The Power of Creativity in Young Learners

In the changing world we find ourselves in today, our children will live in a future that will prove to be very different from today’s where they will face challenges and issues that they will need to be prepared for. To tackle these challenges, children will need to be good problem solvers, creative thinkers, risk-takers, communicators and team players. It is our duty as Early Years educators to develop and foster these skills in our young children to provide them with the necessary skills to cope with any challenges they may face in the future. The question is, how do we encourage creativity in students?

Mount Kelly has the ideal environment to foster creativity

Enabling Environments:

Children have the amazing ability to be creative in their play, whether it be role-play, creative play, small world play or expressive arts and design. They naturally know how to solve problems and communicate with peers, however, if their environment is not conducive to nurturing these skills and enriching opportunities are not being provided in the school environment, children will lose this ability.

It is critical to establish an environment where opportunities for children to be creative, collaborative and communicative and to develop creative thinking are provided in active learning situations on a daily basis. Children should be involved in the planning process as it should be the children’s interest that guides the teacher’s planning. Every day children should have the opportunity to choose experiences that interest them to make their learning more meaningful. Classrooms should be set up based on interests and next steps for learning, not based on the knowledge that teachers think the children should have.

Mount Kelly student using creativity to create new objects

Focus on Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

In the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) curriculum, one of the prime areas of learning is personal, social and emotional development. In the Early Years, children are experiencing everything for the first time, which can be overwhelming. Focussing on solving problems using language or realising that mistakes happen, teaches children how to be resilient and to not give up when something doesn’t go their way. Focussing on nurturing the personal, social and emotional development increases creativity as the children’s confidence and resilience become higher. Simultaneously this will develop children who have the ability to think outside of the box improving their creative thinking.

Mount Kelly student with her own creation

At Mount Kelly:

At Mount Kelly, we strive to encourage young children to be creative, find ways to express their ideas and have meaningful experiences that build their confidence in their problem-solving abilities. We provide opportunities that are real and hands-on so that children can relate to what they are learning and be able to apply their learning to their own lives. We hope that with nurturing these important abilities early, children can use these skills now and in their future learning.

November 2019, written by Laila Crossley, EYFS Phase Leader and Teacher at Mount Kelly International Preschool and Nursery School

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