The Curiosity Room – 26th April 2021
At Red Bus we approach playing, learning and development in many different ways – the impressive word to use for these is “pedagogy”. In this new dedicated area at Red Bus Downend, we will be emphasising ‘The Curiosity Approach” – which is designed to inspire awe and wonder in the children who use it. This room is set off from the main Pre-School room.
Children are born with an innate sense of adventure and exploration, the desire to actively learn about the world around them. This space taps directly into that desire, challenging them to investigate, ask questions, solve problems – and most importantly, play! The room is full of resources to help stir curiosity. There are items that at first might seem outdated or old fashioned, such as typewriters, rotary telephones and balancing scales. But there is more to these analogue objects than meets the eye! Children can explore them, discover how they look and feel, and make links to the technology they see and use in the present day.
These are not toys that imitate the real thing, and that’s very intentional! They are heavier, they could break, and there are consequences to not caring for these items just as in real life. When given authentic resources like this children will learn to think about their use, calculate the risks, respect and care for them and in turn learn respect for the world around them.
There are resources that develop STEM too – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. One wall houses a smart board, an interactive screen that children can use independently or as a group. There are logic blocks of various shapes and colours that encourage children to spot similarities and differences, and to create patterns. We have Bee Bots and Clever Cats, helping to develop early programming skills as children input the direction and distance they will travel.
This room also promotes Cultural Capital, an important element of the new OFSTED framework. This is the essential knowledge children need to become educated citizens and to prepare them for future success. Children arrive at Red Bus with differing individual experiences or ‘capital’, and it’s our responsibility to create spaces where all children can experience the awe and wonder of the world in which we live.
Pre-School use The Curiosity Room in small groups, keeping it a separate area with a different atmosphere and approach to play. There are no structured activities, no planned lessons or boxes to tick for a child’s development – just a rich supply of resources to ignite children’s natural fascination with learning about the world.