Playgroup at EtonHouse Shanghai, China
By Jackie Becher, Senior Principal and Shamma Klein, Marketing Director of EtonHouse Shanghai
One of our latest developments is a playgroup programme for children aged 10 months to 18 months old. This programme is parent-accompanied and run once per week for half an hour. Families are able to join us for a period of time (four to eight weeks) where they can join in play-based learning experiences specially designed for them.
This is a joint activity between the curriculum and marketing teams. The principal develops and conducts the programme, playing alongside the children and families. The marketing director also works with the families to provide a different view to the learning and give insight into our curriculum programme at EtonHouse. Working together in this hands-on way enables us to form extremely strong relationships with the children and their families.
The programme draws on knowledge of early years development and provides rich sensory provocations to enable children to explore their world. The principal closely observes the children and how they are using the space with their parents, and modifications are made each week to improve the experience. This enables us to reinforce and directly show families how the environment acts as a third teacher in our programmes. We also hold regular discussions with families about an image of child that is strong, capable and competent and what this means in terms of how we engage with children in our learning environment. Over the weeks, we have seen many parents reconsider the way they are playing with their child at playgroup and modify their actions to reflect the idea of the strong child more.
Families are provided with a weekly newsletter that further highlights the learning and philosophy of an EtonHouse curriculum. Photos of the children with links to the EtonHouse Big Ideas, Learning Goals and Putting the Big Ideas Into Practice form a major part of the newsletter.
The playgroup at EtonHouse Shanghai is a joyful and educational experience for all!