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.
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.
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.