The Edinburgh Froebel Network is supporting the Wee Builders project at the National Galleries of Scotland, which aims to welcome more children and families to the Galleries. The Network is lending sets of mini unit blocks for children to use to build their own creations in the Scottish National Gallery, inspired by the art around them.
On the 27th May we held our second Saturday Seminar which explored how understanding children’s schema, supports mark making and early literacy.
The seminar was led by Stella Louis, an accredited Froebel travelling tutor who has been involved in extensive work on sharing knowledge and understanding of young children’s schemas with parents.
The seminar focused on helping practitioners to use schema theory to analyse children’s symbolic representations and plan next steps to better understand the links between, symbolic representation, mark marking, thinking and emergent writing.
Stella described how schema are life long, cross cultural and travel over space and time. Stella challenged us to identify drawings by a young child, prehistoric art or art from another culture. It was a challenge!
Feedback from participants included
“[I now have] a much deeper understanding of observation interconnections and the vital role the adult plays in supporting schematic behaviour.”
“Keen to continue to develop my knowledge of schema and share with colleagues the huge emotional importance of schemas and the importance to children’s development.”
“As a team [we’re going to] look at quality of observations, planning and resources to support and extend.”
“So much to take away from today. This will influence future staff meetings.”
“I will carefully consider my observation and would like to support others at work to do the same – considering SIGNIFICANT learning and how to develop concepts behind particular schemas.”
“[I] valued the opportunity to revisit this subject in some depth and to be inspired by Stella. Will now work on staff development.”
“I hope to spread my knowledge of schemas with my team and adapt my observations.”
Stella Louis is an early years consultant who has worked as a nursery nurse, nursery manager, DCE course coordinator and Early Years Training coordinator. She wrote her first book in 2008 on understanding children’s schemas and has had articles published in Nursery World and Early Education.
Stella has developed a sustained interest in working with parents and is involved in research on sharing knowledge and understanding of young children’s schemas with parents. Stella is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education and is a Froebelian-trained travelling tutor, working in the UK and in South Africa in an initiative funded by the Froebel Trust.
Edinburgh Froebel Network Saturday Seminars are supported by the Froebel Trust.
We are delighted to post a guest blog from Laura MacPhail, who attended the Clay seminar on 13th May 2017.
Laura: Feeling confident and inspired by the practical Clay Workshop led by Thelma Miller I took a mobile clay kit into Nursery.
The children were curious and keen to experience manipulating the clay for themselves. It was the first time they had worked with clay and there was a lot of discussion around how the clay felt and changed as they worked with it.
The children could connect the clay to mud and the ground and wanted to learn more about where it came from.
They made up stories about their clay creations which they shared with each other.
The children were very engaged, exploring, experimenting and playing with this natural resource.
On the 13th May, we held our first Saturday Seminar which explored Froebel’s 20th Occupation, Clay.
The workshop was led by Thelma Miller, an accredited Froebel travelling tutor, and together we explored the special properties of clay, how to look after it and how to make it manageable in a setting. We were encouraged to think about why it is such an important experience for children and how to support and extend their learning.
Feedback from participants was fantastic.
“What a wonderful sensorial experience that connects us to the earth – wonderful for all humans.”
“Loved it! Great to share practical work led by an expert.”
“What a wonderful way to spend Saturday morning- empty head thinking time- who needs a spa!”