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A nursery group is focusing on how physical and practical learning can improve the impact education has on young boys at nursery.
Staff from Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries are being taught how to ensure that both boys and girls are engaged in learning activities through training which makes staff aware of how gender can affect learning styles.
The training programme ‘Making it Better for Boys’ is based on evidence which suggests that typically boys engage better with more physical, practical activities than girls, and educates staff how to use the knowledge to stimulate and challenge boys at nursery age.
Sue Meekings, director of childcare for Kiddi Caru explains, “Nationally boy’s achievement levels, particularly in the more academic less practical subjects, are a cause for concern. By tuning into and understanding their preferred learning styles at an early age, our teams can help boys to enjoy learning, something they will then carry forward with them into school.
“Although not characteristic of every child, in general boys are more physical, practical learners than girls. This new training is designed to encourage our practitioners to think about what this might look like and how they will meet boys’ needs.”
The training will be completed by 20 per cent of staff in Kiddi Caru nurseries who will then be responsible to pass on the information to all members of staff.
Hannah Buckley, manager at Kiddi Caru Bedford said: “Our 2–3 year olds have implemented activities that promote gross motor skill development through mark making and creative play.
“The children, especially the boys have really engaged in all these activities and we are now monitoring tracking to hopefully see an increase in development across all areas of learning with our boys.”
Emma Auston, manager at Kiddi Caru Peterborough said:
“For example, we are giving the opportunity to the boys and girls for large scale activities such as using the whiteboard outside for painting using vertical whole arm movements and allowing boys the opportunity to take risks, such as climbing or walking over an obstacle course.
“Boys need more space and it is good to step back and observe for longer before jumping in to help or advise.
“The teams are using the actions and theories they have learnt to help their planning maps and day to day activities, even for something as simple as singing a song using actions which therefore engages both hemispheres of the brain.”
The activities are hoped to develop proximal distal development and cross lateral thinking in pre-school children which attend Kiddi Caru nurseries.