Early Years decided to start their International Week a week early as there was so much that the children wanted to learn about. I saw activities from Japan, Hawaii, Korea, India, England and Mexico as I walked around the Early Years. This area of learning teaches the children to recognise that everyone is different around the world and that other children may have different experiences when they grow up. It helps the children to respect each other and to recognise the things that make them special and unique.
In our curriculum, we have a whole area that focuses on ‘People and Communities’ through the Understanding of the World aspect of learning. In this area, we encourage the children not only to learn about the similarities and differences that connect them, but also to show an interest in the lives of the people around them. Can your child talk about significant events in their lives that are important to them? This is not only important for their language development but also in helping your child recognise their own identity, as they grow older.
‘Past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ are all terms that we encourage the children to use throughout their time in the Early Years. We encourage them to talk about past events that have happened with their family during the holiday or weekends. You can help your child by sending photos in for them to share with their class. We also encourage the children particularly in F1 to recognise what they are doing in the immediate which we call ‘present’. F1 use a visual timetable to help them recognise what activity they are going to do next. They can also look at the visual chart to predict what is going to come after that or later in the day.
I recently read an article by Miranda Marquit and she shares some valuable reasons on why it is important to teach children about different countries and culture which I have quoted below;
- Other cultures are interesting;
- You can stimulate your mind which forces you to think in new ways…helping you grow your mental capacities;
- Learning about other cultures fosters understanding. When you learn about another culture, and see why others do the things they do, it’s easier to understand them. You can develop sympathy with others. It’s harder to justify unpleasant thoughts and reactions when you understand where another person is coming from;
- You realise there’s more than one way to do something, more than one approach to life. You also learn that your approach might not always be the best way. Perhaps, the cultural heritage of someone else can add another dimension to your life;
- You’ll be more ready for an increasingly global world. With technology making the world ever-smaller, and with the ease of travel between countries, chances are that you will meet someone with a different cultural heritage at some point. Being able to tolerate others, and not berate them because of their differences, is not only a big part of living in a global community, but it is also the mark of a well-rounded person.
In Early Years we want to prepare our children for living in the future by providing them with opportunities to explore the world and think outside of the box. We want them to respect each other and to celebrate and value cultural experiences not only of their own but also of their friends and other communities to.
We hope that you can all join us for our International Celebration in the Early Years auditorium on Wednesday 4th April 2018 at 2pm.
Miss Julie Walton
Head of Early Years