At Rachel Keeling, we value the learning involved in building and enjoying campfires with young children.
The weather has begun to turn and winter is on its way.
Campfires are a wonderful way to encourage specific vocabulary such as flint, kindling and charcoal. Children are also encouraged to respond using their senses: the smoke, the smell, the sounds! Children are supported to sustain concentration as the process is not a quick one: children develop an awareness of safety - we are very clear about the awe and wonder of the campfire but also support children to understand the danger of fire.
We build a fire square and the children know you do not enter it without an adult.
Children help to build the fire using cotton wool, newspaper and kindling.
The fire is lit using a flint - we do not use matches as we know children may have these at home and we do not want any fire-making at home!
The children enjoyed singing with Lize accompanying on the guitar.
Sometimes we build fires for the enjoyment and to keep warm.
Other times we cook over the fire or make hot chocolate.
Even when the rain came, we problem solved: Shamso stayed under the umbrella to keep the fire going and make sure the children could drink it as they sheltered under the verandah.
If you have any questions about making campfires, please speak to staff.
At Rachel Keeling Nursery School we introduced using tools with children over a decade ago. Children regularly use saws, hammers and the vice when creating models with wood.
They also use different methods for joining materials when creating models with recyclable materials such as cereal cartons.
Over the past few weeks children have been using various donated fabrics to design and make their own bags.
This involved measuring, talking, selecting, laying out, cutting and attaching pieces.
We promote the exploration and creation of pieces but sometimes there is no end product.
For example, children may work with transient art - natural pinecones, feathers, pebbles, shells and conkers to create designs and then deconstruct them again for someone else to use.
Sometimes there is an end product that children can use, such as these bags.
Supporting children developing their concentration and problem solving, as well as learning how to safely use the hot glue gun and a sharp needle too were some of the outcomes in this mini-project.
Can you sew? We would love some parent volunteers to come in and sew with the children!
Rachel Keeling is at the heart of the local community: Bethnal Green is a place we are proud to call our home and workplace.
We know many people in the local community may need extra help at the moment.
For our Harvest Appeal, generous families donated pasta, rice and tinned vegetables.
We are so grateful for the kindness shown by so many.
Children are beginning to understand that people need help sometimes.
In school we always teach children to ask if they need help.
"We have a voice" is one of our Rachel Keeling Values.
"We share and take turns" is another that fits beautifully with our food bank support.
We delivered it to the Bethnal Green Food Bank in Approach Road.
There is so much food that Pam has to drive it in her car!!!
They were getting ready for people to come and collect food and they had everything so well organised, vegetables, meat, fish, non-cook items and bags for families dependent on how many children they have.
The staff were very warm and friendly and grateful for the donations.
Thank you Rachel Keeling families.
If you need any help, please see staff or you can see how to use the food bank by clicking the link below:
Aloo TikiAt Rachel Keeling we follow the seasons of the year with the children and support their understanding of the world and people and communities by marking many festivals as well.
At the end of October, it was Diwali.
Diwali is the festival of lights and is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs worldwide.
It celebrates good over evil.
We explored many artefacts such as diva lamps, Rangolis, books and images.
Children listened to the story of Rama and Sita: some acted it out. The children explored props and really enjoyed the scary parts of the story!
The story tells us that good is more important than bad. This supports our Rachel Keeling Values very well.
We celebrated with fireworks in the garden and children cooked some Aloo Tiki. They also made Rangoli patterns using a variety of mediums, indoors and in the garden.
We also listened to music and danced.
Some children shared their news as they had been celebrating Diwali at home.
Ask your child whether they remember having fireworks in the garden.