My heart has been heavy this week.
I have been reading, reflecting, thinking and talking.
I have been talking to white friends as my black friends are tired. They are tired of explaining themselves, pretending they are OK.
I have been learning too and I have a lot of work still to do.
The Black Lives Matter campaign has gathered pace in the UK as a result of the terrible atrocities which have happened in the US.
I have spent a lot of time this week supporting people who say "all lives matter".
Of course everyone's life matters but right now we are focusing on black lives as hard data shows black people's lives are at risk more than "all" lives.
I am so proud to be part of the Rachel Keeling Nursery School family. I do not use the term 'family' loosely. We are a family. We have worked hard to ensure we welcome everyone, value them and celebrate uniqueness - we do not want everyone to be the same.
We do want everyone to follow our Rachel Keeling Values to help life be harmonious and rich.
Talk to your children about our values at school:
WE HAVE A VOICE
WE HAVE A CHOICE
WE SHARE AND TAKE TURNS
WE RESPECT EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING
Finally, the first photograph above is one of our Rachel Keeling family, who is now in Reception Class. She attended the Hackney Kids Against Racism protest on Saturday.
She used her voice and her mum proudly shared her photograph with us.
We all have a part to play.
I will add some resources below during the week for grown ups and children to access.
We will also as a school ensure we are deeply rooted in this work - challenging each other, stereotypes, assumptions, our resources and books.
Please email me head@rachelKeelingtowerhamlets.sch.uk if you have any questions or comments.
Love, hope and peace, Becky xxx
Our lovely Rachel Keeling team wanted to send their love to each and every one of you and to each other.
We have gone from being a team who work together every day: sharing many jokes, laughter, drama and love.
We miss you all. You are part of our extended family.
Rachel Keeling is a family.
Please read and enjoy.
We hope we will all be back together again as soon as it is safe.
Love, hope and healing xxxxx
As the lockdown continues it is so important that the adults in your homes are supported to ensure their wellbeing is as high as it can be.
Remember, this is a situation none of us were ready for, none of us could have imagined and none of us chose.
If you are finding things difficult, it is important to talk to someone: whether it is a friend, family, a neighbour or someone here at school (please email Becky and we can get in touch with you). I
f you are able to get out for a walk, even for a few minutes, you may feel better.
Sometimes even closing your eyes and taking a few slow, deep breathes as you count to 10 can help.
We are also able to offer wellbeing workshops with our fabulous partners in Tower Hamlets. Claire has been to Rachel Keeling before and offered relaxation workshops and stress management exercises. These are done online so you do not need to leave the house.
Please see below - this is a self- referral programme.
Topics covered include:
Ramadan during COVID-19
Coping with Self Isolation
Remember, you need to look after yourself as well as your children and family.
Some lovely ideas from one of our teachers, Urszula. You could make masks, puppets even use an odd sock to make a hand puppet! Try to get some fresh air if you are all healthy by taking a walk early in the morning or later in the evening whenever it is less busy near you.
Next week some of the teachers are recording themselves reading their favourite books so the children can have some story times at home.
Remember you can email Becky email@example.com
The lack of humans and noise outside has resulted in lots of birds buzzing around.
At Rachel Keeling the children are supported to care for the flora and fauna of our garden.
If you are lucky enough to have a balcony, window box or a small garden and you have some of the ingredients listed below: maybe you could make a bird feeder.
These really are unprecedented times and many families are finding themselves in a situation which was unimaginable only a few weeks ago.
Remember: you are doing your best, we are doing our best, you are not home schooling. Home schooling is a choice, none of us have a choice in this.
Try not to feel stressed or guilty about what you are able to do.
Let me let you into a secret, schools don't know what they're doing either. We are all finding our way and finding what works best.
We have a section on this website called 'Home Learning' under the 'Home' tab. please look there for lots of ideas of things to do with your children.
Try to make a routine and have screen-free time (no TV and tablets or phone) for part of day.
Please do email Becky firstname.lastname@example.org if you need anything.
Just stop for a moment and take in these beautiful photographs.
We celebrated our annual International Evening outdoors in the garden and in usual style.
At Rachel Keeling Nursery School we are lucky enough to have a community which represents almost every continent of the world.
Coming together and celebrating as a school and world community is at the heart of our ethos. We danced, sang, played music, shared food, crafted, climbed, ran and laughed.
Thank you to all our families to donated delicious food from around the world to raise funds for our school. You helped to raise more than £300!
We are keeping healthy, happy and safe.
At Rachel Keeling Nursery School we recognise our role in the wider community our families live in. This week we were so fortunate to have have had some new visitors: the mounted Metropolitan Police came to visit with police officers Lucy and Claire and their brave, trusty steeds, Quatro and Judge.
We talked about keeping safe in school and asking our friends and teachers for help.
The police officers explained if we needed help in the street or the park, we could ask the police. Yesterday the horses had helped someone find their lost keys in a park and stopped a car that was being driven dangerously!
We also talked about what horses eat and drink and where they sleep. Some children thought horses had pillows and beds but a few knew they slept in stables.
Lucy told us horses like to eat apples, carrots, grass and hay and they drink water. Judge's favourite thing is Polo mints but we don't have those in school as we need to look after our teeth! We even heard that the horses get their teeth brushed sometimes!
Thank you for making time to visit us.
We would love you to come back to meet our afternoon friends.
Children first explored natural dyes, creating them using a pestle and mortar with food waste such as teabags, spices (turmeric, cumin) vegetables, fruit, plants, flowers and coffee.
Children added water and salt to fix the natural dyes. Some children used their senses and were able to identify the food and link the smell with the scent.
Children created their own colour samples using cotton and linen, dipping the fabrics and painting straight onto the fabrics. Children commented on the colours: raspberry and beetroot making pink, and the brown from the cocoa. Lots of talk and excitement was evident.
This inspired some children to go foraging in the garden to create green: collecting leaves.
This led to children creating their tie dye patterns using fabric dye. They dipped large cotton samples of fabric into dyes and left them overnight.
After they were unravelled and dried, children returned, commenting on the linear and circular patterns. Children used this beautiful fabric as a base for their design. They used fabric paint and fine brushes to paint their patterns. To further embellish their designs children selected beads, thread and some children were able to thread their own needle. Saarah asked why the eye of a needle is called the eye.
Children showed their uniqueness in selecting and placing of their beads, the calmness with which they worked and their ability to sustain concentration. Children showed great pride in their achievements.
The work will be displayed in the nursery for all to enjoy.
At Rachel Keeling Nursery School many of our children come to school with so much knowledge, experience and cultural capital. From the languages they speak, the foods they have been lucky enough to explore, festivals they celebrate and observe and the places they have travelled to.
Recently children were introduced to a beautiful globe that a family has bought for us. They enjoyed handling it (spinning it REALLY fast!!!) and talking about it. A sensitive practitioner took the time to listen to children's ideas and comment and she supplemented this with other representations of the world from maps, to encyclopaedias and an inflatable ball with oceans and countries on it.
Children had group discussions to share their existing knowledge and some used our information books and the internet to further research areas they wanted to know more about. Many children knew their families were from London, Peru, Australia, Somalia and Bangladesh.
Children explored homes around the world, rainforests, oceans, The Statue of Liberty, Africa, Turkey, Antarctica, France and temperatures.
A book was made of the findings and recordings children made. This is now out in the nursery for children to use.