"Reflections Nursery & Forest School is a 170-place day nursery operating a forest and beach school programme and running a small independent infant school. The nursery won UK nursery of the Year in 2009/10 and has been awarded Outstanding by OFSTED at the last three inspections. The setting is well-known for drawing inspiration from the pre-schools of Reggio Emilia and runs Professional Development Days each year for visiting educators from the UK and around the world.
You will ideally be a graduate with substantial experience of leadership in the early years and an understanding of the Reggio approach. Applications from individuals with a Level 3 Early Years qualification intending to achieve graduate status will be considered.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge"
That banner-statement of Einstein's came back to me yesterday, as I was reflecting on the questions and uncertainties of an enthusiastic team of educators with whom we're currently working. Keen to thoroughly shift their practice from 'instruction' to 'construction', they are encountering that 'rug-pulled-from-under-their feet' feeling of what it might mean to do things differently, with a different mindset:
"What should we do if we're not instructing?"
"What if the children have different interests and ideas to ours?"
"How can we understand what to do?"
Their imagination is kindled, nudging them towards 'doing things differently', yet like many/most of us, their own experience of 'what education is' had been solidly instructional: that's what they'd had, and that's the common practice in the schools around them. Very unsettling, to say the least. I recall how education students participating in our Floor Four exploratorium also discussed how they felt initially de-skilled by the challenge of beginning with listening and observation, rther than predefined ctivities (as they'd been taught in college.)
How different the challege is to work with imagination at the fore, rather than repetition and ingestion.
What a positive call of encouragement Einstein's famous proclamation is, and I was prompted to hear more, so I tracked down the 1929 interview. If you click on the statement , you can read the full interview too - I hope you enjoy it as much as did I. Einstein discusses so much, so elequently - the artistry of being, thinking, examining, living - and the serious danger of living withough so doing.
"Life," Einstein said later in a letter to his son, "is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."
Maybe that is good enough advice for us educators too, as we learn, uncertainly, but with inner energy, how to do things differently: learning how better to work with our children who themselves are also born natural examiners of worlds.
One of our network members is seeking new creative enabler:
"1st Place is an early childhood education service based in Southwark, London; we aim to follow Reggio Emilia approach in our purpose-built Reggio-inspired nurseries, supporting children to explore the 100 languages through Mmusic, movement, dramatic play and visual arts.
We are currently seeking an atelierista to join and support our expanding team to extend children's learning experiences by facilitating explorations through a wide range of resources and materials, helping children to develop projects and providing workshops supporting their investigations.
Documentation plays a fundamental role in interpreting children's learning journeys. You will work with and support staff in developing an understanding of Reggio Emilia and related practice, by promoting creative learning approaches to staff, other professionals/children and families through workshops and training.
Hours of work 14 hours per week; Salary £10.430.60 Closing Date for application: 22nd June 2018
1st Place is a charity devoted to improving the opportunities for children and families in its diverse community of London borough of Southwark. We are committed to providing the highest quality of care and learning opportunities for children as well as nurturing and training our employees. "