This morning we opened our new area (where the old home corner used to be...).
Filled with boxes, crates, blocks, trays, tubes, cylinders, cones, wheels..... in fact - anything that could be anything and isn't something..... confused?? Well, in this area, we only start with 'open ended items' and 'loose' parts.... a doll is a doll and a car is a car, a vacuum is a vacuum but a box? that can be...... whatever you want it to be....
And so in the space of just 2 1/2 hours we had:-
a new house and bedroom
a rocket launcher
an Eddie Stobbart lorry (with cargo)
a changing table
a power plant
What is this? the children cry..... and the answer?
"Whatever you want it to be!"
If you have any items which you think would fit in our new area, please bring them in. The nature of the items means that they won't last for ever so we'll need plenty of replacements. Keep those Christmas boxes please!!
This morning we had our trip to Vets4Pets and we had a great time! The bus was very busy and we had to stand up, which was very exciting! When we arrived, Dan the vet greeted us with Dug the dog, and then showed us into the surgery.... First thing was to get our surgeons hats - very fetching. We saw the kennels and a recovering cat and giant rabbit called Oliver. We also saw some X-rays showing a dog with a broken leg! We were lucky enough to meet some baby Guinea pigs. Once we'd left the vets surgery we took a look around the pets shop, looking at the rabbits, more Guinea pigs and the fish! We finished the morning with a sit down and a biscuit (after washing our hands!). Back on the bus and back to preschool just in time for lunch! All the children made us very proud and were very well behaved. What an adventure! Did your child tell you something else about the morning?
Thank you so much for Dan (and Joe) for letting us into their practice. We had a great time!!
The 'home corner' now occupies the space by the coat pegs! The old home corner has been 'deconstructed' into....well.... whatever the children decide, however they want to imagine it, and with whatever they wish to add!!
We need to collect sturdy cardboard boxes, Amazon packing boxes would be ideal, - the bigger the better, all shapes, all sizes, tubes, boxes or cartons.
We expect to use, reuse and replace these continually so this request with be ongoing. We can't wait to see what will happen!
We've reviewed and refreshed our books and found many duplicates and quite an excess. As a result we've reduced our library and will be displaying them outside each day - if you'd like some at home, please help yourself for a small donation into 'Percy'.
The books for borrowing at home are now by the side of the carpet area!
So all change at Marcham Pre-school! We hope the children will like the changes - watch out for news on how the new spaces are being used.
What a lovely day!!! All the staff met early this morning for a trip into Oxford for a seminar on "Excellence in Early Year".... lovely company, lovely venue, (lovely lunch and cakes!) - what a treat :-)
So what did we learn?
We learnt that much of what we do is already excellent!!
The day re-enforced our thinking about how we support the children, how we record their progress and attainment, how we support the children's independent....
The day encouraged us to think about how much we value the creative process and not just the end result.... which we do well mostly during the year, but there is still that 'niggle' inside us that persuades us to send home a perfect daffodil card for Mother's day for every child, or to create a toilet roll snowman at Christmas.... so we learnt to stand by our knowledge of children's true creative input and allow them to explore and create as their individual mind, thoughts and wishes dictate. Do you a 'guided' painting more about the adults ideas than a 'home-grown' swirl from your child representing their view of snow? your views and comments are most welcome.
We explored ideas about taking writing and mark-making into all areas of the setting, and why certain children are drawn into, or avoid particular areas, and how we can make them 'gender neutral' and inviting for all....
We heard an interesting and thought-provoking talk about muscle development and which actions/skills are difficult to achieve until muscles are well developed with age....
We thought about our displays... who are they for? what is their objective? and do they meet it? or do they overwhelm and distract children from their learning?
After lunch a fascinating discussion around role-play and children's ability to only play with what they know and how this can be enhanced and extended kept us on our toes!!
It was a day full of interesting and thought-provoking discussion... one which was brilliant and valuable, in its own right, but also in being able to share it with all staff first-hand (including Louisa, although she was unable to attend, the organisers sent us away with a complimentary box of chocolates for her!!)
We are grateful to the Committee for authorising our closure and attendance. We come away enthused, keen and with a list of items we'd like to collect!!
Empty Yakult bottles (or similar)
Fabrics, especially with patterns and designs, eg. camoflague
Empty soap dispensers
Different sized spoons
OId cameras digital and film (i.e. 35mm)
copper pots or kettles
Plastic pots and bottles
Any old hats
In fact, anything else you think we can use!!