Let's engage our Early Years from the word go

A recent article in the Guardian Online suggests that more attention needs to be paid to engaging Early Years children.

Reports about youth disengagement with education often dominate the news, but an article in the Guardian Online suggests that more attention needs to be paid to Early Years children and engaging them with learning from the start.

Randeep Ramesh's article draws on a study by Demos that revealed that "More than one in 10 children begin primary school unable to learn and unwilling to build relationships with their peers..." Demos believes that this is leading to a "...disengaged generation waiting in the wings." Demos concludes that low spending on pre-school children has led to these results. Effectively, budgets need to rise in order to engage Early Years pupils and better serve children from disadvantaged areas.

Money is always going to be an issue in education. So while we wait for the money issues to be sorted out what can we do in the meantime? We need strategies and techniques that will facilitate learning and engage young children in the experience. We need to find creative ways to catch and maintain their interest and engage them in life-long learning.

MakeBelieve Arts offers creative techniques to engage Early Years students. The Helicopter Technique for storytelling and storyacting offers children the opportunity to connect with what they're doing and take ownership of their learning. To do this in a creative, fun way is an empowering experience for both the teachers and pupils involved. Whether it's the child who jumps up first to tell their 10-line story, or the child that sits back and waits to whisper their one-line imaginings, both get the chance to be creators and innovators. Both get the chance to engage with learning in a creative way.

The primary concern of teachers and educators is seeing pupils engaged in what they're doing. We want them to connect with the curriculum and make sense of what they're learning and why. More than that, we want them to enjoy their learning experience as well.

At MakeBelieve Arts, the primary motivation of what we do is to see children and young people experience that moment when they realise that learning can be fun - that learning can be empowering.

Let's take up the challenge - let's stay creative and engage our Early Years from the word go.