A weekend of wonder
The Festival of Education was a great success and it was a delight to see such a fabulous mix of educators, parents and members of the Shanghai community attend the two sites over the two days. This event is a culmination of many months work by Dr Jacobi (Director of Culture) and his team, bringing speakers from all corners of the globe to deliver sessions that provoke thought, inspire change, bring joy and laughter and enhance knowledge and understanding of many current topics, theories and concepts.
Here at bilingual, our speakers delivered dual language sessions for our parents and community, bilingualism being central to the event. Sessions focussing on learning through play, inquiry-based learning, promoting independence through household chores, sensory play, happiness and comparisons of Western and Chinese education were delivered by amazing invited guest speakers. These were complemented by showcasing our own extraordinary talent with sessions delivered by the Wellington team on learning through music, a multicultural perspective on the Wellington Identity and wellbeing.
The event continues to grow annually, and we look forward to supporting Dr Jacobi at the next event – who knows where the adventure will lead? My one take-away comment which resonated with me was made by Pam Mundy, “Children’s learning is messy and unpredictable and that is just as it should be.” A kindred spirit indeed…..
From one kindred spirit to a kindred and spirited collective!
I thought about writing this week’s missive around the role of men in early years education. In the UK, there is an acknowledged lack of male early years practitioners and the absence of positive male role models is felt for many young children. In the UAE where I lived before Shanghai, it is illegal for men to work in early years; an unfortunate yet accepted regulation. However here at the bilingual setting, I have struck employee gold! I was considering the high percentage of males that we are fortunate to have around the setting and why they chose to work in early years. Some have always been in education and have moved in to early years for several reasons. Others have had significant career changes, again for several reasons. So, I decided to schedule time in my week to interview the male team members and compile a piece of writing to support our identity. However, time passed all too quickly, and I needed help from my team. I fired out the question: why choose early years, if you’re a man? To the following conversation, I am indebted to the speed and ease of WeChat and to a team of exceptional people with whom I’m fortunate to work with every weekday:
Steffen Eichhorn, “Being a father and still in touch with the inner child; having skills to teach and ‘wisdom’ to share. The decision for THIS early years’ centre has also lots to do with how the team work together and the whole dynamics of the setting. Being a man doesn’t play that much of a starring role in it really.”
Chris Haley, “The question should be why not choose early years? It’s fun, every day is different and always throws up something amazing. This is the start of their learning journeys, and having an influence in the foundation of their experience will hopefully have a positive impact throughout their lives. I also love the fact that we are a family.”
Richard Bagshaw, “Similar to Chris, I moved in to early years because I found it to be an enjoyable experience. I enjoyed the fact that children were still enthusiastic to learn and open to ideas. They have no fear – about trying new things and making mistakes. It also presented an opportunity to give a male influence as I was constantly being told there were no men in early years. It also gives a greater opportunity to inspire and to be creative.”
William Green, “As an educator, I believe it is necessary to experience teaching all age groups. It is only then that one can develop a true understanding of effective pedagogy that aims to develop the whole person. It would be interesting to follow these children from early years to high school to observe their development and try to better understand the impact that our decisions have on their outlook and wellbeing. So, simply put, I chose early years because I wanted to understand more about how children at this setting learn. I also like the fact that Wellington has a values based system which encourages children to be thoughtful, responsible people. I am optimistic and think that this kind of education will become more and more prevalent.”
Sarah Peel, “Children thrive in settings where they see themselves and feel they are a part of. We know this. It’s researched and proven. We need men in early years because our children are going to become them. The more role models we have of different ways to be as a grown up, the more we offer our children.”
Nikki Street, “Also, it goes against some pretty strong gender stereotypes that children often pick up. Great way to make them realise they can do whatever they want to do.”
Sarah Peel, “What Nikki said.”
Vanessa Szucs-Hussain, “What you all said – that’s my content sorted!”
Steffen Eichorn, “In what other job do you meet adventurers, inventors, princesses and knights, transformers, race car drivers, superstars and and and on a daily basis?”
Oscar Chambers, “Inspiration and enthusiasm aren’t things that can be taught. Instead educators have the unique responsibility of giving pupils the opportunity to develop their interests. By fostering a mentality that gears itself towards progressive learning, we must understand where best to start. From the moment we are born we are immediately processing information. In an early years’ setting, a child has its first opportunity to learn outside the protecting arms of its carers. The same way it’ll be learning for the rest of its life. I believe, like many, that giving the next generation the best opportunities and best education is the keystone to building a brighter tomorrow. What better place is there to do that than in early years?”
Classroom News for week beginning Monday 18th September 2017
EY1 – Erica Ni writes about the theme From Head to Toe
We will start our new theme From Head to Toe this week. The first week is going to be about body parts. Children will have opportunity to draw their bodies on large pieces of paper and talk about different body parts. We are going to make interesting crafts with our handprints and footprints. In order to inspire children to use the language of size, we will compare some objects or toys during the games and through the stories. This week, we will keep encourage children to build friendships with another children by helping each other, asking for something nicely, and sharing resources together.
We are reading:
From Head to Toe
We are singing:
If you are happy and you know it, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes,
EY2 – Vivian He writes about the theme Joseph had a Little Coat
This week we will start our new themes Joseph had a Little Coat. We’ll talk about how it is fascinating that Joseph used his old coat make new things that he could actually use. We will also let children to continue to talk about the Autumn. Some of the autumn related activities that we will do are: matching clothes to the correct season as well as fruit painting.
We are reading:
约瑟夫有件小外套、奶奶的红披风、Joseph had a little Overcoat
We are singing:
四季歌、环保小卫士、Ring around the Rosie、Autumn Song、Rainbow Colours Song
A note from EY2 team:
In order to support the themes activities, parents please bring the stuff you no longer need at home such as plastic bottles, boxes, toilet paper roll, etc. We will let the children use their imagination to make something new.
EY3 – Even Chen writes about the theme All About Me
“To do chores as part of your daily routine, as doing chores nourishes both your physical and mental well-being” – Zeng Guofan (Qing Dynasty).
Over the next week the EY3 classes will be revisiting the 5 senses. The 5 senses are extremely important to how we all interact and interpret with the world. At our children’s age these senses are very much still developing, There are a lot more smells and tastes that they are yet to discover and there are so many things that they want to see and touch, and so many sounds that make them turn their heads. It is an amazing time for them.
Some of the activities that the children will be participating in will be the game “Simon says ….” They help the children improve their English listening skills. Children will explore touch and challenging thinking by creating ramps to see how far we can get a car to fly through the air. We will be listening to lots of different types of music and jungle sounds as we explore the world of Gerald the giraffe and his dancing ability. And then we will create wild and wonderful animals using the materials we find in our early years environment. The children will also be talking about noise levels, when we can whisper, talk with our inside voices, and when we can let ourselves go.
Outside the setting you can also join in by talking to your child about what the can see, hear, smell, touch and taste at home. A wonderful activity to do with your child is baking as it involves all of these senses, and you can even make a list of groceries and make a special trip to the shops to buy ingredients.
We are reading:
《丛林里走啊走》、《什么比猎豹的速度更快》、《我的后面是谁呢？》、《谁在热带雨林里》、I Hear a Pickle: and Smell, See, Touch, & Taste It, Too! – Rachel Isadora
We are singing:
两只小象，小小动物出来玩、5 Senses Song
A note from EY3 team:
Please make sure that your child should arrive at the setting before 8:30 everyday morning, and please don’t forget send them to the outside playground next to the canteen. Please bring your child’s hat, raincoat and rain boots, thanks!
EY4 – Emily Gu writes about the theme Me and My World
During this week, we will start to have some discussion about five senses – taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell. Children will be given lots of opportunities to explore with different things in our environment. We also will discuss about how to protect our body such as eyes and nose, etc.
We are reading:
视觉的秘密、嗅觉的秘密、My five senses、Look, listen, taste, touch and smell
We are singing:
The senses song、五种感觉
A note from the EY4 team:
As the weather is getting cooler, please make sure your child’s changing clothes is suitable for the temperature. Please fill up your child’s water bottle at the beginning of the day. We will provide warm water during the day.
Music and Movement – PeiHua and Sarah write about life in the music space
EY1 – After last week’s very successful I See a Song music and art project, we’ll work with our EY1 children to express themselves through dance and instrument play along. Musical games reviewing colours will also be a highlight.
EY2 – Did you know that the new EY2 book, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, is based on a traditional song? We’ll sing the book, play along with lively Klezmer music, and explore how we can make some ‘almost new’ music from everyday objects, just like Joseph does with his overcoat. Everyone’s new favourite song, The Number Rhumba, will continue.
EY3 – We will continue our songs to support self-care and healthy eating, reviewing favourites during choir this week. This week’s activities will also feature listening activities to support the children’s phonics work, a new Chinese song about faces, and more silly food songs in English. Tempo will be a musical highlight this week.
EY4 – After a marvellous and creative week of inventing our own instruments, we are back in the Music Room. Autumn is here and we will work together to create an ensemble music piece to the song 四季歌in small groups. Rhythm work in preparation for musical notation will continue with all its taa, ti-ti, and rests! The music of Vivaldi will also be highlighted.
We are reading:
EY2 – Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
We are singing:
EY1 – I See You, 颜色歌
EY2 – 数字歌,不浪费,Shake the Apple Tree, The Numbers Rumba
EY3 – Go Into the Kitchen, 我的脸手指律动, I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas
EY4 –四季歌, Hello to All the Children of the World
Reminder! Every week we will join together to sing and share the songs we have been learning. Please be sure your child arrives in time to participate in this very special year group activity.
EY 1 – Tuesdays 8:30 – 9:00 in the Garden Space, Building C
EY 2 – Wednesdays 8:30 – 9:00 in the Library, Building B
EY 3 – Thursdays 8:30 – 9:00, in the Gym, Building C
EY 4 – Fridays 8:30 – 9:00, in the Gym, Building C
A note from Music team:
Are you a musician, dancer, or creative performer? WCCBS needs you! Our children are an enthusiastic and appreciative audience, and we would love to share your talents with them as we learn about music. Grandparents, family friends, and community members are welcome too! If you have a talent you would like to share, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to discuss how we may be able to include you in our upcoming activities.