Environmental issues are something that we all should be aware of. This time as a part of “Curious Kids”, Foundation Stage pupils did lots of activities related to the preservation of the environment.
Recycling is our way to help controlling the immense amount of garbage that we create every day. Foundation pupils managed to identify the materials and put them in the correct recycling bin. Between yellow (plastic and metal) , Blue (paper) , Green (glass) , and Orange (organic) they had to choose the correct one.
The kids also learned a lot about water, the importance of using only what we need and keeping it clean. Dirty and contaminated water not only affects us but also affects the habitat of lots of animals.
They also designed a solar oven and made some nachos!!!. What a great way to learn that we can find environmental friendly alternatives to our daily needs.
This year sees the beginning of an exciting new project in Foundation 5 in which the children are participating in an exchange programme with our neighbours from the Escola Garbí. The project arose out of a desire of all concerned to give our youngest children the opportunity to develop their communication skills and share their expertise in English with their peers. During the first part of the programme we were delighted to welcome our new friends to St Peter’s. During the morning the visitors from P5 watched our children perform their concert for a new audience and were able to join in the songs which they had previously learned at school.
We were delighted to receive a lovely book made by the children introducing themselves to us. We have spent time looking at the lovely pictures drawn by the Garbí students this week and have learnt that they share very similar interests to us.
Our second activity consisted in group games played in English which invited collaboration between the students from both schools. It was a pleasure to witness the all the children beginning to use their skills in English to begin to make new friends and work together.
We are now looking forward to developing the relationship through interactive sessions in which we will get to know each other a little bit better before making our own visit to Escola Garbí to take part in a summer sports activity organized by our colleagues and friends.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all those involved in making the morning so successful and are looking forward to the next stages of the project.
Our Curious Kids question in Foundation Stage this term is “Can you be An Artists?” ; so this week F5K are learning about Wassily Kandinsky. They have discovered that Kandinsky used colour to express his emotions and when they looked at his work the children had some amazing ideas about what they might represent. Some of his pictures looked like space or monsters with lots of eyes, some made them think of loneliness or sadness, and others made them feel happy!
They loved making their own Kandinsky style art too, take a look!
One of the greatest challenges for teachers is to try the find the key which unlocks the potential inside each and every one of the children in their care.
Creating a climate in which it is possible to observe, explore and experiment, to share ideas and to listen to others calls for a very special environment. It is a place where choice is encouraged and risk-taking is welcomed, where the pleasure comes from doing and not from producing. It is, above all, a place of trust and cooperation. It is a beautiful space, and it is our Art Studio.
Last week we could see how children enjoy activities such as the dancing & painting one that Miss Jane organised for this first weeks. Take a look at it!
One of the greatest pleasures of the past term has been to observe the children as they respond to the different stimuli provided by Miss Jane. They are learning to negotiate and make decisions. They are choosing materials and techniques. They are discussing likes and dislikes and justifying their opinions. They are intent upon their work and know what they want to achieve. They are creating in a hundred different ways and it is beautiful to see.
When Loris Malaguzzi described the 100 languages of children he was reminding us of the need to recognize the many ways in which they respond and engage with their environment. It is through the Expressive Arts that each individual has an opportunity to find his or her inner voice and to communicate with the outside world. But the voice also needs to be heard.
We all know children ask lots of questions about anything and everything. It is part of their natural curiosity. You can see they take real joy in discovering something new.
All these facts gave us the idea to build our project Curious Kids in Foundation Stage. As teachers, our challenge is to take this natural curiosity and allow enthusiasm and passion to stimulate learning.
But what is Curious Kids? It is our response to a need to create spaces in which children can let their natural curiosity lead their learning. And how do we do it? We let the children choose questions which interest them and Voilà: a new project is born. They take the lead of their learning. Very often their own answers are unexpected or lead to further questions, challenging the adults’ preconceived ideas and creating an environment in which both teachers and pupils are learning side by side.
Once a question has been raised the children are given the chance to experience different hands-on activities provided by the whole team. Both adults and children have the opportunity to share ideas and discuss different opinions. It is a chance to move away from the confines of the classroom and to work with new faces.
Each project lasts around three or four weeks and culminates in an exit point, which allows the children to share what they have discovered. An exit point can be anything from a discussion at Assembly time, to making a video or even creating a mini exhibition. You may even have seen videos of our previous projects on this blog.
You may also have seen examples of our latest exit point in the entrance hall, where the children from F4 and F5 have responded to the question “Where do minibeasts live?” by creating a minibeast habitat of their own, based on their observations of the where small animals choose to live. They have been so excited that at least one real insect has found its way there from the playground accompanied by a group of pupils!