Dear parents and guardians,
We have launched our new topic ‘People who help us’, which has inspired and motivated our Pre-prep children to consider how they can offer support to other people.
Hearing the different ways people’s jobs can help others, and that even animals can offer help, the children have felt compelled to be more socially responsible. A visit from Watson the guide-dog puppy has taught the children about the transformative effect a guide dog can have for a visually-impaired person. The Pre-prep school councillors were inspired by what they heard from Watson’s trainer, and thought of initiatives that could raise money to sponsor a guide-dog puppy. At Madingley the children voted to design and make bookmarks to sell in school. The children on the Madingley school council decided that as every child has a reading book, a bookmark would be useful, and by selling them it could raise a significant amount of money. Later in the term the Kindergarten and Reception children will be washing bikes at the Senior school and Junior school for a small fee, and the City Pre-prep will be voting this week on how they would like to raise money.
Even small children understand that their actions can have an effect on the people around them. From an early age they observe what happens to those caring for them when they laugh, cry or decide not to follow an instruction. It is our role as Pre-prep teachers to guide this early sense for social interactions towards developing an understanding that actions and words can affect how other people feel.
In the City Year 2 class, the children are combining their Science learning with encouraging the residents of a local care home to collaborate with them. The children’s first visit helped the residents feel knowledgeable as the residents were invited to share their experiences of gardening and discussed their favourite flowers with the children. Next the children will be planting bulbs with residents and supporting the residents in the care of the bulbs. Follow our twitter account for updates on the progress of this green-fingered project!
Alongside developing empathy and compassion, the children are interested in the impact of their actions on the environment. Year 1 and 2 enjoyed an informative talk from John at AmeyCespa: the children were particularly interested in what items could be recycled, and were very impressed that they could make a plant pot from recycled newspaper.
Exploring these concepts and having the chance to practice these skills in play is a vital step in developing the children’s understanding, and this week we have shared with parents the importance of learning through play in our parent workshops. Since the start of term I have seen corners of classrooms transformed into police stations, fire stations and restaurants and I have heard the children rehearsing empathy and kindness when speaking on the ‘telephone’ to an imaginary person phoning with an emergency. I have certainly been impressed with the children’s ability to understand and their willingness and enthusiasm for being a socially responsible person.
Head of Pre Prep