The Ruyton Reporter - Autumn 2014 - page 5

Workshop for Success
Secretsofa successful life…
MsKathyWalker fromEarly LifeFoundations ranan informative
workshop forparentsofour ELC students inFebruary. She focused
on theattributes thatneed tobedeveloped inachild inorder for
them to leada successful life. Themain research resultswereoutlined
as follows.
To leada successful life, achildneeds todevelop:
•a strong senseof self
• resilience
•problem-solving skills
•healthy relationships
• literacyandnumeracy skills.
WhatKathyaskedus tonotewas that the topattributesneeded fora
successful lifearecentredarounda strong senseof self-understanding
andanability to relate toothers.
Thiswasevidenced in studies carriedoutonbabies to seehowmany
brain receptorswould lightupwhenachildwasgivenabig smileby
anadult (studyone in this case). The same studywas conductedagain
but insteadof anadultgiving thebabyabig smile, theadultheldupa
flashcard (study two). In studyone, brain receptors clearly litupwhile
in study two, very few responded.
Thekey tomakingearlybrainconnectionswithyoungchildrenbegins
withbuilding strong relationshipsand resilience, and teachinga sense
of self. Play-basedprogrammesdo just that. Even though rote learning
of literacyandnumeracymaynotbe readilyapparent, learning
throughplayhelpsbuild life skillsandcreatesaworldof inquiry.Next
timeyoucome toKinderorPrePrep, takea lookat theplay that is
happening in thedramaticactivitycorneroron thecollage table. Ask
yourselfwhat thechildrenare learning in theseareas; notice the
languageused, theconversations, the skillsneeded to share toysand
resourcesand the skillsneeded tonegotiate theirplay space. Takenote
of themanner inwhich thechildrenareconnecting their
understandingof theworldaround them.
Kathy runsparentworkshopseachMondayandTuesdayeveningat
theEarly LifeFoundationsCentre inBrighton. Formore information
Directorof Early Learning
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