It’s a big, wide world out there and part of our job in the kindergarten is helping our children to begin to understand it.
They experience the cycle of life by planting bulbs, watering them, then seeing the shoots come up and the flower develop. Finally, it withers and dies. Throughout, they have cared for another living thing – and started to care for their environment. And when they plant sunflowers, they not only see them grow but have the chance to measure them and compare their heights.
Technology is now central to all our lives, so even youngsters need to get to grips with it. They learn for themselves how to insert a CD into a player and operate the remote, so they can play along on a percussive instrument. Using the school’s iPads, they open up counting programs and paint electronically. The act of saving and reopening their work introduces the concept of computer storage. It’s a similar story with digital cameras and mobile phones, allowing them to become digital natives with a natural understanding of what technology can do – and what it can’t.
Clear and unselfconscious communication is another key to living happily in today’s world, so we encourage them to talk about their families and home lives. Hearing others talk about their families’ experiences helps them to understand the differences between people, communities and traditions.
Equally, we make sure that they talk about what they see in the world around them, why things happen and how things work. That encourages them to notice similarities, differences, patterns and change – and that brings us back to the cycle of life.