As educators of young children, we are very aware of children's ability to take responsibility, sustain concentration and understand their local community. In many ways the children support the day to day running of the Nursery: helping to set up provision, delivering the registers, welcoming visitors, being consulted with when developing learning areas, tidying up, washing up, using real crockery and glass, working with real tools in meaningful experiences, managing their own feeding and self-care, sorting out disputes, helping each other (we could go on).
We have noticed the positive impact our many local and further-afield trips have on children with regards to self-esteem, confidence, relationships and language and communication. To this end we are developing a 'shopping partner' system which aims to support the needs of the children who will take responsibility over the course of a week: writing and reading the shopping lists, collecting money from Pam in the office, walking to the shops and market, interacting with the shopkeepers, making choices about buying responsibly, paying the money, carrying the shopping back (in our eco-friendly backpacks)and unpacking it at Nursery.
We are noticing that trust and responsibility in this task is encouraging children to blossom.
As part of our continued school development and to ensure our children are being challenged in all areas of their learning, we have been involved in developing childrens' skills in riding two wheeler balance and pedal bikes in the Nursery and the local park.
This project has been so fruitful in so many ways: children developing confidence, negotiating turn taking, peer support, being willing to have a go, persevering, negotiating space and developing balance and coordination.
Staff have worked hard recording the learning and achievements of the children on film and through photographs. Films documenting this learning will follow on the website shortly. This week the hard work culminated in an impromptu bike show, with children using ramps to show off their skills (again, a further film may follow!) Families have begun to borrow bikes and use them after school and at the weekends. This communication between families and school has been wonderful in further supporting children's cycling and some families have removed stabilisers from their bikes at home!
This work will continue into the next phase of our school development to ensure all families, children and staff are confident in supporting this wonderful sport which can change your life and give you such freedom!
A fortnight of celebrations has been enjoyed here at Rachel Keeling. The children's understanding of festivals has been enhanced by hands on experiences to celebrate Chinese New Year: we have joined in Lion Dancing, Ribbon Dancing, a trip to China Town and lots of Chinese Cooking. as well as sensory experiences involved textures and music. Many children showed a good understanding of the story of Chinese New Year, with Shahan explaining "The animal wanted the new year to be named after them but... then whoever winned the race, they get the new year. All the animal wined. The rat winned and tomorrow we're on the pig."
Shrove Tuesday was enjoyed with the making of pancakes: children were able to work collaboratively and independently, in some cases, to make and share their pancakes.
It was a wonderful way to end this half term as we now enjoy a week with our families.