Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Signs Of A Good/bad Nursery #6 - Displays

Displays. By which I mean the CHILDREN'S work displayed so that children and/or parents can see it.

Not all nurseries like putting up children's work. A large chain I often work for has a nice new nursery where instead of children's work on boards in the room, they have enormous photos of happy children. I'm talking of 3 foot square! I assume that they feel the artwork done by their users would detract from their corporate image. Maybe they don't value creativity! It's the image thing.

Another nursery had children's work up but no creativity. The only artwork on the walls were large Disney characters, drawn by adults, and covered very carefully with little balls of rolled up coloured tissue paper. They must have spent hours on each one and the nursery must have resembled a third world sweatshop with children rolling thousands of little paper balls. They were also a bit faded and rather dusty and old. That nursery shut down just after I had gone there. Good.

Yet another nursery I was at had MOST of their boards covered in photos of what the children were doing, such as photos of children painting, cooking,dancing etc. Good idea to have a board like that, but not nearly every board in the nursery, and not tiny 6x4 inch photos that the children can't see themselves.

A good nursery values the creativity of the children and wants to display it. The children feel proud that their work is up for all to see and will often point out what they've done. Displays can be reminders of things that have happened, such as a trip to a farm. They could be a starting point for an upcoming topic. They could be used for just about anything with a little imagination, and should be one of the key features of a nursery, not an afterthought. But labels should be spelt right, and borders should be straight, and boards should be changed often. Boards reflect the aspirations, beliefs and the standards of the nursery.

If you're a parent you can judge a nursery by it's boards.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh, bad displays and not displaying childrens work is my pet hate! I was a primary school teacher before I had my son. One school I worked in absolutely loved displaying the kids work and we all worked really hard on the displays - keeping them fresh, planning them with the pupils, making sure they could show their work off and be proud of it etc. Then I moved and had to get a job at another school. I hated it there and the miserable attitude to everything was summed up by the displays: in the classrooms we were only allowed to have stuff that boosted learning on the walls - no work or pictures by the kids at all (I ignored this and got in trouble). the corridors, however, were a riot of colour and creative display. All sounds great, but I soon found out that the teaching assistants did all of it. All the artwork that I'd initially been impressed by was all drawn out and heavily supervised by TAs, who'd take a few children at a time out of class to colour a bit in or collage a bit with carefully chosen colours and materials. It was a pointless exercise that had everything to do with image and nothing to do with the children. I still get riled when I think about it!

    *steps down from soapbox*

    Lisa @