The Power of ‘I Don’t Know’

Posted: 20th March 2024

Welcome to our world! This is a small selection of the questions that were asked one day last week in Kindergarten:

Why is it raining every day?

Where is my woodlouse gone? It was on this table….. 

Where does poo go? (whilst looking down into the toilet)

Is there a volcano in Mayfield?

Where have the dinosaurs gone now?

Can people eat bugs?

Why is mud slippy?

Can persons fly with their arms?

We no longer feel trepidation when asked a question we can’t answer accurately. Saying “I don’t know, shall we find out?” is a powerful way to build on existing knowledge and scaffold that knowledge to the next level. We see it as an opportunity for collaborative research.

The days are long gone when early years teachers would prepare the topics and themes for learning throughout the year, deciding ahead of time what our children would learn about, and how. 

Responding ‘in the moment’ to our children’s questions means that we are able to work with each child, responding to real questions in real time. Teachers and children work together, and as answers are found, new questions are posed. This leads to deeper learning and a significant increase in wellbeing and engagement. For the staff, it’s an adventure and an insight into the workings of our children’s minds and thoughts. 

As the children move up Into Upper Kindergarten, Miss Emily creates opportunities to develop these individual questions into broader themes, through ‘Enquiry based learning’. 

Our children in Upper Kindergarten have learned about the lives of people in Papua New Guinea, the volcanoes of New Zealand, and the food and hats of America!

It is wonderful to witness adults and children researching together, creating together, and feeling the joy of achievement together. Every day is truly different, and cannot be foreseen or over-planned.

 This cannot happen without sensitive and skilled practitioners working together for the benefit of the children. I am so thankful to my brilliant team in the Kindergarten, who work tirelessly to enable every child to feel successful and powerful. It cannot happen without our lovely, supportive parents, who respond so positively to the children’s experiences at Skippers.

Have a wonderful Easter break everyone. We are looking forward to an exciting summer term!


Loraine Pincott

Categories: Early Years School Blog