The early years of a child’s life are an important stage where the foundations for future development are established. In the Little XCL World Academy Nursery, we foster the child’s own interests, needs and stages of development and offer activities that extend, enrich and develop potential both inside and outside the class.
We started the school year off by learning everything we could about one another. We spent a good few weeks getting to know each other and slowly warming up to playing closely with one another. We played Baby Photo Bingo where the students had to guess the baby photos on the bingo mat and match it with the current photo of the student, painting directly onto mirrors guided by reflections of ourselves, discussing our own family photos with our friends and pointing out our family members and special family celebrations! This theme helped our young learners to realise that every person is unique and special. They also learned that every child’s thoughts and ideas are important, and no one person is more or less important than another.
Later during the year, we were discovering our own voices and looking for various ways to express ourselves. We provided a range of stimulating ideas and opportunities for children to perform, draw, paint, print, create collages, sing, and construct various models. Throughout the term, we learned how to express ourselves through visual art using various mediums and materials. We also engaged in a variety of drama performances, puppet play, music and movement activities. Once, we read a book about animals, and the children started to growl like lions, crawl around and mimic different animals. They were very excited to learn about animals and their behaviours, so we decided to create a jungle corner for their class performances.
We have had a great chance to participate in whole-school celebrations such as Arts Week and Halloween. We had many fun activities that allowed our students to be brave risk-takers, learn how to express themselves and communicate with each other, and more importantly, build their confidence and develop new interests.
This semester we started off discovering the wonderful world of nature and elements of life on Earth. Nature provokes children into thought, action, and formulating their own ideas. We usually begin by exploring the environment during our walks around the school. One day, when the rain had just stopped, the children decided to go on an exploration mission. They spotted puddles of water, leaves and fruits that had fallen from the trees. We picked up the leaves and fruits from the ground and extended our learning in class. We looked at the leaves’ lines, the fruits’ shape and compared them to different types of fruits that we eat during snack time! Our inquiry moved to have a sensory activity with oranges. We made a connection that the orange is the same round shape as the fruit that we saw on our walk. We looked at the orange peel and lines in the orange section, squeezed it, and even tasted the juice from the orange! Now every walk is an opportunity for us to discover the world around us. We observe nature, learn about animals and insects, go on hunts for different shapes and forms, and meet lovely members of our community who work and play in our school.
In the last quarter of the year, we will be exploring various ways of experimenting with the world around us. We will be designing various 3D models from multiple materials and parts. We will also have the opportunity to find out why ice melts, why water is liquid, why our toy cars go down super-fast (or slow) down the ramp and many more interesting things! All these activities will be planned based on our learners’ interests. Learning about science begins by thinking it is super cool and fun. Young children may not really understand the science behind the experiments. However, they can start developing these concepts just by doing these activities in class. It will be an exciting journey for the rest of the year for our fabulous Nursery students!
By Umairah Abdullah & Razya Abdulkader | Nursery Teachers