I am assured by the early years staff that this feeling is not due to age as they can also relate to this phenomena and feel the same way. Rather, I have come to believe that it must be related to how we live each day with the children with never a dull moment to spare. The surprises of discovery each day must be the key to the fleeting passage of time. And to add, the surprises of discovery are always accompanied with an element of joy, and more joyful in being shared with others.
The children offered many favourite memories of their time with us this year.
“When I was with my friends.”
“I remembered the first day I came to reception. This is my cubbie, table and our carpet.”
“When I built a short bridge that Efosa could crawl underneath. I also made a food machine for the dinosaur. First, I was thinking about how to build, like a rocket ship outside. I did a hundreds of buildings.”
“The Christmas sing along and I was wearing my Scottish t-shirt. I liked the singing and when every mummy and daddy came.”
“Playing soccer with Elliot, every day and lunch. And playing Lego soccer with him. Playing with my friends. Talking about stuff. All score goals.”
“We were learning about Christmas and our mum was coming and Ms. Dickson was playing the piano and everyone was singing. I liked the songs.”
“This is when I was making a book about super heroes. I’ve made 14 books. I think, half of a hundred. I liked what they looked like inside. I am proud.”
“I can remember when we were singing ‘Merry Christmas’ and it made me very happy when everybody was singing.”
“Sports Day. I like it and it so hard for me.”
“That I painted my shirt. I like the colours. I painted it. And the other thing I liked was going to the Boma and had yummy food.
“My favourite day was when we did the show. Also when we had lunch with our mummies and daddies.”
“My favourite day was when I was writing books. My book is called, ‘The Missing Crown’.
“I eat lunch with my friends and talking with my friends and being kind to my friend.”
“I liked building with Alexander a bridge and connecting a garage to it. I get to play with the persons and do building. I learn how to build.”
“I remember I had lots of fun playing in the construction area. I have lots of ideas in my head. I love playing with William in the construction area. I like it when I play football at soccer shots.”
“I loved it about sports day because I liked it with the bench and the tunnel.”
“When it rains so we can jump in puddles. So we can get wet.”
“My first day here. It was really good. I was scared and then I did some new stuff and I wasn’t scared anymore. I was really happy. I made new friends like Naomi. I visited Year 1. We played with the sand. It was really good story. We did lots of things. We did work. And fun. I had friends there. I had the snack. I ate in Boma.”
“I like me being little. Then I growed my hair and now I am big and I was a really big girl and I said, ‘mummy I want to grow up.’ I wanted to go to Year 1.”
We view learning as a journey; and education as building relationships with people (both children and adults) and creating connections between ideas and the environment. The teacher’s role is to be a learner alongside the children. Teachers are committed to reflection about their own teaching and learning. The end of the year becomes a time of reflection and contemplation of the learning journey we have travelled along together.
August seems so far in the past, when the school year began and our state of the art building was not quite completed and we had to settle into the space, learning the rhythms of the children and ourselves. When you pause and reflect, we as a BISH community have come a long way together. Providing a quality program naturally begins with preparing the space and environment, indoors and out. The quality and aesthetics of materials, furnishings, and images help the child appreciate, love, respect, and take advantage of the environment. Calm but stimulating environments promote well-being—that is, a sense of being fully at ease in the setting. This careful preparation, plus listening and responding to children, helping children find meaning in what they do, what they encounter, and what they experience, has helped us to create our early years centre as it is now. This year I have been so impressed with the practice of the teachers who are constantly evolving in through experimentation and iterative, cumulative changes. These changes are visible in how the teachers co-construct learning and understandings together and design and use space and environments. In all of these aspects, the teachers flourish as researchers, seeking to do the best work possible by continually asking deep questions about their work and reflecting with others on what has happened, what it means, and how to go forward. This kind of research requires much courage in the face of uncertainty, and confidence that everyone together has the necessary power and strength.