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Sharing Stories – 5x5x5=creativity at St Saviours Infants

by James on May 4th, 2011

Yesterday was my first session at St Saviours Infants in Bath for a few weeks, and we chose this session to make a fresh start in terms of the environment that we were working in, and the refinement of our research focus.

Last term was really beneficial for all of us, giving us an opportunity to explore how a focus group of children and others who opted to join them, could be supported to explore and learn about a particular outdoor environment, through the provision of resources that suited their own needs and ideas.

This term, we are moving away from using ‘Paul’s Garden’ to an area known as ‘The Front Garden’, and other areas more directly connected with the Reception classrooms. We want to be able to allow all the children to feed off of the 5x5x5=creativity sessions by interacting with the spaces as they evolve, making their own changes and adaptations that in turn will inform the 5x5x5=creativity sessions.

It was important to work in a more in-depth, focused way last term, while we were all getting to know each other, and so build the supportive, respectful relationships that are important when encouraging children to lead their own learning. Now we want to look at how we can share the benefits of these sessions with others, siting the project sessions where others can experience them, and  using our observations of the children’s investigations, to inform the provision of resources and the design of outdoor areas in the future.

I started yesterday’s session by suggesting that the children make plans using drawing, writing, cutting and sticking, thinking about what they would like to make happen in ‘The Front Garden’.

Not all children directly followed this suggestion, but most did make use of the mark-making and collage materials offered to explore their ideas for constructions, or their own narratives, interweaving existing ideas and new ones that evolved out of making. Lots of the children talked about sharing their creations and ideas with others, or used the existing walls and structures to ‘exhibit’ their work.

We want to support the children to continue to explore their own stories, and to re-organise their own garden, whether they continue to make houses and direct each other with signs as last term, or find other ways to do it. The difference is this time we will have the added element of the space being used by others during the week, with their stories and ideas being added to the mix, and hope to be able to start to see the effect of our work together filtering through the school.

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