Colors of Winter from YIS Academics on Vimeo.
With the start of the Winter Term at the ELC the teachers have put out a new pallet of colours; greys and blacks, silvers and whites, purples and maroons. Instantly the children have been drawn to these new experiences and provocations. Their individual display panels are already filling up with collages, paintings and drawings using these wintery shades. Other pieces of work are also dotted around the classroom as the children explore these new mediums that simulate the senses and excite the eye.
Outdoors, winter means hats and coats, gloves and boots. With sunny days, winter outdoors is stimulating for the children as they explore. With the wind, has come kite making and the pleasure of wind on your face.
Craft Luncheon from YIS Academics on Vimeo.
On Friday parents, grandparents, younger brothers and sisters, teachers and ELC children came together for our annual Craft Luncheon. Our aim was to make gifts for the Baby Home children and too share a fantastic lunch together. It was lots of fun working in groups to make the playdough and to draw the cards. The variety of food at lunch time was exceptional. This was a wonderful ELC community event.
On Wednesday a group of 10 E1 and E2 children walked down to the main with Ms Yuka and Ms Beth. We were going to the art studio to make ceramic bowls with Ms Justice (Evie’s mum) and her Grade 8 class. Our ELC children were each paired up with one of the Grade 8 students; Ms Beth’s daughter Sofia was there as was Anna’s brother Dan. Together the children pounded and rolled the brown clay which they formed over mould. Then they used leaves, pinecones and sticks that they had gathered in the park to make patterns and prints in the surface of the clay. The bowls were then left to dry and would be fired in the kiln later. In two weeks time we will return to art studio to glaze the bowls and then place then in the kiln ourselves to be fired again. The finished will be used to serve our fruit snack each day.
This was a wonderful experience for both our ELC children and the Grade 8 students to be able to work together. Ms Justice commented that her students ‘were buzzing’ after we left.
We want to extend this experience to the other ELC children and hope the ‘experts’ we now have in ceramics will show the other children how to make a bowl over the next few weeks.
Baby Home from YIS Academics on Vimeo.
The ELC has a long lasting relationship with the Lady of Lourdes Baby Home. Every year we invite the youngest children, who are not yet in school, to come and play with us at the ELC. In preparation for the children’s visit we discuss the Baby Home and how we could welcome our friends. We did this first with the E2 children who had experienced the visit last year. The children’s thinking and their contributions were very powerful and they were able to convey this to the E1 group. The children displayed real empathy for the Baby Home children and had a real sense of concern for others who did not have mum’s and dad’s as they did. It was decided that we would draw, paint and make origami as a ‘gift.’ On Tuesday three children visited us; we sang songs together, ate fruit snack, played in the classroom and explored outside. The ELC children were very welcoming and it was a delight to see them hand in hand enjoying each others company. We are looking forward to another visit next week.
Gardening from YIS Academics on Vimeo.
We believe that the outdoor environment is very important and with this in mind we have been wanting to plant out the ELC gardens. One of our parents who is involved in a family nursery was able to provided us with flower and vegetable plants. On the only sunny day this week the children and Ms Beth planted. Every child was invited to help and most did, enjoying the sensation of the earth on their hands. We will now be watching to see how the plants grow.
The following afternoon the children discussed how they could care for the plants. “Why do you think we did planting yesterday?”
“Because we wanted our garden to look beautiful and we wanted the bees to come and make honey……..And we also want the ELC to smell good, like flowers………..We planted vegetables so we could pick them and eat them!”
What do you think we should tell everyone about the garden?
“You have to don’t pick it and just put the water inside………don’t step on the plants ……..don’t bounce a ball there.”
When it is sunny we will need to water the plants – how can we decide who waters them?
“We can take turns by you calling their names and they can have a turn and we can play outside and then they can have a turn…….we can write the list and we can buy a bucket and take turns!”
Our meeting finished there. The teachers will remind the children about the ideas of ‘taking turns and writing a list’ after the break and see how the children want to organize a ‘system’ to care for our garden.
Otsukimi from YIS Academics on Vimeo.
We believe in the valuable experiences a setting such as an international school offers. At YIS we are able to draw upon multiple cultures, values, ideas and traditions to better build one’s own identity as well as developing our understanding of WHO WE ARE.
We experienced our first cultural experience this year with our Japanese mothers who kindly re-enacted the Full Moon Viewing (Otsukimi) with a display of ‘odango’ (rice dumpling), persimmons which are a seasonal fruit and pampas grass. In Japan, the pattern on the moon’s surface is associated with rabbits making rice cakes (omochi), and the children helped to make the rice dumplings by rolling it into little balls which were later boiled by the mothers. It was delightful to observe the engagement of the children and their courage to try tasting something unknown and unfamiliar to them.
Here at the ELC we are very lucky to have Ms Mason come twice a week and take music with the children. Our E1 and E2 groups have separate sessions. It is a delight to watch the children explore the ‘language of music and movement.’
When you listen to preschool children play, you will often hear them humming a familiar tune as they work. When music is turned on, we notice a child’s body move in time to the beat. Children are naturally drawn to the rhythms and sounds of music. Just today we watched a group of children dance to classical music during free exploration.
Music Time from YIS Academics on Vimeo.
We feel it is very important to build community between our E1 (mostly new children) and E2 children (mostly returning children). Last week we had our first E2 meeting when the E1’s were at music and we asked these children; ‘What does it mean to be an E2?’ Initially they responded with comments about themselves:
“Being bigger and you need to do extra work and you need to act like an E2.”
“Sleep more.” “If you sleep real good then you get tall.”
“You just need to tidy up and when a teacher tells you something you need to do it and you need to do like more jobs.”
The children then moved on to think of their responsibility to their E1 friends. ‘How you can help the E1s?’
“When you are E2 you need to help the E1 tidy up.”
“You talk to them about the origami.”
“You can help them by if you have an owie.”
“If someone did not know where the toys are then you could show them.”
“To show them how to do ballet.”
“Play together with the E1s.”
“E2 build the cool building and show the E1s.”
All the children are starting to feel they are part of our ELC family.
It has been a new experience for many of our children as they stepped through the door of the ELC for the first time on Monday morning. Many of them showed real courage as they dealt with new teachers, new friends, new surroundings and even a new language. Our existing students have also been courageous after a summer with parents as they returned to school. It is lovely to see all the smiling faces.
As our final ELC parent and child event we decided to have a picnic at Negishi Park. The children loved riding together on the bus; this was the first time for the E1 children and many asked ‘how long will it be’, ‘when will we see the park’, ‘will my mum be there’. Once the bus dropped us of we walked as a group through the park down to the ponds where many parents were waiting. Games were played, mats spread out with picnic food, parents talked, teachers enjoyed a shared lunch, balls were kicked around. It was a lovely time.
A Visit To Negishi Park from lara magtalas on Vimeo.