Down in reception we like to base the children’s learning on challenge. We like to give them the chance to upskill themselves and challenge themselves without us put a ceiling on it.
This term we have changed the way that the challenge system works. From this term, instead of having just one specific challenge that they can access throughout the week, we will be giving them 6 challenges. The challenges will based around the learning environments, both inside and out. They could be in any area of the provision and the focus could be on any area of the child’s development and learning. Where a challenge is set the children can collect a coloured lolly pop stick. Once they have completed the challenge, they take the lollypop stick back to the board and stick it under their photograph. Once they have completed all 6 challenges, they have built a rainbow!
We will not be stopping the children from returning to areas or from doing the challenge again, we will of course be encouraging this and encouraging the children to extend their learning and complete the challenge again and better if they can.
For us as the practitioners, we can see which children are engaging in the challenges, and which children are using which areas of provision, and which areas are not accessed as much. We will ask the children to contribute to the planning of the challenges, what would they like to do in these areas, how can we improve them and so on. For us, it is also important that we give the children ownership on their learning.
So far it has been a great success. The children are so keen to come and talk to us and show us the challenges that they have done and we have heard some great language linked to self confidence and achievement ‘look! I’ve done 4 challenges so far! I didn’t think I could do that many but I did!’ and ‘look at me Mrs Byers, I just completed my first one!’
The children are also spending time at the board looking at how many sticks they have, how many their friends have, comparing the results. They have been seeking out the next challenge and asking great questions about where to find it and what to do, as well as some great explanations about how they achieved it. They have worked collaboratively with their peers, helping each other achieve the challenges and working together.
We are already hearing from parents that children are enjoying these challenges and that they are telling them all about the when they get home which is so positive! At the end of each week the children will receive a small certificate if they have built their rainbow.