More good advice from Teacher Tom. It’s too easy for adults to always step in to solve children’s problems rather than allowing them to develop skills to solve their own.
We are delighted to announce that, following an unannounced inspection by the Care Inspectorate last week, our service has been graded with 5 (Very Good) for both of the focus areas (Quality of Environment and Quality of Care and Support) under inspection.
The Inspector has particularly noted our community feel, sense of identity and belonging, our commitment to outdoor play and opportunities to explore the natural environment and also the way in which we encourage children to take positive risks in order to make informed choices and develop resilience. The full report can be read here
At Playgroup we are aware that our role in children’s early years goes beyond the direct and explicit learning opportunities we provide. We also influence them through our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. This is particularly significant when we think about the influences we have on their understanding of and attitude towards nature, the environment and the development of a sustainable world.
Our woodland play sessions are an ideal platform for us as adults to encourage our children to develop respect and responsibility for nature and the natural environment. In the playroom we have also been encouraging children to recycle paper and plastic bottles while we also compost our food waste.
More recently we have started creating ecobricks. These are plastic bottles we are filling with the single use plastics which cannot be recycled. The plan is to collect all the single use plastic in playgroup so, for example, the wrappers on fruit we buy, the plastic wrappers some of our mail us delivered in etc. The children are already enjoying using scissors to cut these in to small pieces and then stuffing them into a plastic bottle. We plan to monitor how long it takes to fill each bottle.
Although you will see many creative projects for benches, stools and igloos made from ecobricks and indeed, we may at some point attempt to make some of these, the initial aim of this project is to develop an awareness of the amount of single use plastics we are in contact with every day. Over time we would hope to see that our children develop a better understanding of, and attitude towards, issues of sustainability.
We had an amazing visit to the woods this morning. The temperature was -7 when we arrived to set up and still only -1 when we packed up to go home so it was a very challenging environment for our children. Rather than spend all our time in the camp we decided to go on an adventure. It was quite dark at our camp but we could see the sunshine hitting the tops of the trees. We decided to walk higher up the woods to see if we could find the sunshine. It was quite a trek but we found lots of really interesting things along the way. There are so many dens in our woods, we had a wee sit down in just about all of them. The cold weather had made amazing patterns in the woods, we spotted tiny icicles that looked fluffy and others that looked spiky.
We found the sunshine at the very top of the hill. There was a fantastic view so we got the binoculars out to see what we could see.
We walked back down the hill and saw so many different footprints – we spotted lots of different boots as well as some bike tracks and then even some doggy prints too.
Back at our camp site we cuddled up in our tent with some cosy stones, blankets, hot chocolate and a (few) biscuits. We have a request for jam pieces next week, not red jam though.