving a seat to a child that wants to sit in front of the class or giving up their place to allow other children to play
- Activities of children describing themselves (e.g. "Guess who" game, "Who has brown/blonde hair" etc."
Keystone 2: p. 47
Within the framework of pursuing the learning objectives, these key activities are mentioned:
- Comparison of personal characteristics in relation to the characteristics of other children
- Recognition and acceptance of different practices and habits of other children
- Appreciation and respect for diversity
- Creation of friendly relationships with all children of the classroom
They main practices recommended are the following:
- Limited time routine when all children want to play the same game (e.g. 5-10 minutes dedicated to each child, then I wait for my turn)
- Creation of individual profile/portfolio of each child and comparison with another child (e.g. similarities and differences)
- Discussion on the way each child prays
- Become a member of another team from time to time to get to know all children.
- Provision of materials from different cultures (e.g. books in different languages)
Keystone 3.2, page 1 -Tasks of implementing pre-school education content
Keystone 9.4, page 2-In pre-school education, a child shall acquire the following transversal skills
Keystone 6, page 2 -Values to be included in the content and process of pre-school education
The child expresses his or her thoughts and feelings, learns to listen to others and expresses his or her views, begins to understand how his or her emotions and behaviours affect others, learns to deal with conflicts, coordinates with others, behaves politely and responsively, learns to build lasting relationships and understanding , help and accept help, learn to work with a common goal, take on and share responsibility.
Reference: p.8, p.13, p.14
The preschool should provide each child with the conditions to develop:
Education in the preschool should be planned and implemented in such a way as to promote the development, health and well-being of children. The preschool should offer children a good environment and a balanced daily rhythm with both rest and activities that are adapted according to their needs and length of stay
The preschool should give every child the conditions to develop:
- the ability to consider and empathise with the situation of other people, as well as a willingness to help others.
- respect and understanding of the equal value of all people and human rights.
- their identity and feel security in it, and awareness of the right to physical and personal integrity.
- independence and trust in their own ability
- an ability to function individually and in a group, corporate, manage conflicts and understand rights and obligations, and to assume responsibility for common rules.
- an ability to listen to and reflect on other people's perceptions, and to reflect and express their own beliefs.