“All learning begins with the body. It has to. It’s our point of reference – our own personal, portable true north, so to speak. And for children, it’s even more so because the body is the brain’s first teacher. And the lesson plan is movement.” – A Moving Child is a Learning Child (Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy)
Watering Whole understands the importance of free play and exploration as well as gross motor and fine motor work for each child’s physical development.
Opportunities offered focusing on physical development include: outdoor activities such as climbing on the jungle gym, digging in the sandpit, riding bikes, exploring the garden, taking part in obstacle courses, rhythm and dance and interacting with different learning materials.
Gross motor skills development through activities which work the large muscle groups; such as gym or stretching exercises, obstacle courses, ball skills, yoga for children, or utilising music in dance or aerobic exercises.
Fine motor skills development through activities which work the fine/small muscle groups; such as threading, beading, assembling nuts and bolts, ‘fishing’ and working with the many different puzzles and learning materials offered at the school.
Watering Whole has also included a specialised, highly beneficial new gross-motor programme developed by a qualified physiotherapist Julia Lee-Sylvester, who is devoted to paediatrics as a special interest and passion.
Julia visits our school once a week to run small gross motor groups with each age group. Children learn through play and having fun, hence the aim of the groups is to learn a new skill or practice a skill in an enjoyable, non-judgmental and non-competitive environment. Positive reinforcement and warm encouragement are used as motivators.
The groups are structured around different age appropriate skill sets. Sessions are twenty minutes long and the routine varies each week to keep the children engaged and interested. The groups focus on skills such as cardiovascular fitness, postural control or ‘core’ stability, hand-eye co-ordination, bilateral co-ordination, rhythm and timing and gross motor skills.
In addition to these weekly classes, Julia provids support and guidance for our Individual Assistance Programmes (the support system I run and offer for each child’s additional individual needs), informing us when children may need additional support and helping to assess and give feedback through our reports.
Watering Whole loves Julia’s gentle and passionate energy and feel she is a perfect fit for our school. We so love the gross-motor enrichment she provides the children here.
The Intellidance® Kids programme uses a concept-based approach to movement education. This teaches young children a meaningful movement vocabulary that can be applied to any style of dance, sport, or movement-based activity. Movement becomes a universal language and holistic learning tool that is beneficial to children worldwide.
Conceptual dance is process driven. It challenges and inspires children to explore, inquire, and problem solve. Conceptual dance integrates cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. This creates a holistic and child-focused environment.
- Developing gross motor and dance skills.
- Increasing co-ordination, balance, and flexibility.
- Fostering rhythmic awareness and the ability to move to the beat.
- Developing musicality through exploration of sensory props, songs, music and movement.
- Developing spatial and body awareness.
- Moving as part of a group and as an individual in a variety of spatial relationships.
- Experiencing a variety of circle dances to nurture social development, collaborative dance and cultural awareness.
- Fostering language development and early literacy skills.
- Supporting individual creativity and expression.