At Aurora, we look at promoting choice and agency during every part of their day. We place a special focus in encouraging children to make choices during play. This approach is supported by the Victorian Early Years Developmental Framework (VELDE F), but also informed by research, pedagogists, child development theories and by our own Love and Play the Aurora Way approach.
Here, we examine why we place a deep focus on play and supporting children’s choice and agency through all play experiences.
Why focus on play?
Children’s sense of identity and agency is well supported when they have opportunities to take active control of their learning and play is a particularly valuable way for learning, and adults have an important role even when play is child led.
The right brain develops first. It does so by the time children are 3 or 4 years old. The left brain, on the other hand, doesn’t fully ‘come online’ until children are approximately around 7 years old: hence the first seven years is recognized as such a critical period in the development of a child.
“Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.”
The right brain is indeed an intricate playground, or at least, allows us to better explore and navigate the playgrounds in our physical world.
Play is integral and at Aurora we let children dwell in their most natural state through their unstructured play, as they use curiosity, wonder and imagination to guide them. The right brain is is responsible for intuition, imagination and creativity. It is where we wonder, we dream, we connect and we come alive. Through the right brain we dwell in the space of no-time, in being absolutely present. While the left brain is more interested in outcomes or product, the right brain cares much more about process – at Aurora the journey is what matters, not the destination, we promote that CHOICE to focus on and enjoy the journey.
We use the metaphor of a diamond as the highest standard to measure our practice.
A diamond, it is said, is one of the hardest rocks on Earth and when processed properly can radiate to bring great value in every sense of the word. However if it’s not handled with great care, just like little children, it can break down, losing its true value. Aurora prides itself in facilitating great care to enable every child to grow and reach their full potential.
A diamond takes millions of years to crystalise, the carbon atoms forming deep beneath the Earth’s surface, after which precision and fine craftmanship brings out its highest value. The human brain too, like the diamond, has millions of neurons which bond together to form and connect as it grows. Highly skilled professionals need to handle the human mind with great care to bring out the highest quality it is capable of exhibiting.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein
What has choice got to do with all this, one might ask?
At Aurora we aim to create an environment where children who have a healthy right brain can better use their left-brain tools in positive ways. That is the purpose of the left-logical brain: to serve the right brain—doing serves being.
We aim for the boundless experience of “human being” rather than “human doing.” Through the act of PLAY.
Being is the soil from where we derive all our plans, details and action; it must bloom if we are to experience personal fulfilment and truly contribute to the world like a diamond.
A CHILD LED PLAY BASED PATHWAY
At Aurora our diamonds are our children. The 4 c’ of our diamond measurements are…
Cut -To create enriched environments that shape children, influence them, to set them apart as unique pieces creating their own identity- one cut above the rest.
Clarity- To polish and bring out clarity of thought, word and actions with confidence.
Colour – To allow the very core of the child to show off their true colour and character.
Carat – To bring out their true intrinsic value, from a rough uncut to the high iridescent beautiful piece, that shines however, keeping the very core of their personality intact.