Learning at The Yellow Cottage is all about the children taking the lead. We set up the environment so it is rich in resources, responsive to children’s interests, strengths and developmental needs. We encourage children to set their own learning goals and we scaffold and support them to meet these. We encourage wonder and we research with the children using questioning and noticing skills. Our educators document learning by being present with children; they actively listen. This means they let go of teaching at times to allow what is happening around them be the focus. In this way, they are able to truly hear. When educators are great listeners, they are available to children so that they can engage in the process of documenting children’s learning. We believe the children are competent; we trust them to engage not only as learners but also as teachers who have knowledge that can be shared with us.
Our educators spend hours every day writing up the learning that has taken place in our play spaces. These are shared on a daily basis with families via digital portfolios. Families are then able to comment on these stories and provide us with feedback. We can then incorporate this into our planning. Including families in our learning journey is such an important aspect of our programme at The Yellow Cottage that we welcome and value parent participation and we see this as a vital ingredient for each child’s learning.