A young child’s development often involves repetition and cycles of actions and interactions. As a starting point, research with young children supports the view that the following dimensions are among the most important aspects of child development, underpinning not just learning but also essential for survival and flourishing: executive function and self-regulation, communication and language, confidence, creativity and curiosity, movement and coordination, and self and social development. (RtA2020:23)
While genetics provide the initial ‘map’ for development, it is everyday experiences and interactions that shape a child’s brain and will create the foundations for all learning and development later in life.
Play strengthens and increases neural connections in the brain and builds and strengthens the prefrontal cortex of the brain
‘Each individual is unique, and has the power to express himself in his distinctive way… Each person, each child has a particular gift which will become visible if circumstances are right and freedom for expression is given.’
“Thinking and learning are in part developed through talk. Curriculum vocabulary, questioning, using descriptive language, reporting previous experience, planning, predicting future events, reasoning and/or explaining, imagining and instructing all contribute to children’s learning. These ways of using language are established initially through social interaction and conversation with other people and, as children mature, they develop into the skills required for discussion, negotiation, argument and debate.”
(Locke and Beech, 2005)
Creativity is a process which can be found in all areas of learning.
It is closely linked with play, imagination, problem-solving and innovative, creative thinking.
Research suggests that child-initiated play, particularly pretend, collaborative play outdoors is a powerful context for creative thinking
Notice how my movements express my feelings and emotions. In many ways they are my voice.
I need to move my body in lots of different ways in order to develop both my fine and gross motor skills.
I need to have space and time to run, jump, build, crawl, balance, stretch, make. I need to move in and around objects both outside and in.
Access to resources that encourage open-ended experimentation helps develop my fine and gross motor skills.
Children develop their sense of self over time which supports children’s social development.
You may see children begin to play on their own and then begin to move towards play alongside and with others.
This is not linear though and children can choose to go between solitary and social play, even after they have developed the skills and confidence for social play
The content of this website is based on the information from the Realising the Ambition: Being Me (2020). Realising the Ambition (RtA) is the national practice guidance for Early Years (0-8) in Scotland This website also uses images from Realising the Ambition. RtA can be found on the Education Scotland Website here: Realising the Ambition | Resources | National Improvement Hub (education.gov.scot)