beyond academics - the work our children do everyday in school
Work done in the Kindergarten is all for a purpose and it’s meaningful in our day to day life. Children learn through imitation and thus finally by doing. Seeing the enthusiasm, interest, reverence and the calm manner with which the teacher is doing her work creates a joyful, inspiring environment in which children are motivated to do things with their hands. This becomes so very important especially in today’s times when most of the things are mechanised and also outsourced. The work that is done in the Kindergarten lays foundations not only for academics in later years but truly prepares the child in every sense for LIFE.
Kindergarten children are in the “here and now”, they learn from doing and not from abstract concepts. In the Kindergarten, the overall environment is such that it creates in the child the confidence – “I can do it”, there is no hurry to complete a task and we don’t just do a task for the sake of it being done. Whatever is done it’s done well and has a real meaning. There is no task that is too difficult and can’t be done, that’s the assurance the children are constantly experiencing through the teachers’ actions and words. The sense of wonder and joy is kept alive in the Kindergarten by the teacher in all the tasks that she does with the reverence.
Through the week the kindergarten children are busy cooking, cleaning, scrubbing, gardening – sowing to harvesting and feasting. Their hands are busy mending, sewing, braiding and weaving threads & ropes that they need.
Year long they are doing meaningful purposeful work. Children at times prepare their own colours for painting, they dye their play cloth. During festivals they are busy preparing eatables and festive delicacies or are busy preparing for the festival itself – preparing flower torans, painting diyas, making colourful rangolis.
The aroma of cakes, cookies and kulkuls fill the Kindergarten during Christmas. On hot summer days they prepare juice, salads or on regular days make rotis, peel the corn, grate vegetables or keep themselves warm on cold winter & rainy days with hot soups and the list goes on. They prepare small gifts for their friends i.e. make something meaningful from the treasures they collect during their nature walks, feed the birds, collect feathers/stones/leaves, chase a butterfly or silently wait to hear the birds.
Each child does work to the best of his ability. There is so much to learn each day, from doing things better and differently than one could do yesterday to doing something absolutely new that his peer could do.
An environment that supports the child’s cognitive, intellectual, emotional and social development and nourishes and nurtures the young child who is an enthusiast explorer is what we at Rainbow Bridge strive towards. We aim at keeping the sense of wonder, feeling of joy continuously alive through the real deep interest that the teacher takes in the mundane everyday tasks that she undertakes with much love every single day.
Art, Craft, Beads & Handwork
The world of a young child is full of colours. Children experience colour in its truest form and movements. Drawing is initiated with beeswax crayons. We paint with primary colours using the ‘wet-on-wet’ method.
Handwork is a valued piece of learning for the children which supports their cognitive, intellectual, emotional and social development. They learn to understand material, how to build something, fine motor control, to observe minute differences and also stimulates their ability to innovate.
They learn various age-appropriate handwork skills while working on a variety of projects through the year. This develops a feeling of joy & sense of assurance & achievement giving a boost to their self-confidence.
Start them young and the children develop a lifelong love for food & skills. Cooking involves the process of planning what they are going to cook, how they are going to cook and not just relishing what they have cooked themselves but also sharing the meal with others around.
Children connect to Mother Nature and the changing seasons in their surrounding environment by doing season based work like peeling corn, groundnuts, green chana, green peas, sailing boats, painting using dried leaves, etc.
Through gardening, children learn where their flowers/food comes from and how they are grown. It helps them to stay engaged, be sensitive towards and appreciate nature while caring for their tiny seeds.
The simple acts of digging and planting help in strengthening their gross and fine motor skills. Over the time, the cycle of life – sowing seeds to growing plants to harvesting flowers and veggies – unfolds magically in front of their eyes.
Children learn to care for their surroundings and belongings through doing everyday work diligently. Over the period of time, the process develops an attitude of gratitude in them.
Festive Work / Celebrations
Festivals and celebrations are joyful experiences in the kindergarten that nourish the soul. It deepens the connect with nature and children truly are able to experience the essence and mood of the festival rather than just the outward decoration.
The cyclic rhythm of the festivals and its celebration in the kindergarten is a deep feeling of assurance and comfort for the child apart from the true joy of the celebration itself.
Our Connection with Nature
Outdoors on Nature walks :
Children spend time outdoors often walking numerous trails, running, climbing, digging, chasing birds &butterflies and collecting treasures in the nearby woods and parks.
Nature in the Classroom :
What is above is below – Bringing heaven on earth – the kindergarten space is often referred to that. What is outside is inside – bringing the experience of what we see outside into our class. Kindergarten a place where nature weaves and breathes inside and outside completing the circle of life.