Week two comes to an end – it is as if you’ve never been away!
The general sense of calm and happiness has continued this week, bringing a sense of achievement for all. The youngest children have settled far quicker than we could ever have hoped and the older children have picked up from where they left off before the summer. If truth be told, I didn’t expect it to fall in to place this quickly and the sense of pride that I feel towards my team, the pupils and the Wellington families is overwhelming. This setting is home to a collective of partnerships; it is where we come together with the shared vision of growing little human beings in to the very best versions of themselves. It is where teachers and their teams consider every child and what will inspire their learning and development. It is where amazing people do amazing things. For myself, as Head of Early Years I feel privileged as I get to see it from every angle, appreciate every perspective and watch the landscape change and evolve continuously.
The importance of routine
We can’t stress enough how important a solid routine is for young children. Bearing in mind that our youngest Wellingtonians spend 5/7 days with us, we would ask for the co-operation of all families in establishing a routine to support the healthy development of each child. We grow when we sleep (this is the peak time that growth hormone is released), our minds have opportunity to unpick the events of the day, to file memories and facts, and to put mental ‘garbage’ in the bin.
As well as needing to rest our minds after a day of discovery, we also need to be able to rest our bodies after a day of physical activity. We know as adults how exhausting a day of work can be. Imagine how it feels to the minds and bodies of a three-year-old? In support of good routines, there is an increasing body of evidence showing the damaging effect on children and young adults who get less sleep than they need – from weight gain to depression, from poor performance and concentration to reduced creative ability and lower immunity to diseases.
As you are aware, we do advise that pupils arrive before 08:30 as this is when curriculum time commences and peak learning takes place. However, if pupils arrive at 08:30 tired and grumpy, active learning cannot take place.
Instead, we see tantrums, lethargy and a lack of motivation to be involved in activities. Ideally, we want our pupils to arrive at 08:30, ready for a day of exploring and discovering. To make this happen, many families need to be out of the house and on the road by 08:00, therefore breakfast and dressing-time need to start around 07:00. If a child is awake by 06:30 – 07:00, there should be sufficient time for this to take place. If we work backwards, to get the recommended sleep, children should be in bed by 19:00 – 20:00 (depending upon their age). This means that dinner, play, bath and story time needs to start from around 17:00. At such an early age, routines need to be rather regimented, but it is worth it once they are established – trust us, it works. As adults, we oversee the routine of life for our children and I am sure that you will wish to do everything possible to give your child the very best chance at success at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai. Do not hesitate to contact your class teacher to discuss individual routines and advice on how to get started, should you need it – we are always here to support. For more information, check out: The Good Night Guide for Children provided by the Sleep Council, UK (www.sleepcouncil.com).
Getting the baseline established
From Monday 4th September, all practitioners will be undertaking baseline assessments for all pupils. This will help to inform the teaching teams of where each unique child is in terms of their own developmental milestones. It also affords the opportunity to consider appropriate extension and support requirements. The observations provide vital data for monitoring pupil progress throughout the year – it is the starting point for all. From these observations, we can engage in valuable dialogue with families about ways in which our partnership can be strengthened. Pupils are observed in the following areas:
- Personal, social & emotional development
- Making relationships
- Self-confidence and self-awareness
- Managing feelings and behaviour
- Physical development
- Moving and handling
- Health and self-care
- Communication and language
- Listening and attention
- Shape, space and measure
- Understanding the world
- People and communities
- The world
- Expressive arts and design
- Exploring and using media and materials
- Being imaginative
Classroom News for week beginning 4th September 2017
EY1 – Erica Ni writes about the theme Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?
EY1 children have been doing amazing in our first week. We tried very hard to say goodbye to our families and came to the setting with big smiles. We know that we can look for our teacher when we get upset. During this next week, we will continue exploring different colours around us. We will talk about the colours of our water bottles, get to know our new friends, make photo frames for our family photo and have fun with dying pasta. We will continue practising to follow simple instructions in English. The team will encourage the children to repeat some English words after the teachers have introduced them. EY1 will talk about the colours in the book ‘Brown bear brown bear what do you see’. Please and Thank you will be encouraged to say to our friends and teachers when we ask for help from others.
We are reading: Brown bear brown bear what do you see? 小波去上学, 这是什么呢？
We are singing: Brown bear brown bear what do you see? if you are happy and you know it, sit down song, clean up song, 早安歌，小星星，手指歌，我们一起坐下来
A note from the EY1 team: We would like to ask parents to adjust children’s routine to help your children to settle better and feel more comfortable in our setting.
EY2 – Vivian He writes about the theme 10 little fingers, 10 little toes
This week, we will be continuing learning about differing emotions to express how we feel with increasing confidence. Children will have the opportunity to draw themselves as well as describe the pictures that they draw. In addition, children will have the opportunity to decorate and create sock puppets for the purpose of engaging in role play with each other. Children will also be able to talk about their family members and introduce their family members to the class. Finally, children will be able to create and design clothing for toy dolls at the setting. At the end of the week, teachers will show the children how to play Simon Says.
We are reading: From Head to Toe, 10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes, wo shen ti li de dong, wo ma ma, lian, lian ,ge zhong ge yang de lian, wo ba ba
We are singing: Good morning song, Hello song, Head, Shoulder’s, Knees and Toes
A note from the EY2 team: We would like to request parents bring in photos and pictures of their children with family members.
EY3 – Sarah Zhang writes about the theme All About Me
This week EY3 will be continuing to learn about their new environments as well as beginning to discuss ways to look after ourselves and things that are special about us. This will help the children to become independent in their self-care and recognize their individuality. To help achieve these goals we will be using activities such as bathing baby dolls and making self-portraits using playdough, designing name card with various materials, checking sick animal, practising counting numbers in role play.
We are reading: 各种各样的人, 没有做不到的事, I like Myself – Karen Beaumont
We are singing: 班级常规歌曲, ‘This is the way…’
A note from the EY4 team: Please don’t forget to bring your child’s water bottle, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent and indoor shoes every day to the setting.
EY4 – Emily Gu writes about the theme Me and My World
This week, the children will discuss the 5 Wellington values – how do they look in our setting. We will introduce the 5 Values stickers and explain to the children how they are awarded for their efforts and achievement. The children and teaching teams will talk about what they like and show and share with the class some of our favourite things. To keep our artistic skills up to speed, we will create self-portrait sculptures.
We are reading: 壁橱里的冒险, 大卫系列, 魔法亲亲, Magnificent me, What I like about me
We are singing: 问好歌, 再见歌, 星期歌, Hello how are you, Do you like…
A note from the EY4 team: Please bring in one family photo and one baby photo. Bringing back ‘all about me’ bags for show and share is important – please don’t forget!
Music and Movement – PeiHua and Sarah write about life in the music space
It’s been an exciting start to the year for Music and Movement! The children have delighted us with their singing, willingness to have a go at something very new, and amazing sense of rhythm! This week we will begin to build on this foundation, introducing basic musical concepts and more songs to our lessons for every age level.
EY1 – The music room is full of exciting new sounds to explore. As we settle in we will explore stop and go activities through movement to music and playing with hand percussion. Shakers are highlighted this week.
EY2 – Our bodies can make and move to music! This week we will extend our body percussion activities, match rhythms with a drum, and move to a steady beat. We will continue our work with high and low sounds through focused listening, movement to music, and singing.
EY3 – After an enthusiastic start our children will have more opportunities to explore timbre (the sounds different materials make) and do some rhythm work with instruments in small groups. Singing and strengthening fingers are also highlights this week.
EY4 – Self-expression and small group rhythm work will be featured this week. We will continue body percussion, expressive movement to music, and lots of singing of course! Music from West Africa will be highlighted as we explore djembes and other drums. We’ll also continue learning to control our voice, especially our volume!
We are reading:
EY2 – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes singalong book
EY3 – 我的身体听听
EY4 – Mortimer! by Robert Munsch
We are singing:
EY1 – Shake Your Eggs, 三个熊
EY2 – All By Myself，我的身体
EY3 – Lirum Larum, 手指歌
EY4 – Che Che Koolay, 我的房子我的家