We know initiating conversation is something we focus on for our children as well as developing their skills at asking questions, pondering and hypothesising. We use our environment and human resources to support this all encompassing skill in a variety of creative ways.
At Rachel Keeling we are lucky enough to have a beautifully mature garden. Over the past year, we have developed our garden, including our pond area to ensure it is fully accessible.
We waited with baited breath in the hope the flora and fauna of the pond would sustain our sensitive changes. Early indications are the army of frogs have returned and are breeding as we had a colony of frogspawn which has now developed into tadpoles. Children's understanding of respecting and caring for living creatures has been supported as they gently investigate the pond environment. Staff helped children to carefully transport some pond water into our observation tray. Children used magnifiers, visual aids, information books and the iPad to observe and research facts. Children asked questions, pondered and shared their ideas about what they could see. The tadpoles were of great interest and show children clearly demonstrated a good understanding of the lifecycle of frogs, using vocabulary such as 'tadpole', froglet', 'frog' and 'transform'. Mohammed thought he could see a "lobster" in the pond but when we researched it, we discovered it was a Waterboatman. Children's quiet conversations around the observation tank are a delight to hear and time and space to share ideas and listen to each other is key.
As we have just had a batch of eggs delivered from the farm, children are now discussing the possibilities and predicting what might be inside.