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Camp Hill State Infants and Primary School > Calendar and news > School blog > Posts > OSHC insights
June 01
OSHC insights

Dear parents, guardians and friends

Just a Friday recount of some interesting OSHC insights! This week while discussing observations with staff, an interesting epiphany was reached. While working with children, our staff are often asked for help. At the risk of coming across as “mean” this help is often given. The question this raised however was at what point are children inclined to ask for help despite being perfectly capable? If not capable, by immediately providing the help at the very least prevents children from even having a go. After all, one arguably learns more from a failed attempt than a successful one! We feel this “need to ask” is a very real habit formed from an OVER proscription of rules, boundaries and expectations made by an adult mind but enforced on a child’s. This begs the question… Should we say no more often, and let them have a go?
A perfect example of this was documented this week by one of our Playworkers. When asked by several children to help lift a heavy plank of wood up onto a railing, he politely, but firmly said no. So what did the children do? Sulk? Move onto to something else? No. They worked it out. Despite being heavy, help was conscripted, and leverage was used to get the plank (and then more) into place. Other children pointed out where not to stand in case it fell while others pointed out how by placing the plank squarely in the middle of the bars it became more stable. Consider what opportunities would have been lost by simply acquiescing to each and every request a child makes, however reasonable it may seem.
In this case we documented:
       tremendous cooperation between age groups resulting in mentoring and nurturing outcomes
       great examples of play cues as children were invited to assist
       a true understanding of the risks and their mitigation by the children which adds infinite intrinsic value that a staff member dictating safety messages can never achieve
       a realisation of their own capabilities
       problem solving
       satisfaction born of achievement
In contrast, all this could have been lost.  Ironically, as children are driven by Neofilia (the attraction to what is novel), the instant gratification sought by asking for help may have well rendered the finished product a bit boring.
This is also a great example of one of the overriding pedagogies followed by our service being “loose parts play.” In “loose parts play” the children are constantly constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing their play environments. In many cases, the primary developmental achievements are made in the making of their play space, not in the completion.
We hope this has been an interesting insight into a week at Camp Hill OSHC!


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