The Huili Nursery Hangzhou annual sports day started today in the WCH indoor gym. With our ever-growing community, the sports day is taking place on two separate days to provide our children and their families with a broad yet specialized experience. Today, is the EY3 and EY4 sports day followed by EY1 and EY2 tomorrow. Working with our children, we were able to arrange practices, plan PE games and exercises that support the overall development of our children. Many of the organized games were the ideas of our children – even our family games! HNH Sports Day has always been a great opportunity for us to assess the development of our children in action. Although it is a ‘big’ event, our children’s performance in all aspects of the sports day is a perfect representation of the growth, progress, and transformation our children have experienced since the beginning of the school year.
These are just some of the many characteristics of effective learning our nursery teachers keep a look out for during our sports day. It is also a real-world opportunity for our children to apply all the skills, expertise and ‘powers’ that they have learned at nursery. Although the sports day only lasts for two hours, it is a natural conclusion to the learning that took place in nursery and provides our children with the potential to take on the next chapter with confidence, courage and skill.
In the morning, we keep the classroom door open so that children in EY1 can freely access the exploration area outside on the deck. During our free flow exploration, children have been able to use the outdoor resources to design obstacle tracks. Children used green crates to build stairs, so that they were able to climb stairs to the sky and jump down pretending to fly! Children also picked up crates and lined them up on the floor to design an outline for their very own game. They spontaneously queued and jumped from the start one by one until they had all had a turn, closely observing each other, and adjusting the outline to meet their vivid imaginations. Children worked collaboratively to design obstacles, to play together in good order and to bravely challenge themselves and each other.
With the in-depth understanding among children and the strong friendships that have already been formed, children in EY2 explored a classic folk game-"What is the time, Mr. Wolf?" during outdoor discovery. At the beginning, children needed to be supported by teachers. After several attempts, they quickly grasped the concept that "the clock" means "the step" and clearly understood that "dinner time" is a dangerous signal, which is the cue for the Wolf to chase the player. This group play not only fully exercises children's gross motor skills but further strengthens their ability to react quickly, movement through walking and running, but creates an opportunity to further strengthentheir listening skills.
We are very lucky to have had two wonderful additions to our nursery in recent weeks. The children have had opportunities to learn about goats, their needs, about their habitat and we have started to design and build our own habitats where we think they'd like to live. This gives the children a fantastic opportunity to learn about the needs of another and recognising changes in another living thing.
In Huili Nursery, we value the voice of children and celebrate with them as they represent their thoughts through their “hundred languages”. The EY4 children have been busy with their project learning and as some of them stepped into Phase 3 – the representation phase, the “the language of poetry” appeared, which was lovely to see. The children were inspired to make their own poems after they listened to each other’s dreams. They decided that ‘dreams’ have different shapes and colours. Within the poems that the children created, we could see lots of original ideas and inspirations being expressed and the ownership that the children proudly carry in their learning.