Creative Learning and Play
Dunard After School Care provides care to 24 school aged children up to the first year of secondary school. The service aims to “actively promote opportunities for personal achievement to develop each child’s capacity as successful learners, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor within their own community and to society at large.”
Allowing children to be involved in decision making and directing their activities, is one example of how the Dunard After School Care encourages innovative, creative learning and play. As one of the play practitioners, Donna, explains, “We encourage the children to be independent during activities, we try to get them to be as independent as possible, and try to run activities, and if they need adult support then we’re there to encourage it and help them along.”
One of the children agrees with this approach as she enjoys the after school care because “it’s really fun here because they give you lots of activities – a different one every day.” Another child enjoys the invention encouraged by staff as “every day is new and you can do things. You can build new things. You don’t know what you’re going to do today.”
Another play practitioner, Laura, confirms this approach as she comments that “generally, we’re here to support them whatever they choose to do. Arts and crafts activities, any equipment they would like – we go source it. We make sure they’ve got everything they want. They’ve got free play but with a bit of structure, if you know what I mean.” She also thinks that the variety of creative learning and play opportunities they offer is valuable as “the kids have got so much variety and so much choice, they do things they wouldn’t normally do. They’ve got a whole load of talent that they just like to show. They’re very wide with their expressive arts, they know what they like and what they like to do.”
There is an emphasis on creativity in Dunard with a green screen, audio recording, radio show and mini clubs for those interested in movies, writing stories, or knitting. One of the parents, Ray, reflects on the activities offered, commenting that the children do “everything from face painting, right through to fun and games, interaction with the other children. I think it’s fantastic because it’s fine that they interact while they’re at school but this is the fun element and I think they learn a great deal about growing up and interacting socially from these kind of things.”
We publish regular inspection reports for all care services - and grades can go up and down depending on what we see. The effective practice we see here should always be read in conjunction with the latest inspection report.
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