At Rachel Keeling, the children are at the heart of almost every decision we make.
'Rachel Keeling Nursery School, where the child comes first' is our strapline. It makes the job of me as a head teacher quite straight forward: if I hold onto that, then I can steer tricky decisions and always feel I have not compromised the needs of our children.
Likewise, our families play a central part to our school life. We pride ourselves on the relationships we cultivate and our wonderful outcomes for children are down, in part, to the joined up approach to learning we utilise.
We have been lucky enough recently to have received two substantial, financial donations from families. We are in the midst of a very difficult financial climate for education and we wanted to think deeply about what we use this money for. We thought about our School Development Plan as we are always driving forwards, striving to improve and deepen our work. We also considered the children of the families who donated the money: what did they enjoy about Rachel Keeling? One of the parents said "As a family we learned so much during or time at Rachel Keeling. Our children are the independent, confident and joyful learners because of the fantastic start they got here."
We have decided to invest in a Research Library: where children can access information books about a wide variety of subjects (they are researching animals there as I speak!) We have purchased high quality bookshelves, tables and chairs. We are currently looking at new titles to stock it more, including books on our environment and sustainable, ethical choices we can all make. This is a huge school focus which is filtering through to children and families.
We want to take this opportunity to thank the families who wish to remain anonymous for enabling the children of our community to access some rich, new resources which will enhance learning and outcomes for all children. Also we would like to thank all our families, staff and governors who work so hard with us, supporting our Rachel Keeling Values and ensuring the children (most in part time places now) make the most of every single moment they are here!
THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!
We are facing an unprecedented global emergency.
Life on Earth is in crisis: scientists agree we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown, and we are in the midst of a mass extinction of our own making.
Planet Earth needs our help!
Planet Earth needs your help!
Every single person can make a difference.
At Rachel Keeling and in our community we want to make a difference.
At Rachel Keeling many of our staff were affected by the #extinctionrebellion protests last month. We started to think about what we could do in our positions of privilege to think about our planet and changes each of us could make to help use fewer resources.
We are working together to make a change: each three weeks we will all commit to one pledge.
Last week children have started to learn about water conservation: we made the decision to turn off our garden taps. The water will only be used to water plants, fruit and vegetables. Each morning, children help staff to half fill one tub of water which the children can use for imaginative play: they use smaller containers and think about what they would like to do with it. We are trying to be less wasteful.
Please read the children's comments above - they already are showing lots of knowledge and interest in how they can help.
At home we are asking families and staff to
TURN OFF YOUR TAPS WHEN YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH.
Doing this can save up to 6 litres of water per minute.
Please help us, tell your friends and family to do the same!
EVERY SINGLE PERSON COUNTS - YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Many of our families and friends in our Rachel Keeling Nursery community are observing the month of Ramadan. As with the rhythms of the year, we support the children in learning about different religious and non-religious festivals.
Children explored a range of Islamic artefacts: handling them, talking about them and asking questions. Together staff and children created a quiet reflection area and considered good deeds they could do during Ramadan. A Ramadan Calendar was created with suggestions from the children such as "Help someone with their climbing" or "Do a painting for a friend". Children counted the days and the kind acts were collated. Each day they are uncovered and acted upon. Some children re-enacted prayers they have seen in their home or at mosque.
We wish all our families and friends observing Ramadan a peaceful holy month.
If you are a regular reader of our blog you will know that at Rachel Keeling we ensure our children are part of daily experiences and the life of our school. Routines and meaningful experiences are so important for developing knowledge, skills and dispositions.
One daily occurrence is making hot chocolate: particularly during the winter and autumn months.
Children are supported to follow the recipe, many of them have memorised it as well. The measure carefully the following ingredients:
After tidy up time, the garden team sit and share the delicious drink.
Similarly we have routines around the snack area where the children help to prepare the fruit and vegetables ready to share and cook.
KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR OUR NEW SUSTAINABLE MOVEMENT TIPS WHICH WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY!