Geronimo began as a piece of research which was commissioned by Creative Learning into the areas of play, creativity and managing risk in early years children. A 12 week pilot project followed this, in the Tullos community, with the support of Tullos Primary School. The Geronimo approach now informs all early years work devised by Creative Learning.
Geronimo is all about play, as a family and as a community. Geronimo is about learning, creating, exploring, risk taking, problem solving, but, most importantly, it is about taking the time out to play and be creative. In today’s technologically driven, time-starved world, taking the time out to play, and really enjoy actively playing, is too often neglected. The benefits to early years children spending quality time together with their parents and family in play are multiple with strengthening secure attachment and building resilience being key to children reaching their full potential. In addition, it is widely recognised that play is important to healthy brain development in the early years, laying the foundations for future life skills. Growing up in Scotland; the longitudinal research study tracking the lives of thousands of children and their families from the early years, through childhood and beyond, evidences the inequalities in early years. This tells us that future inequality is already present when children reach the age of 5. To get it right for every child, to narrow or close the gap, we know that it must begin in early years.
Creative Learning provides training opportunities for artists to work alongside parents or Early Years Practitioners. Together they devise a tailored programme which can address specific Experiences and Outcomes. This partnership approach enables a space to become a blank canvas through which adults and children can explore this new learning environment together. The space can be indoors or outdoors and demonstrates that creative learning can take place anywhere and that creative approaches are perpetually available to all. The workshops are child-led, allowing for risk and the learning which this process enables. This environment makes being playful and exploring the concept of risk easy. Physically testing limits as well as embracing the idea that not all outcomes are known both constitute risk and are equally valuable in building resilience. The support of the artists gives the parents / Early Years Practitioners the valuable opportunity to gain confidence in their creativity for their children’s learning and development. Geronimo demonstrates that creativity isn’t about specialist skills or reliance on resources, but rather empowers adults to be more receptive to possibilities in play and creativity. Accessible and low cost materials ensure that this approach remains sustainable, beyond the life of the Geronimo sessions. The long-term aim of this work is that this interaction; play, curiosity, problem solving and creativity, will continue at home and as a part of the everyday, enabling children to reach their full potential and narrowing the attainment gap.
If you would like any more information or to discuss Geronimo further please contact:
Lindsay Dawson, Creative Project Coordinator for Early Years and Families, Creative Learning, Rosemount Community Centre, Belgrave Terrace, Aberdeen, AB25 2NS
Tel: 01224 611161 | email@example.com