'Near and Far' was the theme for the first half of the summer term and it took the children to many different places; from Britain to South Africa, Spain to Slovakia and India to Greece. Locally Miss Emma's group walked down to the Post Office stopping off at different postboxes on route. Further a field Miss Emma's group learnt all about India through listening and dancing to traditional Indian music and trying lots of different types of Indian food at snack time.
Miss Clare's group went to visit the dentist and got to learn first hand about the role of the dentist and the importance of brushing your teeth! They were able to sit on the chair as it went up and down, use a brush to brush the crocodile's teeth, look at their own teeth with a dentists mirror, learnt how important it is to brush your teeth twice a day and how they must let their grown up help them to brush them and how long for. They all received a sticker to say they had been good at the dentist too. Miss Clare also planned lots of activities to look at the country we all live in, Great Britain. The children enjoyed listening to different types of British music and eating lots of traditional foods such as crumpets, Marmite, scones etc.
Miss Michelle's group walked to the Co op and brought a selection of foods for snack when they returned to pre-school and also learnt about money. Part of Miss Michelle's week welcomed one of the children's dad who came in to the class and read to the children in Greek and answer questions they had about Greece as that is where he and his family are from.The children also enjoyed a week of trying traditional Greek food and some home-made Greek feta parcels made by the child's mum.
There is not a police station in our village and the one in town is too far to walk, and as there are quite a few parents this year who are in the police force, Miss Sallie arranged some of the parents to come and speak to the children. Two children's parents visited and showed the children the many types of uniform they have to wear and the items they use. The children got to try on various hats, jackets, handcuffs and hold the baton. They both spoke about how they not only catch 'baddies' but they do help people too!!! Miss Sallie also looked at the wider community of South Africa as there are two families who are either from there or have family who live there and they helped provide all of the items for the table, including music, children's books in South African, musical instruments and more.
Miss Joan's group took a walk to the Florist in the village and had lots of fun looking at and smelling all the different types of flowers and they even brought some back to pre-school. The florist is very supportive of the pre-school and allow us to visit many times throughout the year. Further a field, Miss Joan looked at both Spain and Slovakia as she had two children in her group who's parents came from those countries. Both families helped the children learn about their countries by a dad coming in to speak Spanish and for snack trying various tapas food alongside trying a traditional Slovakian snack that a mum made. The children also learnt some Spanish words and a Slovakian rhyme.
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Culture is learned through language, ceremonies, gatherings, stories, music, games, arts and crafts, as well as land-based experiences. It is important for settings to have a good understanding of their own cultural beliefs and to respect the diversity of cultural beliefs of the children and families they are working with. Older people and other people in the community are considered the most important means for cultural knowledge to be transmitted to children and families. (Citation)
'Culture is the fundamental building block of identity and the development of a strong cultural identity is essential to children’s healthy sense of who they are and where they belong'
‘Cultural competence’ is one of those expressions where we all think we know what it means, but we might all mean something different. It’s a term and a set of concepts we need to return to and come to understand over time. Cultural competence is much more than awareness of cultural differences. It is the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures. Cultural competence encompasses: being aware of one’s own world view developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views developing skills for communication and interaction across cultures. Cultural competence is underpinned by:
- respectful and reciprocal relationships
- high expectations and equity
- respect for diversity
Brambles encourages all the families to be part of helping all the children to learn about the cultures within the setting by bringing in artefacts, books, music, clothing, food and coming in to read in their native language. Families are also encouraged to share what they do, being a parent, police, paramedic, porter etc by either allowing the children to visit them at their workplace or coming in to visit the children at pre-school. By working with children's families, children are able to experience first hand lots of local community and wider community events, celebrations and every day things.
Early in the morning as the sun begins to rise, the chickens are feeling peckish and so are the beautiful butterflies. There's a snuffling in the pig sty and a buzzing in the barn, fish swimming in the pond and growing trees around the farm. 'Amazing Animals' and the leavers trip to the farm are all to come in the last term of the pre-school year.