The second 2021 field trip for the Kouga Windfarm Trust ECD project in the Eastern Cape took place in April. The trip began on a sad note:
Jessica Miti, one of the 10 Kouga ECD facilitators, died unexpectedly on the 15th April. The Miti family are keeping Jessica’s ECD centre, Micky Mouse, open. Ntombomzi Ndamse will support the staff at Micky Mouse until they join the Cohort 2 intake in Year 2.
Field trip 2 comprised three workshops and support visits to 12 ECD centres as follows:
Modelling play-based learning activities with the children at each ECD centre was most productive for everyone. The children painted and printed; they moulded clay and playdough, participated in movement rings, used recyclables to problem-solve and create, and sorted and matched colours, letters, and numbers. Learning was fun for the children – but behind each activity is a serious intention in terms of showing the teachers how play facilitates child development and links to the aims of the 0 – 4 years National Curriculum.
The challenges for most of the Cohort 1 ECD centres are scant resources, buildings in poor repair, and a lack of stimulation in terms of the children’s learning and development. COVID has affected school attendance and some ECD owners have had to find other sources of income resulting in absent leadership.
Workshops 1 and 2 on ‘Putting the educ(ation) into ‘educare’’ deepened the ECD centres’ understanding of how to provide children with quality early learning experiences. Each workshop began with the importance of naming and how to display and use the children’s names for learning. The participants then planned and shared ideas on how to facilitate the children’s learning and development using the 0-4 years National Curriculum Framework aims as their guide.
The reason for facilitating the same workshop on two afternoons pertains to Africa A+’s whole school approach i.e. involving everyone in transforming their ECD centre because people support what they create and understand. Facilitating the same workshop on different days enables all the staff at each ECD centre to participate.
Caroll Warmberg and her team from ITEC attended the ECD workshop to observe the A+ approach being facilitated. Africa A+ has nominated 19 uncertified Cohort 1 facilitators and principals as applicants for ITEC’s sponsored 2021 Level 4 training.
Workshop 3 on ‘Imagination and Creativity’ was attended by the Cohort 1 ECD school leaders and the Kouga facilitators. Workshop 3 was planned purposefully with the following premise in mind: if we want our children to become creative critical thinking problem-solvers (4th Industrial Revolution skills), then we need to make sure that the people who teach our children are in touch with and enjoying their own creativity. Workshop 3 extended March’s workshop on understanding what is a quality early education.
Comments made by the workshop participants when writing their reflections in relation to the following questions:
- What was the value the workshop for you?
- I learned allot today just to use my imagination.
- It gave me the value of imagination and also how to put a picture together.
- What 4 learning activities will you do at your ECD centre?
- Cutting the bread (for the children’s snack) into different shapes
- Do more outdoor play e.g. skipping and jumping
- Do counting every morning in morning circle
(Although there were some imaginative suggestions, many of the teachers have not yet made the connection yet between the NCF aims and the activities they can do with the children).
- How are you feeling about the 0 – 4 years National Curriculum Framework?
- Ek voel goed oor dit.
- I am beginning to understand it. Interesting.
- It is my guide to planning our lessons.