At the Cowgate Under 5’s, we pride ourselves on our approach to children’s learning. The Centre is run with a strong, Froebelian influence, where the belief is that, through engaging with the world, understanding unfolds. Hence the significance of play – it is both a creative activity and through it children become aware of their place in the world. Froebel firmly believed that children learn through spontaneous play. He sought to encourage the creation of educational environments that involved practical work and the direct use of materials. The Cowgate aim to provide this by encouraging autonomous play in a safe environment. We provide a woodwork bench with real tools, believing that by allowing the children the opportunity to use such materials, the skills to do so safely and confidently can be developed. Our children are encouraged to pour their own milk, serve their own lunch, wash their dishes, under the sensitive supervision of caring adults. Each of these activities offers the opportunity to develop independence, and as such, self esteem.
We place a lot of importance in the outdoors, and spend time in the garden in all weathers. This again is influenced by Froebel’s emphasis on the unity of indoors and outdoors. Our terrace houses a greenhouse, where children have the opportunity to grow their own flowers, fruits and vegtables, which can then be eaten for snack. We encourage our children to care for our environment and the birds, insects and other little creatures we share it with.
Should you wish to know more about our approach, please contact the Centre to arrange a visit, where we can show you it in practice. If you are interested in finding out more about Froebel, please click here.