And so we reach the end of a long term: the children, families and staff have showed great resilience and joy.
Children have enjoyed Christmas dinner, festive stories, the nativity, warm, cosy cooking, hot chocolate and the nativity. Today we enjoyed our annual Carols Around the Campfire.
We know some of you were not able to join us due to being in isolation, but we sang extra loud just for you.
Here is a selection of photographs, but your child will have some of them in their Special Book as I could not get more on this page.
We would also like to thank Empowering Learning who donated our beautiful Christmas Tree and Allen and Overy who donated presents for all of our children! What a difference you have made to our community,
Please enjoy your break and Merry Christmas if you are celebrating.
We finish at 12pm on Friday 18 December and return on 6 January 2021.
Look after yourselves and each other.
Check in on a neighbour if you think they may be alone.
Good luck to our 4 friends who are leaving us to go to primary school - we will miss you.
Thank you all for your support and kindness. It means a lot to each and every one of us.
O Little Town of Bethnal Green, how still we see thee lie.
What a perfect end to a strange year.
The children have kept us going with their positive energy and boundless enthusiasm for learning.
During the past few weeks children have been exploring Christmas.
They have been supported to make decorations for the school and helped decorate our tree.
Snuggly spaces have been created to enjoy winter tales and books.
A writing workshop has been established, filled with children mark making and writing letters to Father Christmas.
Children listened to the Christmas Story and retold it using the wooden figurines.
They were exposed to different versions of the birth of Jesus, some told from different points of view. Children decided on roles and acted the story out.
This week we have introduced costumes - we made the decision to do this after the children had enjoyed many opportunities to explore the story.
Children negotiated roles (the donkey was a very popular role!) and some acted as the audience. They then swapped and really were able to display great independence, joy and support.
Our wonderful Meal Time Supervisor, Brooke, recently had her baby boy.
Sadly we can't invite Oakley in yet due to COVID restrictions but wish him love and we can't wait to meet him.
Children's imaginative play has been supported alongside their numeracy with the introduction of a bakery in the home corner.
Children helped to set up the area, making signs and deciding on prices.
Lots of scaffolded play was needed to support turn taking and we limited the number of children who could enter the shop at a time.
Natural resources as well as some fabric buns were introduced.
This enabled high quality talk to be supported.
The team observed that the children needed some malleable materials, such as playdough to further enhance the quality of the play and exploration.
After some thought and ensuring it was a COVID-safe area the team decided:
A small, fresh batch of playdough would be made each day;
Children must wash their hands before they come to the playdough area;
Only two children at a time (they wear an apron and sit at the table) to minimise other cross contamination.
It has worked so well and actually the quality of paired play has been very rich.
We often work in small groups, large groups and 1-2-1 with children but this has reminded us the beauty of paired play so we will ensure this continues after the bakery is closed.
As part of this work, children then were supported, looking at different bread recipes: they baked parathas, pretzels, gingerbread, doughballs, bread rolls and pancakes.
These were enjoyed in school and some children took some home.
Make yourself a cup of tea and settle down by the fireside.
The Rachel Keeling children have been telling their stories using the Tales Toolkit method.
As part of our continued school improvement a few years ago we adopted the Tales Toolkit methodology of story telling.
Children are supported to break down stories into 4 elements:
We then work through collaboratively to tell stories with the physical help of props. The children then add descriptive language and they help to develop a narrative.
Last week children worked with an adult as part of a group, most having been part of Tales Toolkit sessions in their own baserooms. Children were mostly familiar with the 4 story elements and used the vocabulary of "character", "setting", "problem" and "solution" within context. The props that were introduced were:
a magical unicorn (character)
some green, textured fabric (setting)
a shiny, golden egg (problem)
a bunch of heavy, ornate keys (solution)
The children came up with names for the character and decided the setting was a "forest" or "hillside".
The children enjoyed handling the props and for many the problem was that the unicorn got stuck inside the golden egg! Many children decided the large, heavy keys would free the unicorn by cracking or opening the egg.
Children then were supported to tell their own stories which were scribed for them and they chose to mark make around them.
How lovely to hear some children beginning to use vocabulary linked to storytelling and others developing and using it fluently.
Please scroll below to read their amazing efforts.
This isn't all of them as there were so many lovely stories.
Check your child's Special Book to see whether they told one yet.
Maybe you can try the method at home? Please ask your child's key worker or Becky if you need any support.