I took a moment to pause and reflect on what we have achieved this term and I truly believe that we have embarked on a wonderful journey of learning together. I remember back to those first days of school, when some children were so nervous and were revealing their anxiety to us through tears, some parents were unsure about our program and had important questions to ask. And now I watch the children skip into school with enormous smiles on their faces, happy to greet their friends and teachers for another new day together. I appreciate the conversations I have with many of you as you bring your children to school or at pick up in the afternoon.
In these four months, the children, staff and parents have become familiar and found their place within our brand new building. This has not been an easy task to discover how to belong in a large uninhabited space and to feel comfortable, as we discover and rediscover the many possibilities and challenges it affords to us. I have observed everyone inquiring into a new way of learning. The teachers have bravely embraced our inquiry driven approach and have done their best to develop their own understanding of concept driven learning. They spend time really listening to the children and deepening their own understandings of how children come to their understandings of the world. We have a shared fundamental belief that children have an innate desire to understand their world and to master ways of interacting in it. They are not empty vessels waiting to be filled with the body of knowledge. Rather, they are vessels that are already full – full of questions and theories, they develop knowledge and most essentially the ability to think deeply and make meanings. The relationships, the spaces and active intentional listening are interwoven to impact learning, the learning of both adults and children.
I asked the children about their favorite memories from this term. Relationships, spaces, listening and learning; these threads were true of the children’s reflections too. They expressed their joy in making new friends, exploring the learning spaces and being together .
“I loved singing our songs, like Rudolf. I loved the songs.”
“I like play dough, making and playing. I make it a cookie. A cookie shape , a circle.”.
“Singing ‘Jingle Bells’ because I love singing and my mum came.
“I like to play in Atelier and here and Reception.”
“I like playing with my friends. Play with my friends and singing.”
“I can write my name!”
“I was scared ‘cos I didn't have any best friends. Then I had Lara, Isabella and Gwen and I felt happy.”
“I felt good. I like PJ, we play cooking.”
“I like playing. I like to play families with Isabella, and Lara and Gwen. All of the children.”
“Play with the new Freya. We play PJ mask. PJ mask saves the day and PJ mask hides out.”
“Planting the plants.”
“The sing along and I like the singing and the dancing and it was like a party.”
“My favorite memory is go in the nursery and play in the water. I love to play cars.”
“Anas is my friend and he plays with me in the nursery.”
“Making building and doing things and drawing and doing stiff and hip hop.
“When the builders were knocking on the window and the sand was in the wrong place.”
Thank you for all of your support as we work together to do the absolute best we can for your children. Thank you for trusting us with your children and I feel privileged to have spent these months with them.
I would like to share a picture that a child drew at home, a child who initially was not delighted with his move to America and a new school, yet now he loves school and is sad that it is the holidays. His drawing illustrates his feelings, that he loves school and he loves home.
I wonder what your favorite memories of this term are?