Collaborating in spring

‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.’ (attributed to Aristotle)

Spring is definitely in the air, and along with it comes hay fever and sneezing, but also lots of fabulous flowers, scents, colours. We also welcomed the lifting of restrictions and the joy of the children being back and settled in the ELC. Parents are looking relived, with routines and daylight saving all kicking in.

Opportunities for the children to reconnect face to face have been important – many of the children have had sporadic attendance over the last two terms and some have made their first appearance back to the ELC since March. This is a long absence, but especially in the life of an under-five-year-old child, to whom even 10 minutes can seem way too long.

One of the ways we are bringing the children together is through collaborative projects. Collaboration is an important aspect of our work with young children, the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework favours the idea of collaboration. This applies both for staff with families and each other as educators and as well as with and amongst the children. Each room and age group have embraced collaboration appropriate for the age, stage and make up of the group.

Opportunities to share ideas and build and create together creates a sense of cohesion and shared social experiences. Collaboration relies on excellent communication: hearing children’s voices, understanding and valuing their interests and enabling them to contribute to their learning. We believe children are capable learners and participants in their learning. The challenge of collaboration is working together, sharing ideas and compromising; learning, as we have to, to let go of some ideas and embrace other people’s ideas, learn the art of negotiating and expressing oneself, and looking at the whole rather than just individual contributions. Sometimes it is very hard to let go of an idea when you think it is a great idea, but it is simply not the right idea for the group collaboration.

The photo is the Oak room’s collaborative project about spring – much discussion, planning, thinking creating and questioning and hard work went into this art.

Hoping you can enjoy the joys of spring along with the greater freedoms, and still savour the little moments of nature and time with your children.

Warm regards

Wendy Seidler
Director of ELC Kew