Certain broad ranges of skills, knowledge and attitudes have been identified which play a crucial role as foundations for good progress. These are derived from research and studies on the learning and development of children. These can be broadly classified under IQ, EQ and PQ. All the areas are essential and interconnected for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
Intelligence Quotient (IQ):
- Communication skills: development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and develop their speaking and listening skills by giving them various opportunities to practise the same.
- Pre reading, Pre-writing development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Pre Mathematical Skills opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers concepts.
Emotional Quotient (EQ):
- involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; understanding and accepting differences, forming positive relationships, developing social skills, learning about how to manage their feelings, appropriate behaviours and learning to have confidence in their own abilities.
Physical Quotient (PQ):
- Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance health& safety, encouraged to do physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food and nutrition.
While planning the curriculum and activities for the children teachers should keep in mind the individual needs, interests and stage of development of each child, the curriculum needs to be flexible so that it can be altered as per needs and also be a challenging and enjoyable experience for the child in the areas of learning and development. In planning the children activities one must keep in mind that the children learn and reflect in their practice, the activities have to give the children an opportunity to learn while playing and encourage active learning and creativity.
The areas of learning and development highlighted above have to be implemented through planned and purposeful play and mix of teacher led and child initiated activities. Play is essential for the child’s development, building confidence and relationship building. It is a known fact that children learn by leading their own play, hence teachers must encourage children initiated activities and as children reaches class prep the balance should shift towards adult led activities to enable the children prepare for formal learning.
- Encourage physical, social and intellectual development
- Provide self learning opportunities
- Be planned but flexible, allowing children to develop their interests
- Be enjoyable yet challenging igniting their curiosity
- Be centred around play
- Give an opportunity to the children to think and make decisions
The initial focus should be on acquainting children with their own self, their families and their immediate environment. The children should spend considerable time on getting to know themselves, developing a self concept, forming relationships with their peers and acquiring pre learning skills for English and Mathematics. All the activities need to be centred around play so as to gain full interest of the children and giving them the opportunity to learn while at play.
Language Development: this is crucial to living and learning, it is the foundation of communication and essential for expressing feelings, development of writing skills, understanding and refinement of ideas. This occurs when children have access to wide variety of play activities that encourage them to talk and express themselves. The teachers prompt them to talk and listen in a playful atmosphere; they have access to and allowed to experiment with pictures, story books and writing material.
Pre- Mathematical skills: Early mathematical skills are essential for everyday life and play is an effective vehicle for fostering mathematical concepts and developing positive attitudes towards the subject. Children should be made aware about sizes, order, pattern numbers and their relationship and importance. Various activities can assist in this like block building, dressing up dolls etc. Stories, Rhymes songs and birthdays can also be used to help children develop pre math skills.
Creative play: encouraging children to engage in painting, drawing and exposing them to different materials like crayons, paper, clay, dough and musical activities assist in enhancing their aesthetic awareness, emotional development and acts an avenue for self expression. They have to be given time to explore all these activities and materials and encouraged to express their ideas and extend their creativity to develop originality.