The chance to take a risk
In the past few weeks the children have been developing the ability to take ‘good risks’. By trying something new, and finding the boundaries of what they feel safe with, the children are developing self-belief, independence, and the resilience to keep trying.
Our Year 1 and 2 children have been inspired by talks from our local firefighters. A glimpse of the big red fire engines pulling up outside our schools sent a spark of excitement through the Pre-prep classes and the firefighters did not disappoint, as they enthusiastically explained their jobs and the equipment they use to support them when they are forced to take risks. Their visit has certainly left a lasting impression as the children are occupied at playtimes pretending to battle fires and climb ladders.
The youngest children in the Pre-prep are often our most confident risk takers, as they are uninhibited when approaching a physical task and need to develop their self-awareness to be able to distinguish when a situation is safe or unsafe. The Kindergarten classes have a weekly adventure in the Madingley Park or the Botanical Gardens. During these sessions the children are given the freedom to explore the space but have to learn how to manage this in a safe way. Our City class are learning how to respond when their teacher signals to ‘stay safe’ and they can frequently be heard practicing the call and response “1-2-3, eyes on me”, “1-2-3, eyes on you” in preparation for their next visit. In Reception class the children are taking responsibility for checking their environment is safe: in a recent lesson the classroom furniture had been tipped upside down! The children quickly spotted the hazards and had excellent suggestions for how to make the space safe again.
The Year 1 and 2 children are working hard in their weekly gymnastics lessons as they prepare for the gym display later in the term. Holding a balance for longer, and climbing a little higher for a jump, the children are challenging themselves to reach the next level of gymnastic skills. We look forward to welcoming the parents to see what confident gymnasts the children have become.
It is not just physical challenges that allow the children to take risks. They are regularly taking intellectual risks and this is most evident when the children have responsibility for their own learning. Thinking of an idea and sharing their idea with their peers is frequently happening in the Reception and Kindergarten planning meetings and in ‘Plan, learn do review’. The children will agree and disagree with each other about how an area should be equipped and they will listen to reason and negotiate whose idea will be used. In a recent planning meeting at the City Pre-prep some children wanted a land made of sweets in the role-play area and another group wanted a fairy land, so Dina aged 4 said ‘I know let’s make it a fairy house made of sweets’ and the rest of the class clapped in agreement.
I wish all of our Pre-prep families an enjoyable weekend and I hope you get the chance to take a risk.
Head of Pre-Prep
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