The key feature in developing The Froebel Trusts policy and public awareness work has been the new Innovations Grant fund. Grants support the application of Froebelian principles in new ways and environments in order to support children to play expressively and creatively.
We are pleased to have awarded an Innovation Grant to Family Lives, to fund the development of short, accessible videos to support ‘mother songs’ which will help parents learn and understand the benefits of music and songs to help bond with their children.
The project draws on the Froebelian principle of focussing on development in the early years and the benefits of parents singing with their child to improve relationships within families. A link to the videos will be posted on our website once they have been developed.
The Trust has awarded a grant to Ex-Cathedra's Singing Medicine project at Birmingham Children's Hospital.
Most of the children in Birmingham Children’s Hospital are extremely poorly and often in considerable discomfort or pain. As well as having to cope with their illness, children are denied the usual personal and social development opportunities and enjoyable activities many healthy children usually enjoy. Many children therefore lack opportunities to develop the skills, confidence and self-esteem they need for later in life, particularly those with chronic conditions.
Singing Medicine aims to help address all of these challenges. Research shows that singing reduces stress, increases well-being, aids healing and fights infection (deeper breathing), and stimulates the brain.
Informal music-making can help individuals to feel part of a collective and reduce feelings of isolation. Research also shows that learning music uses similar processes as learning sounds and patterns, which in turn aid in the development of language and reading.
Ex Cathedra Vocal Tutors have developed special ways of using singing games – many of which have been composed by the team - that are completely inclusive with regards to capability, clinical need, language, background, vocal skills and musicianship. Sessions take place at bedsides, in isolation bays or in communal areas and encourage children to participate through singing, use of puppets and simple percussion instruments.
Scotswood Natural Community Garden (SNCG)
The Trust has awarded an innovation grant to Scotswood Natural Community Garden for their BREEZE Forest School project.
The project centres on child led exploration of nature and play using regular outdoor sessions. Children and young people (CYP) explore their own interests and lead the learning, with sessions typically including bushcraft (for example fire lighting, den making, tree climbing, and using tools for whittling and making wooden objects, arts and crafts) and nature-based games, to develop creativity and support learning and development.
The project will work with a number of disadvantaged children from 5 different schools, to deliver a significant intervention. Through Forest School they aim to increase the CYP’s emotional wellbeing, which research shows is essential to their engagement in learning.