Children were observed sustaining concentration for longer periods and able to make choices. Already this term children have had the opportunity to make playdough to take home and staff wanted to ensure they had further opportunities to explore other malleable materials.
In the workshop area the children were introduced to sculpting using clay: starting with knocking the clay down to get the air out of it.
Children talked about how heavy the clay was, how cold and hard it felt.
Children started by rolling the clay into sphere-shaped beads of various sizes.
Next they threaded the beads onto sticks and left them to dry over a few days.
Children returned to check on their beads regularly and observed the dark grey clay turn white as it dried.
Children selected paints (many metallic) and painted their beads, leaving them to dry again.
Once the paint had dried, children returned and selected a pipe cleaner to thread their beads and fasten them on.
Some children were very keen to mark make their own names.
During this process, children demonstrated great perseverance, concentration, an ability to make choices, independence and a sense of pride and joy in their acheivements.
At Rachel Keeling we understand the effectiveness of working closely with our families to support the wellbeing and learning of our children. Special Books, where learning is documented are a fabulous way to link up what happens at school and at home. Children regularly take them home and can add to them with families and share what they have been involved in at school. At the moment due to our risk minimisation measures, the time families can spend in school is very limited and so sharing information and joy is essential.
A lovely experience that has helped children settle and form relationships has been making playdough to take home.
Children work in pairs with an adult supporting, with the help of a visual recipe to create scented, coloured playdough to share and use at home. The pride and joy in children's and parents and carer's faces is wonderful to see as they leave proudly carrying their batch.
Doing this experience in such a small group is so effective in establishing warm, reciprocal relationships, talk, sustaining attention and in introducing new children to one another.
The children are so patient waiting for their turn to come and relishing it when it does.
What a joy it is to see our children leaving carrying their playdough batch proudly.
When your batch runs out, please make another batch together using the recipe below!
Well we promised you soup and soup we made!!!
Firstly thank you so much for your contributions of vegetables - we had so many! From carrots, onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, broccoli, garlic, leeks, peppers and tomatoes to some celeriac.
Children were supported at first to look at, handle, smell and talk about the vegetables. They named most of them and were able to say whether they had tried them before. Children carried them to talk about the weight and some were weighed using scales.
Next, they were washed and prepared: with children peeling, chopping, grating and mixing them together. Children and staff worked so hard across the whole week to ensure everybody who was in school had the opportunity to take part in one of the stages of the process. Most children joined in happily.
After the various batches of soup were cooked, children had the opportunity to share it and try some. It never ceases to amaze me the positive and healthy attitude many of our children have to trying new foods.
Children were also supported to make soda bread using flour and yoghurt to accompany their soup.
As I write this, the smell of the penultimate batch of soup is wafting through the many open doors and windows of our school and it smells delicious.
Thank you all for your support - our community soup experience has been wonderful.
*Edit, I had to sneak out to try a cup and I can confirm, it was souper!
Next week is Big Soup Week and we are joining the Royal Horticultural Society in creating a BIG RACHEL KEELING SOUP
As the weather is getting colder it is wonderful to enjoy a cup or bowl of warm, healthy soup. Luckily at Rachel Keeling we grow lots of vegetables and herbs in our garden and the children have been helping to plant and look after the plot. Next week we will harvest and we need your help.
So we can create a big bowl of soup which will be shared (in a Covid friendly way) we will need some extra help:
PLEASE CAN YOUR CHILD BRING ONE VEGETABLE TO SCHOOL ON MONDAY 5 OCTOBER
Talk to your child about what we are doing and let them choose a vegetable they like.
You might like to bring:
a sweet potato
a tomato (we know that's a fruit)
We will be preparing and sharing across the week and we will keep this blog updated with photographs towards the end of next week.
Maybe you have a favourite soup recipe you would like to share? Please email it to Becky firstname.lastname@example.org
And check out the RHS website