Playful Science for Everyone

Kate Greenaway Centre

"Kate Greenaway is a children's centre serving families with young children in a diverse community in central London.

The overall aim of our project is to develop the understanding and confidence of children, practitioners and parents around very early science experiences and inspire them to find out more about science and science careers.

We'll be doing three main things: working with children who attend the nursery offering activities based on early science concepts and skills (either at the centre or through educational visits); working with Camley St Natural Park to offer a 'Forest School' experience for children with particular needs and offering 'Science Saturdays' for children under 6 in the local community and their families.

There will be support for practitioners to develop their knowledge and skills through whole staff training, paired teaching and sharing activities with families. Parents will be encouraged to participate through 'take home science' activities, through Science Saturday, by volunteering to support visits or nursery activities (the 'trip squad') and through social events."

Ms Jan Stillaway (Project Lead) & Deputy Head teacher, Kate Greenaway PGCE, NPQICL National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership, MA ,Early Childhood Studies. Jan has been a teacher and leader involved in nursery and outreach work in children's centres for over fifteen years. She has a profound interest in developing the curriculum, involving parents and carers in their children's learning and supporting the professional development of practitioners. She believes that the early years are crucial to children's later lives and in the resourcefulness and potential of young children and their families.

Ms Karen Daley, Senior Practitioner and Team leader in 0-2's team or 'Baby Nest', Kate Greenaway, Advanced Diploma in Childcare and Education. Karen has worked in Early Years since 1974 in a variety of settings. Her aims in working on this project are to explore with her team how babies develop concepts and skills through play that are the basis of science and to share these ideas with parents and carers. She wants to improve provision at Kate Greenaway for the youngest children and help them learn more about the world.

Mr Joe Knutson PGCE, class teacher, Kate Greenaway has worked in the Early Years for some years now, always seeking to find new ways to engage young children and stimulate their curiosity. In his view the Early Years curriculum lends itself wonderfully to stimulating and maintaining children's interest. At this age children are fascinated to explore and make sense of the world around them- natural scientists constantly testing their environment to develop their understanding.

Mr Venti Constantini, Teacher and Gardener, PGCE I have been an early years practitioner for 25 years. The outdoor learning environment and the way the curriculum can come to life there has been a central part of my work with young children and their families. Recently an interest in developing practical work in school gardens (with an emphasis on vegetable and fruit growing) has provided a great platform for involving a range of generations in rediscovering the excitement possible in the natural world. Venti teaches at Kate Greenaway half a day per week.

Miss Helen Burton, Education Officer at Camley Street Natural Park, Kings Cross. Helen has 4 year's experience working in outdoor education in a variety of settings. Having spent the last two years running extremely successful education project 'Do You Dig It?, which saw over 5000 children experience curriculum linked activities in a natural environment, she is now developing forest schools sessions to run at the park to encourage younger children to engage with nature. As well as enabling learning in a natural environment, forest schools link in to the EYFS curriculum to foster independence, self-esteem, social skills and physical development to create a strong base for lifelong learning.

Daniel Sandford Smith (Physics degree from Sussex University and Masters in science education from the Institute of Education). He taught in London secondary schools for ten years and has since worked for the Association for Science Education, the Institute of Physics and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. Daniel is a member of the Targeted Initiative on Science and Mathematics Education (TISME) steering group. TISME is a programme of research which has developed some powerful theories about engaging young people in science and stressing the vital role that parents play. Daniel has tried to use some of the insights from this research to explore how to capitalise on the very strong relationships that the school has with parents and carers and to build up the science capital of the adults using the numerous science engagement opportunities that are available locally.

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