Insights from the field: Do classroom development areas contribute towards the holistic development of children?

Insights from the field: Do classroom development areas contribute towards the holistic development of children?

By Msesi Simelane

Penreach Change Agents are providing support, coaching and mentoring at ECD Centres across Mpumalanga. This year, our intervention focuses mostly on classroom layout, learning areas and teaching approaches, which is categorised as Penreach ECD level 3 Intervention.

The Penreach Change Agents encourage the Practitioners and Centre Managers to acknowledge the importance of classroom areas and layout, and how this has an impact on the progress of a child’s holistic development.

Umalusi Omuhle Educare Centre in Kabokweni is one of the target centres who are showing great improvements in their arrangement of classroom development areas. The Practitioners and Centre Managers have actively re-arranged all their classrooms to fit level 3 requirements of child development and the learning areas.

The fantasy play area is designed as a learning area where children use their imagination as they dramatize different roles. At Umalusi Omuhle Centre, the fantasy play area has salon equipment, dolls and kitchen utensils, where children role play as hair stylists, chefs and mothers.

Other learning areas include the book area, a puzzle/ bock play area, music and movement area. The music and movement area consist of equipment like a guitar, piano, shakers and drums. This is where the love for singing and dance develops for some children. When looking at colourful pictures in storybooks in the classroom’s book corner, children’s love for books is cultivated.

As children rotate amongst the learning areas, the activities of free play contribute toward holistic development. The children’s social, emotional, communication and language skills also develop during play in the learning areas, as they communicate with one another.

Penreach Change Agents will continue to actively promote learning through play in the target centres. Centre Managers and Practitioners of ECD centres across South Africa need to acknowledge the importance of development areas in the classroom and how they contribute towards the holistic development of a child.

Many centres across our province do not have access to resources that make up the development areas, as spoken above. Should you wish to contribute any previously loved toys or learning resources, contact us on 013 758 9000 /