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Creative experiences at Sidley Children’s Centre and Rainbow Childcare

Six students from Bexhill College worked in collaboration with Rother Children’s Centre staff and a creative practitioner to provide creative experiences for children aged 0-5 years and their parents. Sessions took place in Sidley Children’s Centre and Rainbow Childcare. The students worked with children in the nursery and children and their parents attending the Music group and Stay and Play session.

Who was involved

  • Performing arts students from Bexhill College
  • Creative practitioner: Alex Sutton-Vane
  • Others: Staff from Rother Children’s Centre, Sidley Children’s Centre and Rainbow Childcare

Enquiry

This project builds on an earlier project using the question: How can we find ways to help improve language and communication skills, raise aspirations and help to engage families in their children’s learning?

Objectives

  • To enrich children’s development and learning through creative experiences
  • To provide students with realistic work experience around being a freelance arts worker
  • To allow students, staff and practitioner to share skills and ideas
  • To provide positive role models to children and their parents for future education and careers

Outcomes

The students really enjoyed their experience at the Children Centre and each week they grew in confidence and enthusiasm and were able to use their initiative to create original ideas to support children’s interests. They established meaningful relationships with the children, parents and staff. They provided experiences including natural collages, a variety of painting techniques, malleable opportunities, performing arts including singing, dancing, stories and role play. They also created games with the children and organised a ‘performing arts’ treasure hunt.

The children looked forward to the students’ arrival and were very excited to involve themselves in the creative experiences provided. Parents welcomed the students and were impressed with the experiences they provided – particularly the large scale painting – these experiences gave them ideas to support their child’s development and learning at home. They particularly liked having a male ‘role model’ present in the groups as some of the children do not have this at home.

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I liked staying with one group so that I could build relationships with the staff, parents and most importantly the kids!

Student

Working with the parents was hard at first but by the end I felt confident to approach them and chat.

Student

The activities were popular with children and presented well. Adults also welcomed the play ideas.

Children’s Centre Staff

My daughter wants to collect leaves for sticking on the way home and every time that we are out!

Parent