Big smiles and little feet come running to the classroom each day, they say an enthusiastic "Good morning!" before eagerly starting their play.
The herb garden is a popular place where students water and care for the plants. "Mmm, they smell delicious!" are the shouts we hear from the children enjoying the sensory, hands-on experience with the aromatic herbs. As the seasons change they will plant their own seeds and nurture their love of nature. While digging for worms and squeezing the mud they strengthen the same hand muscles needed for writing.
Meanwhile, others are playing in the water tray where it might look like lots of splashing around, but the toys they have there enable pouring, measuring and counting skills; practical experiences to build their mathematical knowledge on.
Inside the classroom there is a lot more going on. A group of children are "playing school"! Taking it in turns to be the teacher, they mimic lessons which they have been a part of together. They initiate writing and maths activities and I hear them repeating the instructions they are now so familiar with. How incredible to hear the language used and to see them writing and calculating for an extended time, and most importantly, they are fully invested because it is their own game.
Not far from the children playing school there is a group of children imagining and creating amazing constructions with building blocks. They talk about their creations with impressive detail and thought. Future architects or designers perhaps?
The art area is a particularly busy one. There the students have a wide array of art materials always available to them. There are three students sitting at the table, pumping the paint onto little saucers, carefully choosing what colours they might want. When they have finished painting their rainbow, candy garden or dinosaur, they hang it on the line to dry with a peg. Such fun, and independent from start to finish.
I am with a small group of children playing games and activities which develop their understanding and enable responsive, differentiated teaching of Maths and Literacy skills.
After reading a story together we go into the garden, under the trees and find so many acorns that we fill a basket. "We can take them back to the classroom and use them to learn!" shouts Alyssa. What a great idea, counting, sorting, making letters, I can't wait to see what she chooses to do with them!
The next exclamation comes from Maxi, "Look! Autumn in the trees!" The children notice that the trees in our garden are changing colour, just like the ones we saw in the pictures of our books. Moments like this, when learning comes to life, and they have that light in their eyes, these are magical moments.
At the end of each day we sit together as I pose the question, "What did you enjoy learning today?" The responses are as diverse as the students sitting around me but one thing is sure, they have all been learning, and they have all had fun.
- Mrs. Pierfederici
EYFS | KS1 Coordinator
Year 1 Teacher