Our pedagogic work unfold within the frames of the overall principles and attitudes, which we have created within the institution. These aspects help to define the culture and atmosphere of the institution and are likewise an expression for our learning and development viewpoint in the work with children. In Børnehuset Lillekilde the following values underlies our work with the six learning themes.
Attentiveness and Presence
Attentiveness must be the foundation stone in pedagogic, as we otherwise cannot see, hear and feel where the children are. Thus, we consider it our most important task to be attentive and present here and now together with the children.
The more present we are, the more equal becomes the interaction between the child, the children’s group and us. It is an appreciative aspect in itself that we mutually want something for one another, and we as pedagogues become captured and absorbed in conversations and activities just as much as the child.
It is important that we have confidence in each other. The children should learn and experience that the surroundings are as the child perceives them and that the child can trust its own intuition and ability. It is a prerequisite to the child feeling safe and at ease with a courage to challenge and develop. Thus, the children must have confidence in the adults, they spent time with every day and the parents must have confidence in the place, where they bring their children. Børnehuset Lillekilde must be a safe place to be where words and action go hand in hand.
Professional and Personal Development
Børnehuset Lillekilde is a place for development and learning, for both children and the staff. All children have an incredible development potential, which has to be challenged and stimulated based on the child’s ability and resources.
The staff have continuously the possibility to participate in pedagogic courses as handling bullying or “outdoor life” with inspiration to learning in nature. A couple of times every year we have teachers from outside the institution attending staff meetings who teaches for example rhythmic, body and movement, nutrition and life-saving first aide. Like the children, we have to be in constant movement and develop ourselves by learning about the world surrounding us.
All children have the right to participate and to experience being included in a community. All children must see themselves as being valuable contributors to the community and experience that they have an affiliation to Lillekilde. Experiencing being part of one or more relationships is crucial to the child’s well-being and development.
There must be room for differences and here also including cultural differences. We have a lot of that in Lillekilde – both among the staff and the children. This creates different personal and professional challenges, which strengthens the community.
Play and Learning
The children are given the space and opportunity to contribute strongly to the group. It is important that they have the possibility to experience for themselves and independently manage actions.
Markers, paper, jigsaws, toys, all books and other activities are always available for everybody in the middle group and the kindergarten. There might be some waste of materials in this, as the things are not really controlled, but it gives other possibilities and another understanding and approach to the things in the room. What might look unorganized and messy from the outside contributes to the possibility of making imaginative games with books for instance, where the contents suddenly “come to life” with jigsaw pieces galloping over the book or the books are used to build a bridge over the railway line.
The availability of toys, activities and materials contributes to the possibility of the individual child to develop within his/hers own interests. Here the children can – independently or together – explore and engage in fantasy and creativity, depending on where their needs and enthusiasm lies. We believe this is a space for development that creates the possibility for personal absorption and independence.
Children need and have the right to experience joy by being in Børnehuset Lillekilde and joy by being together with their friends.
Play and learning hang together. Thus, the staff must make sure to organize activities, which make sense, are challenging and suitable for their age. Learning takes place everywhere in daily life – in daily routines and planned pedagogical activities, on their own, in free play and together with others.
The adults must guide, support and inspire to learning. To us the children have different background, they learn in different ways, and may have the need of learning something differently. Thus we must have an eye for that the chosen learning processes are based on the present group of children. Authentic adults, who lay down recognizable and challenging frames for the daily life, where the children participates a lot in deciding the contents, must meet the children.
The children must be met by recognitions. Here it is not only about praising the child for what it can do but to a very high extent to see the child for what it is – it concerns being see, heard and understood. A recognizable relationship presuppose presence and attentiveness from the adult. Recognition creates a positive atmosphere, where we focus on the forces, resources and qualities of the child.
In the daily life, children are met by demands and limits, and if something cannot be done (if it gets a “no”) we try to meet the child with an alternative (what else is possible) or at least an explanation.
We place great emphasis on children’s participation, initiative and curiosity in everyday life.
We consider it important for children’s development to have a balance between intentionally adult-controlled activities and self-management and self-expression on their own.
Thus, we strive to make democratic processes visible for the children. Children must have a say and an influence on their own daily life and they must be involved in decision-making processes that affect their daily lives. This they do among other things at the Morning Gathering and when we together talk about which upcoming activities and project that would be exciting to do. At the youngest children, we look at the enthusiasm and the need in the moment when creating spontaneous activities.
We see children as active participants in their own development and learning processes, and in the daily life, they must see themselves as co-creators to the cultural, professional and social community. It is our intention to make room for and seize that, which the children have a possibility to influence. This support them in getting better in making choices and to say yes and no, but it also teach them to take responsibility for themselves. When you create something yourself, you experience to be part of making the agenda.