At Raintree we place great emphasis on ensuring our children are supported to develop the physical skills needed to reduce mechanical barriers to future academic learning. As adults we often forget that we learn everything through the body. What we as adults think of the world, our perception, is actually months/years of multi-sensory experiences integrated by the body. Through a combination of movement, seeing, touch and proprioception feedback the brain gets a better understanding of spatial awareness and time. Physical activity is fundamental to how we understand the world and react to it. Our identity of self is formed by our body awareness in space. Social and environmental changes in recent years with the addition of the effects of Covid lockdowns have brought to the forefront the importance of developmental movement in acquiring emotional regulation and learning skills.
Learning through active play encourages children to be ‘Terranauts’ a space explorer on terra firma. The first task for our young children to accomplish in the world of learning is to become body confident and competent in the use of their body in space. This has to happen well before the focus can be placed on academic learning. Play naturally fosters curiosity and discovery which in turn brings joy. Joy opens a child to the possibility of learning. When children do not have strong physical stability, vestibular control and proprioceptive feedback this leads to anxiety which in turn blocks learning.
“WATCHING A CHILD MAKES IT OBVIOUS THAT THE DEVELOPMENT OF HIS MIND COMES ABOUT THROUGH HIS MOVEMENTS.”MARIA MONTESSORI
MOVEMENT IS THE STARTING POINT FOR WIRING THE BRAIN FOR LEARNING
Through combining movement and practical experience children are able to come to know things experientially rather than know of things. Knowing is when something becomes a part of us, embedded through personal experience and we can make links from past experiences to the new knowledge, thereby making it meaningful for us. To know of something is when we have been taught/told something but not experienced it. We therefore are not able to make any links and it is less meaningful or memorable.
LEARNING ON THE MOVE
Research suggests that promoting movement and activity in young children can help increase memory, perception, language, attention, emotion regulation and even decision making. When language is combined with movement, learning increases 90 percent. At Raintree language and communication is a key focus and is modelled by all staff as they participate in the children’s play.
“THE HANDS HELP THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTELLECT. WHEN A CHILD IS CAPABLE OF USING HIS HANDS, HE CAN HAVE A QUANTITY OF EXPERIENCES IN THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH USING THEM. IN ORDER TO DEVELOP HIS CONSCIOUSNESS, THEN HIS INTELLECT, AND THEN HIS WILL, HE MUST HAVE EXERCISES AND EXPERIENCES. ”MARIA MONTESSORI
The Raintree learning environment fosters a culture of movement through play which supports neuro – motor maturity and development. This weekend why don’t you spend some active time encouraging your child to movie in as many ways as possible knowing that in this way your are building those vital brain connections necessary for academic learning and emotional regulation