At Rachel Keeling we support children to tune into sounds in the environment, listen to each other and explore the joy of language. When children are ready, we begin some more formal teaching of phonics and support children in writing in meaningful ways - shopping lists, labels, drawing and writing their names. During the summer term we also have our Moving on Readers who are using the knowledge they have of letters and sounds to read words and sentences. It is a joy to see children beginning to transfer skills into their writing. With the sensitive support and stimulus to encourage children to want to write we find many children are making excellent progress in literacy.
In the true spirit of suffragette Rachel Keeling, we support the children and families in using their voice to express themselves. This week staff, families and young people joined a rally of Tower Hamlets schools, NHS workers, local politicians and union representatives to voice our concerns about the funding cuts which are potentially decimating schools up and down the country. It is so vital that all of our community feel they have a stake in their local areas and further afield. We teach our children from a young age that they will be listened to and respected and in return they should do the same for others.
Please make sure you get out and vote on June 8!
Our spell of warm dry weather made us think of summer BBQs with our friends and families at Rachel Keeling. Children were involved in shopping at our local fishmonger for mackerel. They watched closely as he filleted and prepared the fish for us. Children read the recipe and were part of the process of preparing the mackerel for cooking. Slicing the lemons, adding the olive oil, grinding the sea salt and pepper for seasoning. More children helped to build the fire, some who have been involved in previous garden fires were able to remember the process and used descriptive language and vocabulary such as 'kindling' and 'flint'. As wellbeing and safety is at the heart of everything we do with the children, most showed a sound understanding of keeping safe around fires.
The mackerel were wrapped in foil and cooked over the fire. This sensory experience offered sights, sounds and smells. The taste was shared across the three base rooms at story time with children enjoying the chance to eat the freshly cooked fish.
Many of our recent blogs have focused around learning in the garden - it truly is the jewel in our Rachel Keeling crown!
Saturday Gardening at Rachel Keeling has begun with gusto. At Rachel Keeling Nursery School we recognise that parents are the first educators of their children and spending time together in our busy lives can sometimes be challenging. We provide monthly opportunities for families to come and join the team, throwing open the garden gate!
We are extremely grateful to the Tower Hill Trust for funding the continuation of this project. This wonderful and much-loved project had faced closure due to budget restraints.
A record 30 families joined Frances, Nazma, Glenn and Rashida to plant, tend and harvest as well as climb the trees, relax in the newly-developed garden and explore the mud kitchen.
Children and families planted their own herbs to take home for window boxes and made flower seed bombs. It was wonderful to see the local community make use of this beautiful space at the weekend. Families and friends, old and new came together to enjoy being outdoors.
In feedback families said "Absolutely amazing time all together planting, thank you...Excellent community parenting. Well done...Fabulous day - so much to see and do. Thank you Rachel Keeling...What a wonderful community spirit you have created... We can't wait until next time!"
Please join our next Saturday Gardening session on 20 May, 10am-12pm.