This time of year is always a wonderful time, getting to know our new friends and families and making sure they feel settled, attached and happy to be in school. We have noticed this year a wide group of children who are very interested in music and singing.
At Rachel Keeling we are fortunate to have a piano which the children can access freely. Children regularly experience Lize playing and singing beautifully during the course of the week which provides some lovely inspiration (as well as envy that I didn't stick with piano lessons as a child!) Staff are on hand to support children to press the keys gently, listen to the sounds, noticing the pitch of the notes and explore the instrument.
Practitioners observed and noted that particular children were returning to the piano on a daily basis and sustaining concentration. Some children played alone and others performed as a group. The children helped to organise the music box (containing the sheets of music) and then they relabelled the keys. This has been done with coloured stickers demarcating the notes, which then match some of our sheet music. In time, many of these children will be supported to read the notes and play simple tunes such as Twinklew Twinkle.
At a time when funding for the arts, and music in particular is being scrapped, we think it is especially important for our children to have access to this art form.
At Rachel Keeling Nursery School we have been considering our impact on the planet for some time. Supporting children and families to consider the environment and sustainability of our planet in their day to day lives.
Yesterday, a group of wonderful children and parents came to Meath Gardens to join a litter pick. Despite the stormy clouds and rain, we donned his-vis jackets and gloves, grabbed our litter picker and recycling bags and set about spotting and gathering litter. We were joined by the wonderful Iren from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Maud from Sunny Jar Eco Hub.
The good news was there was not a lot of rubbish in the park and our children had to work very hard to find some. Passers-by saw us and commented how proud they were that children so young were helping keep their park clean.
We talked about the types of rubbish we found and some children showed an awareness of recycling "We recycle bottles at home".
When we finished, we gathered to look at what we found and talk about it. Children also used leaves and sticks to create some transient art. When we finished we left the leaves and sticks behind in the park and removed the recycling and rubbish.
One of our parents commented "This school is magic. Thank you. It's so important our children understand this about the world. It is their world."
We are planning a monthly Litter Pick with children and families. We hope this will encourage more people to take responsibility for their local neighbourhoods and see that we all have a responsibility to care for the world we inhabit.
If you would like further information get in touch with us or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to thank Tower Hamlets for loaning us the equipment for our expedition.
At Rachel Keeling Nursery School the team work very sensitively and reflectively, ensuring we balance the adult support and intervention in learning with the child led and child centred approach we know that is so empowering for our children.
This week a practitioner observed a group of children rolling around under a blanket in the garden. They suggested the children might like to make more space for themselves and create a den where they could sit up. The group were keen and set about gathering resources to make a hidey hole. After some time unsuccessfully balancing blankets over traffic cones the adult intervened again. They showed the children our bridge and thought aloud that maybe a blanket laid over that would be cosy.
After some problem solving, the children and practitioner worked together and success was theirs! Underneath the blanket now was an environment which allowed for much talk, laughter and eye contact. Children commented on the sunlight coming through the red blanket "It's the reflection" said one of them.
The children sustained play and demonstrated high levels of well-being during this experience. A wonderful example of sensitive co-collaboration between children and an adult.
As thousands of people across the UK are striking and joining protests today, we are so proud of our activists at Rachel Keeling. As many of our families and friends know, we have been working on environmental and ethical issues, supporting our children, staff and families to make responsible choices.
This week the children made banners and discussed some of the issues our planet is facing at the moment. Children showed a good awareness of water conservation, the forests in the Amazon burning and plastic in the ocean.
As it is an emergency, we gathered in the garden and rang our alarm for one minute at 1pm in solidarity for those who were striking.
Some of our children and their families then joined the rally in Westminster in the afternoon.
We at Rachel Keeling stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters around the world.
Save our mother planet!
A new term starts with excitement and anticipation. New friends and families joining us after waiting what seems a lifetime and our returning friends and families who are adjusting to life without their peers who have moved onto Reception class.
Friendships have been rekindled, children have had rich and meaningful conversations with staff and each other, new friendships and experiences explored. For some of these younger children, it is the only time in their educational life where they will be the oldest children in their year.
Staff continue to create opportunities for children to develop their independence and confidence, alongside communication and joy!
Our new School Development Plan will be appearing here early next week (under the School Development Plan, SDP tab). Please read it and let us know if you can support us in any way. Workshops and events will be also coming up this term. You will be advised of these very soon!