At Rachel Keeling we involve children in the everyday routines of school life: setting up, preparing snack, washing up, making the playdough to play with, tending the fruit and vegetables growing, caring for the wildlife visitors to our garden and doing the shopping.
Our Shoppers of the Week take the responsibility of the whole process and the learning they get out of it is incredible:
Confidence and communication: Children need to go around the school asking if any staff need shopping for their areas this week;
Mark marking and phonic awareness: Children make a list of marks to represent what we they need to buy, it might be pictures, squiggles or come may be able to write letters using their knowledge of phonics;
Counting and recognising numbers: Children come to the office to ask for money to do the shopping. They often have pound coins and count them out (usually 5 each!) Then they put them safely in their purses and backpacks.
Understanding of the world and their community: Children often show us and tell us so much information when we go on local walks. They sometimes know the different shops, bus routes, where they live, the park and people and pets who are in our community. They always know they have to hold hands with an adult;
Reading and talking: Children are encouraged to remember what was on their lists and read them. They then need to look for the items, seeing if they recognise packaging or labels.
Developing confidence and relationships: Then they pay the shop keeper and pack their shopping in their backpacks.
We are lucky to have such lovely local shopkeepers in Bethnal Green.
Consolidation of the above skills: Finally they return to school and have to give the office their change. They talk about what they bought and sign the docket for the auditors.
They unpack the shopping and give it to the people who asked for it.
So next time you go shopping or lay the table, get your child involved in the process: there is so much learning in the every day.
Rachel Keeling Nursery School
Bullard's Place, Morpeth Street, London, E2 0PS
Tel: 020 89805856
RACHEL KEELING IS PART OF THE RACHEL KEELING AND CHILDREN'S HOUSE NURSERY FEDERATION