"Be the change that you want to see in the world". Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote hangs in Rachel Keeling Nursery School and we often consider this when facing difficult situations. A group of our families certainly did this recently. Shocked at the news in Somalia where it has not rained in some regions for over a year, a group decided to fundraise to help this crisis. In Somalia crops are failing, herds are dying and many people are facing starvation and thirst. Rachel Keeling families formed a group and cooked food to sell after school. A shared staff lunch was provided on the day, some children even joined us in the staff room to share the delicious rice, chicken, vegetables, samosas, salad and cheesecake! Children were also involved in the process with Adam handing out flyers and Aasiya making a poster to advertise the sale. We were overwhelmed with the support from other families, who bought the delicious cakes and savouries on their way home on Friday. Rachel Keeling families helped to raise £527.80 to put towards the fund this group have already started, bringing their total to nearly £3000. Reflecting back on Gandhi's words, these families have done exactly that: we can all be the change the world by our actions, even small ones. What fantastic role models for the children and us all they are! Thank you.
Children and their families enjoyed a visit to the Natural History Museum this week. This followed an interest in animals that staff observed over time developing into an exploration of the flora and fauna of the North and South Poles. Children have used books, talk, the ipads and each other to explore their knowledge, discuss ideas and find out facts.
Staff accompanied families on the District Line to the Natural History Museum to have a final look at Dippy the Diplodocus before he goes on tour around the country whilst the museum is renovated. Children had opportunities to get hands on with bones and up close with the taxidermy on display as well as speak to curators.
We are lucky to have such gems on our doorstep and we and our families must make use of them.
On Friday we opened our doors to all our families, in particular, dads, uncles, grandads, brothers, cousins, step-grandads and friends. We came together to share in the rich learning experiences the children are engaged in every day. The children were the experts, giving the visitors tours, sharing their Special Books, sharing breakfast, climbing, constructing, playing instruments, drawing and dancing. The dancing was a sight to behold: Nazma led the whole troupe in a dance routine: warming up muscles, joining in the singing and following the routine. The feedback from all involved has been wonderful. More sessions have been requested! The beautiful photographs speak for themselves. Thank you for getting involved.
Young children need lots of opportunities to explore ideas and concepts and return to their learning over time. This year at Rachel Keeling we marked the festival of Diwali over three weeks. The children were supported in their understanding by sharing the story of Rama and Sita, sharing their ideas and thoughts and mark making and retelling the story. Children also had opportunities to listen to Indian music, dance and move with silk and chiffon scarves and sit quiet with the divas lit and contemplate. Rangoli patterns (or "Bengali" patterns as some children kept repeating!) were shared and children designed and made their own, first in rice and then creating permanent patterns on perspex. During the week of Diwali we celebrated with a sensory display of fireworks and some children and their families travelled to Green Street to enjoy an Indian meal at Chawalla Restaurant. Staff noted how some children used ambitious vocabulary to express themselves and how they interacted with each other and the public so cordially. Great ambassadors for Rachel Keeling Nursery School and Bethnal Green!
We welcomed our local mounted police officers and their horses, Q and Minty into our nursery. Children and staff were so excited to get up close to these powerful, gentle horses who help to keep our community safe. The police officers explained how to stroke them. Some children were brave enough to feed the horses with apples and carrots (some of which came from our own allotment!) Experiences like this serve to help develop children's understanding of the wider community we live in and all the people who serve it. We appreciate the time they gave up to include us on their beat this week.
Children and families enjoyed the thrills and excitement of our firework display this week. It was a real sensory experience: sounds, sights, smells as well as the feel of the freezing air on our skin! Families joined us in the garden for our morning and afternoon display. Most children shared they had heard or seen fireworks from their homes and some had been lucky enough to see the Fire of London display in Victoria Park on Sunday. Our display wasn't quite so spectacular but Isabel scored it 10 out of 10 (and she had been to Victoria Park!) Children watched carefully, chatted excitedly and counted down each time we lit a firework. Many children were aware of the danger of fires and fireworks and staff supported this understanding further, explaining how to keep safe around fireworks. The countdown to Christmas is on!