We’ve had a busy fortnight here at school! As our experiences at school grow so does our familiarity and sense of belonging. Students are now very confident in the Reception space and also with their peers. We are beginning to introduce structured small group times into our daily schedule. These times give us a chance to work on specific learning that is supported throughout our play and wider environment. We are looking forward to tailoring these times to student interests and inquiries as we progress. Keep reading to see more of what we have been working on!
Our ‘Community’ focus has led us to thinking about and discussing where we live in more detail. We used Google Maps and Google Street View to explore our city and where it is in the world. There were lots of different types of buildings to discover in Hong Kong and we borrowed books from the Library to help our investigations about the different places people live all over the world. Students talked about other places in the world they have visited, or where people who are special to them are living. To support students’ understanding of their own place in Hong Kong we have written letters to be posted to our home addresses. Students are very excited about this! They were able to choose who to write their letter to and what to include. We added our names and addresses to our envelopes. There has been much discussion about the unit numbers and letters, and the roads that make up our addresses. We also added stamps and discussed what a stamp does and why it is needed. It is going to be great to have students receive these letters in the coming days!
These experiences support students as they are developing a knowledge of how they are connected to the world around them. They are learning that they belong here in Hong Kong. Many significant places have been talked about by students such as their favourite playground, restaurant, supermarket or shop, along with an explanation of where this place is in relation to their home. Students have also shared about some of the significant people they see in their parts of Hong Kong such as a person working in a shop, or the staff who work in their buildings and complexes. The connections students are making helps them to build a working theory of ‘community’ and the ways that they can be active participants. We also took the opportunity to reinforce our literacy learning through our letter writing, learning about the form of a letter and the important parts of sending a letter. It’s been great fun!
Social learning is an important part of our time together at school. Lately we’ve been using different games and activities to support this. One of our favourite games is ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’, and this offers lots of opportunities for social learning. We are often playing this game or others like it when we head downstairs to the field or playground space. Taking turns, following rules, encouraging one another and working together towards a common goal are skills that are being learnt alongside gross motor skills including running, jumping, hopping and balancing. These learning opportunities are fun and we love the chance to learn in another space of our school. In our classroom we are following on from this learning as we reinforce concepts around turn taking, sharing and waiting for others to finish. Sand timers have become an important part of our classroom activities as there are so many exciting things to do and often students want to do them at the same time. Using sand timers encourages both the student currently at the activity and the student waiting to visualise the time that they have left and to manage the transition peer-to-peer. Students have embraced this learning over the recent weeks and it’s exciting to see them take ownership of this aspect of their social learning.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Spotlight on blocks
You will find blocks in many early years settings and students are often drawn to them, without needing any encouragement from adults. What is it that pulls students to this area, and what are they learning when they return time and time again? Construction materials such as wooden blocks support students to learn about concepts such as gravity, balance, stability and weight. They are testing theories about shape, size, space, depth, width and height. Physically they have the opportunity to grow their hand-eye coordination and muscles. On top of the skills and knowledge that is being learnt, students are developing vital dispositions for life-long learning. These are attitudes that students hold toward learning, or approaches positively impact their learning journey. In the block corner, dispositions such as confidence in their own abilities, cooperation and sharing with others, making a design or plan, using what they have learnt previously and applying it to a new situation, and persisting with difficult tasks are but some of the dispositions being acquired and exercised. While appearing simple and seemingly straightforward, when we scratch beneath the surface we discover that block play is complex and caters to so many learning needs. A student’s natural curiosity and desire to grow draws them to a space where the possibilities are limitless!
“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.” – Maria Montessori
We are looking forward to continuing our learning in the weeks to come. I’m sure students are immediately looking forward to receiving their letters. We can’t wait to hear the stories! Please do send in a photo if you manage to capture the moment. Thank you for your support and enthusiasm; it’s been a great start to the term so far and hard to believe we are almost halfway!
One small reminder: it’s very helpful for students to have spare masks in their bags each day as we do find we often need a change. See you again soon!
Lauren Rosanowski (Reception AM/ Reception PM)
Primary Office: email@example.com