The final week of school was a busy one with our Leaver's Ceremony, Rachel Keeling Annual Christmas Carols around the Fire in the garden and the flurry of nativity re-enactments.
Children and families were involved in real sensory treats with cooking and the festive fire. Our wonderful Ukulele Band made their debut at the carols in the garden and managed to play their chords to accompany Jingle Bells twice!
Thank you all for your support this year and we know 2017 will be another exciting year at Rachel Keeling, with families new and our local community continuing to support us.
Happy Holidays to you all!
Staff at Rachel Keeling are lucky enough to spend signifiacnt amounts of time observing children and watching them in their interactions and play. We know that risk taking is something which is good for children to engage in: more importantly their own management of risk. Staff this week have supported and enabled a group of children to develop a game they invented. 'Knock Down Five' began by accident when a child knocked over an abandoned milk crate on the rope swing. It made such a noise and the child was exicted with the momentum with which they struck the crate. Other children gathered more milk crates and staff observed. Rather than discourage the game, staff skillfully supported the children to create a safe game, they created their own guidelines to keep safe such as "stay off the mat if you're not on the swing". Some experimentation was completed and 5 seemed to be the amount of crates which could be knocked over without damaging the equipment or children! Children took it in turns, mostly self-managed and supported each other, counting the crates and shrieking excitedly. Some children who had been reluctant on the rope seing now seemed keener to have a go. During one session two stacks of five crates was used. The children all undestood the importance of asking an adult if they wanted to play the game. Hopefully in January new games will continue to be developed to help burn off any excess calories partaken over the festive season!
It appears the ancient English tradition of wassailing must be alive and well in Bethnal Green. The tradition involved groups drinking and singing to the apple-producing trees to wish them a healthy harvest. This week at Rachel Keeling the children have been engaged in a lengthy harvest of one of our apple trees. Children problem-solved retrieving the apples, gathering them and counting them. This process took some thought and organisation as there were 76 apples counted! Next came the washing, peeling and chopping by a group of children. Apples were eaten raw, others taken home and some used to make baked apple puree. Next week we will be continuing our festive sensory baking with cinnamon, ginger and plenty of apple!
We know from research that there are many factors which have a positive impact on children and their learning. One factor is family engagement and this is why we work alongside families with our children wherever possible. We were lucky enough to have our new bike mechanic Diego come to visit the nursery. Diego was amazed at how engaged, eloquent and independent our children were. He normally works with older children and adults and this was a first for him. Children, families and staff explored the parts of the bicycles, dismantling, exploring, handling and naming them. Inner tubes were changed, tyres removed, air pumped and gears and pedals altered. Everyone (Diego included) learned so much and two punctures and a flat tyre were mended as a result. As we have many proficient two wheeler cyclists in the nursery this meant they could cycle home last night. Our bike rack is already heaving under the weight of the scooters and bikes used to commute to school; we may need another one soon.