Children As Storytellers
At Children's House we recognise our youngest children as storytellers. Everyone has a story to tell and we ensure we are available to listen to and value children's words.
Our environment has many books: from classic favourites, to information books, leaflets, comics and books made by our children. Children are encouraged to access these and handle, enjoy and share them.
Children hear stories every day in school. They use books for pleasure, for research and the each have a book which documents their learning - their own Special Book.
From exploring books and learning how to handle them, children are encouraged to recall parts of familiar stories, retell them. We support children to recall previous learning and share it. Children are encouraged to play imaginatively and develop a narrative in their play. This then moves onto encouraging children to tell their own stories.
This can be done in a range of ways:
Children might pick up a book and read the pictures, telling the story in their own words.
Children might mark make and talk about their marks.
Children might draw a picture and describe what is happening in the picture.
Children might tell you a story completely from their imagination.
At Children's House we use many strategies. Two storytelling methods we use are Helicopter Stories and Tales Toolkit.
Helicopter Stories is a simple approach where children tell a grown up their story and the adult writes down verbatim what the child says. The story is then acted out by the children in a taped off area of the classroom (the stage). This develops confidence, self esteem, language and is such a beautiful tool to use with children.
Tales Toolkit is a way of supporting children to tell their own stories using the scaffolding of setting, character, problem and solution (the basic format of most stories). The children are supported to use props to develop a story which can be acted, drawn, photographed, written or recorded.
There will be more photographs to follow below...
Shazna led a workshop for families last week, exploring stories and storytelling.
Please keep an eye out for more workshops and get involved.
Remember to borrow books from school and share bedtime stories every night together.
Well what a week of Coronation fun that has been. At Children's House we know how to celebrate and we know children learn best through first hand and meaningful ways. We decided to wait until after the Coronation to have a celebration because we hoped children might have seen or heard more talk and coverage of an abstract concept and so understand it more.
It happens that there is a Coronation in the film Frozen though, so I had underestimated the children!!!!
Children helped plan the parties:
Some children shared talk about what they had seen and what they knew about the Coronation.
Some children shared what they knew through mark making and used their knowledge of phonics to create a floor book about the Coronation. It is filled with drawings, captured language and writing.
Many children across the week followed recipes, listened to instructions, read the visual recipe cards, developed skills using one handed tools and worked collaboratively to make some delicious party food.
Cooking is part of our regular provision so children have a good awareness of the processes involved and hygiene. Children helped to create cucumber sandwiches, decorate biscuits and cupcakes.
During small group time and at story, children shared lots of talk with adults and began to understand that the King is called King Charles. The King lives in London like us. He lives in a palace called Buckingham Palace.
A small group of families visited Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. They got the underground and saw the historic Changing of the Guard and heard a band of marching soldiers walking along The Mall. They didn't go into the palace but enjoyed the views from the big black and gold gates. Families, children and staff enjoyed a picnic in St James' Park and had a play in the playground together. When they came back to school, one child said "We saw the King in a white van!"
Children drew pictures, wrote words and shared talk, creating a Coronation Book which is available for everyone to share.
On Friday children came to school for our Coronation Parties wearing red, white and blue clothes. The winds were high and it was a little cloudy - Red Building braved the garden for their morning party but most were held indoors. Whilst children and staff enjoyed the beautiful food, the National Anthem was played in the Ground Floor and lots of party music and moves together with friends.
The children all took a flag home (and some cucumber sarnies made it home too!)
Do you celebrate different festivals and events in your family? Get your child to help plan and prepare with you!
Also, children love flags, can you see whether you can find the flags for the countries of the world your family are from with your child? Try this link for flags.
Flora and Fauna
Over recent weeks we have enjoyed some brighter weather along with rain: this has resulted in our plants and wildlife flourishing. Children have been supported to sustain concentration and observe the living things we are lucky enough to have in our forest school area.
Children developed an understanding that they needed to be quiet and still to really notice the awe and wonder of nature.
Children used their eyes and ears, along with magnifiers to spot living creatures.
They were supported to use information books and each other's knowledge to identify the different creatures.
Children were encouraged to notice the features of the creatures. Some children shared talk about them, others drew them and wrote labels using their knowledge of phonics.
Our Children's House Values were a useful prompt to remind children to be respectful of living things.
Over the two weeks, children's curiosity was sparked and children would return independently, day after day, to check in on the flora (plants) and fauna (animals) in our garden.
Later this term we will have some curious visitors to school which will spark more interest in living things. We will also be growing vegetables with children.
When you are out and about with your child: STOP, LOOK, LISTEN AND SMELL.
Talk about the leaves, the flowers, snails in the rain. Just be still for a few moments in your busy lives.
Eid Mubarak to all our families celebrating.
Today children came to school in their party clothes: we shared food, music, singing and dance.
Children who celebrated Eid were able to talk about what they did with their families:
"We get presents"
"I had a bath and put on Eid clothes"
"We eat together"
"We visit our friends and family"
Children had been preparing before the celebration last week in school, using tools to make decorations, mark making in Eid cards and following recipes to bake Eid biscuits (one child even had a dream about the Eid biscuits they had made in school!)
Children shared so much talk. Children who didn't celebrate Eid talked about their birthdays and some remembered Christmas as a time they celebrate.
PHOTOS OF THE CELEBRATIONS TODAY WILL FOLLOW ON THE BLOG SOON
Thank you for your support: please feel free to email Becky a photograph of a celebration you have been to and I can print it for your child's Special Book.
Remember to take your Special Books home to share - talk about all the wonderful learning.
The Children's House Nursery School community never cease to amaze me in the levels of enthusiasm and engagement in nursery life. Our annual Easter Bonnet Parade and Egg Hunt were no different this year.
Despite so many feeling the financial pinch, everyone came put and brought the joy!
There were straw hats, cardboard hats, bunny ears, flower crowns and one hat made from the excessive Amazon packaging the family received with an order! It was lovely to see so many home efforts and ones that children had helped to make!
Children enjoyed their egg hunt and families joined in with voting for their favourite staff Easter Bonnet (although there were accusations of voter fraud!!!)
Thank you Children's House friends and families: next stop Eid!
Over the past few weeks children across our nursery have been engaged in exploring a range of exciting experiments as part of Science Week. At Children's House we encourage curiosity in our children and support them to ask questions and make predictions.
There has been volcano making: children have used some kitchen cupboard ingredients and watched the reaction as it creates an erupting volcano!
Children have explored floating and sinking: using everyday, classroom objects in the water tray to see which ones have buoyancy. Children enjoyed predicting and observing each object as they were put into the water.
Ice cream making was an effective way for children to see how materials change state: after mixing the ingredients in a bag (with lots of active shaking) the ingredients transformed into ice cream!
Slime making was a fun way for children to follow a recipe, working alone or in pairs to create something fun to take home!
Click here for some ideas that you can explore together at home with your young scientists.
To Mothers Everywhere
Sending love to all mothers, grandmothers, sisters, step-mothers, aunties, cousins, friends and the female people in our lives who support our development.
We know it takes a whole community to raise our children and we are proud of working closely with our families to support the aspiration and learning for all the family.
At Children's House we invited mums and other family members to join us in sharing and celebrating all children's learning: there was singing, dancing, races, planting seeds, decorating biscuits, sharing stories and lots of play together.
Don't worry if you were not able to join us this time, all children were included in the session. There will be more opportunities for you to join us in school during the summer term.
Food and Talk
At Children's House Nursery School we know how important real experiences are for children to develop language.
We have been supporting children at snack time and through a range of adult led experiences to express themselves as they handle and taste food.
A group of children have been developing independence in following a recipe to make flatbread. Children were encouraged to identify the ingredients and explore them, handling them, smelling them, tasting them and talking about them. Some children had been part of this experience before and were encouraged to 'remember' the learning. Much of learning is helped by remembering and recalling and we support children with this every day in their learning. Children washed their hands, rolled up their sleeves and got mixing and kneading the mixture, shaping it into small, round, flat pancake shapes. Children used language to describe the texture: "wet" "sticky" "dry" "icky" was some of the vocabulary used. Children showed perseverance and concentration as the process took a few stages: from mixing and shaping, to proofing and cooking the flatbreads in a pan. Some children selected toppings to create mini-pizzas which they then baked in the oven. Children then shared and talked about what they could taste.
Another group of children were supported to express their opinions and respond to their sense of taste. Children were introduced to vocabulary such as "sweet" "salty" "spicy" and "sour". They then explored a range of food: identifying it and saying whether they remembered seeing or trying it before. Children were so interested in tasting the small samples: lemon, salty rice cake, a chilli flavoured crisp and chocolate (a tiny piece!) After each one, they talked about how it tasted and have begun to use the vocabulary above to relate to them. They also expressed whether they enjoyed the taste and smell and why. Some children are beginning to speak in sentences now!
Can you help your child to talk about their learning?
Please remember to borrow their Special Book and take it home to talk about all the wonderful learning they do at Children's House.
Look at old family photographs too and talk about past experiences together.
Children also love to hear about what they were like when they were babies and toddlers so share this with them.
At Children's House we value the importance of books: there are books all over the nursery. From traditional tales, to information books, to poems, to books made by children to magazines. We know the power a book can have: the impact on language acquisition and confidence as well as understanding.
We celebrated World Book Day this year by coming to school in our pyjamas to share a bedtime story.
Remember to borrow a book every Friday from school to share over the weekend.
Bedtime is a wonderful time to share some precious minutes together: snuggle up and enjoy a book or tell a story without a book.
You can sing songs and rhymes.
Switch off the television, tablet or phone and enjoy some connection before bed.
Please email Becky a photograph of your child enjoying a bedtime story at home.
We are so proud to be part of our school community at Children's House and part of the Bow community. With the absolutely heart-breaking news coming out of Syria and Turkey following the devastating earthquake, the team and families wanted to do something to help.
Staff, families and the wider community donated unwanted toys, books, gifts and toiletries for a Table Top Sale we held today.
Everyone turned out and donated what they could.
We are so thrilled to announce that in 45 minutes our tiny school (with a huge heart) raised more than £700 and we are still counting.
From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank you all. Times are hard for almost everyone at the moment and yet, so many of you gave gifts, cash and donations.
We are one world.
We are one community.
We are Children's House.
If you are able to make a donation, please click here. Thank you.
The blog is updated regularly with a range of learning from across our wonderful school. All the rich learning experiences the children have been involved in will be in their Special Books so please do borrow those regularly.