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Fostering a sense of belonging

25 Feb 2022


Erica Yang

Early Years Curriculum Lead


Welcome back to Huili Nursery Hangzhou. With the song, "Let’s come together", children sit down and begin their first "morning meeting" after the Chinese New Year. In addition to the daily morning meeting, there are many "meeting times" with various opportunities for learning throughout the week, mostly in a bilingual format. As we often say, these "meeting times" are magical, which cultivates class culture and changes children's behaviour, becoming more mature and self-controlled.

What is the reason behind this "magic"?

Let us focus on the key reasons behind "meeting times".




The engagement

Enjoyable meetings have one common feature - a sense of participation.  



During "meeting times", children can be involved wholeheartedly in discussion and participate in decision-making. For example, if it took us a long time to pack up the toys this morning, this took time away from the next activity. Based on the current situation, "focusing on the matter rather than the person", discuss the cause of the incident and the solution together. When children are given this opportunity, their behaviour changes dramatically, even beyond our imagination.




Openness and fairness

Usually, during "meeting times", we will sit together and discuss problems or share things from our nursery life.  

Evaluate your last solution and brainstorm - propose solutions for a new issue. 



The issues to be discussed should be of common concern. For example, the problems we discussed before; how to organise the division of labour to clean up the toys? How to control the volume in the room? How to control emotions? In the discussion process, everyone can speak their mind and speak freely. We make sure every child with ideas shares their thoughts. 

At the same time, you can also ask the "recorder" to help write down everyone’s ideas one by one (the recorder may not be the teacher, but the children can also write down in their way). Then, after the meeting, you can try these ideas and suggestions in order of priority and then review and give feedback together in the next meeting.  




Be grateful

One of the things we often do at the end of the school day is to gather and share memorable things, which made the children feel warm and happy that day. Sometimes we use a small round stone and put it into the hands of the children and pass it around the circle quietly, so that whoever stopped with the stone in their hands could start sharing. 

During these meeting times, the children are unconsciously expressing their gratitude:


"Today, I was very happy when I was outdoors because my friends came to help me dig mud pits!"


“When I woke up today, I felt so warm in my heart when my friends helped me carry my bed.” 


It feels good to be thanked. Everyone has a sense of belonging and is essential to the team. It also helps to create a positive nursery atmosphere, where expressing gratitude to peers and teachers strengthens positive relationships and enables children to become discoverers of good people and good things; people who recognise and appreciate the good in others in their daily lives.



Our achievements

Our achievements

Our "meeting times" are an essential part of our children’s daily school life. Over the course of the sessions, we see a lot of behavioural changes in the children. For example, they learned to listen to others, to solve problems rather than complain. In addition, they monitor themselves and learn from their mistakes. 

With the development of an open, accessible and responsible environment throughout Huili Nursery Hangzhou, our pupils are more inspired, intellectual, independent, individual and inclusive. "Meeting times" offer us a platform to discuss with our children, face problems, and work together to solve them.