Working in collaboration with the Institute of Imagination enabled us to provide an inspirational environment. We surrounded the children with invitational activities along the theme of Recode. The theme was interpreted as broadly as possible from poetry to heraldry to dance. The children then had time, space and resources to follow their own lines of inquiry.
“Both my boys absolutely loved attending the first pilot. The space was set up really well, with lots of different resources available to use, have fun and play with. And learn from too! They felt safe and comfortable to move around freely trying most of them. They enjoyed themselves very much.”
The pilot provided a wide range of role models, from the parents present to the workshop leaders to the children themselves. It was lovely to witness the children encourage each other to attempt new activities. These activities ranged from writing to bottle flipping.
“Definitely the social aspect was key, particularly for my eldest two children (ages 10 & 11). Friendships and peer led activities are their preferred method of engaging with new ideas. The pilot offered the children opportunities to bond and form some good friendships which could be explored in a safe and stimulating environment.”
Mixed age groups
The children sought out those people who could help them, whether adult or child. There was a lovely moment where a six year old taught an adult to use the Kano computer so he could help a five year old.
“Hagan was able to mentor some of the other students because he has a Kano at home. This was a huge lift for his self confidence and also a great way for him to forge new relationships with other kids. There was a lot of bonding over Minecraft, as the children traded advice and expertise about the game.”
The pilot allowed for all members of the family to be engaged. Parents could spend time with their younger children knowing that the older siblings were being inspired and involved elsewhere.
“The first pilot was totally awesome and provided both my child and me with an exceptionally rare environment where children can engage in awesome and diverse activities without any pressure or barrier.
My child could explore amazing and diverse activities engaging with all sorts of people and children of different ages.
Children can freely learn, explore and play engagingly with people and children of different ages and cultures.
This amazing group of people and children has a great energy and everyone's passionate involvement makes these very clever sessions utterly stimulating, fun and engaging.
Best sessions ever where clever topics are presented in a playful and intelligent way as to make everyone want to engage and learn with pleasure.”
The children had the time and space to organise their own games. It was lovely to see how collaborative and inclusive they were, with children of all ages able to join in at a level and pace that worked for them.
“The first pilot at iOi allowed my daughter Charli to explore a range of resources and activities at her own pace. She values independence and choice and it was the perfect environment for that. There were plenty of different resources to explore and different children (and sometimes the parents too) brought their own ideas to the resources and sparked different games/ideas for play. It was also a great space for her - a large space for running, more physical games, smaller space for reading, relaxing, more quieter play. The way the resources were set out also allows for some watching, something she likes to do for security before joining in and numbers of children/area meant it was possible for her to choose to play in her own space too.”