Governors visited Rachel Keeling this week to look at the progress children and staff are making with developing reading and writing. We focused on the experiences children have been engaged in over the past two weeks. This term we find our children are oozing confidence in so many areas and they really see themselves as readers and writers (as well as musicians, sculptures, rock climbers and doctors!) Children are making recognisable marks, ascribing meaning to them and sharing them with others, often choosing to display them immediately. Staff reflect as they work and ensure children are provided with meaningful opportunities to develop holistically. It is through these experiences children are able to purposefully read and write. Our bag-making project has enabled children to plan their creations, drawing diagrams with labels and our visiting caterpillars have motivated many children to draw close observational representations. On-going provision such as the Story Station and Helicopter Stories mean children have free access to mark making resources to use independently. As we work to develop our sensory garden space, children have taken the role as experts on the flora in the space: smelling, tasting, handling the herbs, learning the names and uses of them and making signs to inform others. Our children have developed skills and have dispositions which will hopefully mean they will be writers for life!
The children have been supported in developing descriptive language, predicting and speculating with the arrival of our caterpillar larvae. Children housed, fed and observed the larvae develop into tiny caterpillars and used non-fiction books, magnifiers and the iPads to find out more information. The children were able to generate and answer questions and were amazed when they returned after the weekend to find "big, huge, hairy caterpillars!" It has been wonderful to hear the children using vocabulary such as "life cycle", "hatch" and "pupa". The experience so far has provided some lovely opportunities to be still, watch and think. Many children have drawn their observations and these are being displayed to document the process of metamorphosis. Watch this space for updates!
The sun shone and the pennies rolled in at the Rachel Keeling Summer Fete. It was a wonderful afternoon, shared by many members of our community: families present, past and future, neighbours, friends, governors and staff. The raffle prizes which were generously donated by local businesses, families and wonderful tourist attractions in London (the Spiderman scooter was the most coveted prize though!) Many parents and staff donated their time to look organise and look after stalls and Glenn enjoyed a soaking in the stocks!
As ever, the generosity of our community has raised enough money to pay for the children to go to Southend on Sea for our annual trip to the seaside: a memorable day out for all. Thank you!