Welcome to Extra Curricular Activities
At Garden House Nursery Schools, extra curricular activities are an important part of how we structure our curriculum and day with the children. We offer Yoga, Forest Folk, Atelier Workshop, Kids Kitchen, Music Maestros and Language Club. These are all important parts of a childs development that we make sure are delivered in a holistic and experiential learning style for all children.
Have a look below to see how each extra curricular activity is delivered and why we think it is so important.
We have had teachers trained and certified by Yoginis Yoga who specialise in Yoga for children. Every morning to ease the children into the day, Melissa our Yoga and Early Years Teacher delivers a gentle yoga session to the children in our beautiful large garden. Our vision is that yoga for health, mental and emotional wellbeing is available to all children regardless of ability or socio-economic background.
The programmes which were created by Yoginis Yoga, combine the ancient art of yoga with the latest research in neuroscience and bio-mechanics to offer techniques, which contribute to reducing the physical and mental health issues increasingly faced by our children today.
The Yoginis Yoga programme has been created with the child in mind, drawing on inspiration from years of teaching in schools and nurseries, including special needs. Working with children, teachers, early years staff and experts in neuroscience and bio-mechanics.
The programme is based on ancient yoga techniques and sessions follow a traditional yoga format including warm up, postures and relaxation, to provide the routine and structure which supports learning and development. Postures and techniques are based on adult practices, specially adapted to enhance and support child development, the growing body, lungs and brain, and is achievable for all children.
Yoga sessions are based around the unique ‘grab and go’ pack, a visual timetable which directs the yoga session. Using images to represent postures, children as young as two are able to join in the sessions, learning to recognise the images and associated actions. Learning is embedded and children take the practice home and replicate with family and friends. This is supported by take home resources to build strong home school links and extended family well-being benefits.
Sessions are normally between 30-45 minutes, however postures can be woven into the day to calm, focus and concentrate, ready for learning or play. No planning or experience is required.
Kids Kitchen is for our aspiring little chefs! Encouraging children to be involved in the cooking process incorporates many aspects of the EYFS by allowing children to develop their communication and understanding, self esteem and understanding of mathematics along with creating new recipes and experimenting through science and developing valuable life skills. Younger children are encouraged to explore different foods and textures and tastes through their senses. Babies explore new objects by using their hands and mouth to textures and tastes which they find interesting. The older children have the opportunity to engage in more structured cooking activities. They can develop an understanding of capacity, weight, counting and scientific changes in foods when heat or cold is added to the equation. Each child has their own Kids Kitchen Chef’s hat, which reminds them of food hygiene principals and encourages them to follow step by step recipes. Recipes will be planned alongside children’s interest where they can participate in rich first hand experiences.
The children are encouraged to taste mew foods and develop their independent skills as well as having the opportunity to use child safe tools during the activity. Some of the food used will come from the children’s vegetable patches which are being built into every garden, teaching the children that food doesn’t just come from a fridge, but grows from or on the ground. After a few months, you will be amazed at the gourmet meals your child will be coming home with.
Music Maestros is our music program that is delivered every week in each nursery. The programme supports personal, social and emotional development, communication and language, physical development and chidlrens espressive arts and design. The children are encouraged to use action songs, props, musical instruments and parachutes throughout different areas of the session. By collaborating different types of movement and sounds children are able to build their confidence and develop their speech and language skills within small groups. The individual needs and interests of all children are included within the sessions along with cultural music and rhymes. Children have the opportunity to learn about tempo, beats and rhythm which varies from a selection of music including classical, modern, jazz and opera, allowing children to become aware of the many changing abilities of sounds. Music form all over the world is introduced to help children understand the diverse nature of our community.
Encorporating the Reggio Emilia approach, we passionatly believe that children should be outdoors and exploring nature at every opportunity. With the incredibly fortunate location of our nursery, we have a large natural garden for the children to spend their time in. The children can embrace nature and the outside with open arms and engage in multiple first hand experiences. Nature Folk allows children to see the natural world as an endless resource for their play, where they can use their imagination at all times. Introducing children to the natural world come rain no shine and allowing them to engage in a number of activities such as mini beast hunts, making mud pies, searching for fossils or collecting a number of rocks, sticks and leaves to bring back to nursery. The children are also involved in planting flowers, fruits and vegetables to care for and watch grow, allowing them to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity for the natural world.
Creativity is one of those words that is bursting with vitality. Its full of life, full of passion, and full of spirit. Creativity has positive associations for nearly everyone. Participating in arts and crafts activities activates both sides of the brain, both the linear left hemisphere and the creative, non sequential right hemisphere.Both types of activities are excellent for helping children reach their full potential. The children are encouraged to look at art in their local area, as well as visiting art galleries such as the Tate and local galleries. Going to Theatre shows and various expressive arts performances.
The activities provided enable children to think creatively, with an open mind. The children engage in a variety of activities with various modes and media.
“Atelier” means “art studio” or “workshop” in French. A Reggio Emilia Atelier is a welcoming and inspiring place offering a wide variety of natural and man-made materials for artistic expression. Here, children of all ages come individually or in small groups to encounter experiences with these different media that will progressively support all their languages of expression. The early exploration of the visual arts offers children endless possibilities.
Inside the Atelier
We are currently having an Atelierista workshop built in our garden for children to use for Atelier activities.
In the Reggio Emilia approach, the environment is the third teacher. Nowhere is this more evident as in the Atelier. A bright and welcoming space, the Atelier is designated for children to explore and have fun. Materials such as clay, paper, fabric, wire, light, beads, shells, leaves and wood, among others, are available for children to explore as they see fit. The Atelier is designed to encourage collaboration as well as creativity, and children are can work together with their peers to complete a project or discover new ideas. In the Atelier, the mood is calm and inspiring. Children go at their own pace, and learn to problem-solve and express themselves without time limits or restrictions.
Ateliers are led by an Atelierista, a teacher who is a partner in the child’s artistic journey. The Atelierista encourages the child to experiment and create, and collaborates with individual children and small groups to support their ongoing learning. As part of the Reggio Emilia educational approach, the Atelierista documents each child’s process to further understand and celebrate their ideas.
For example one week we may look at Kandinsky and the patterns he creates, the next time may be Monet and our children will be painting their interpretation of the reeds and grass in the wind, the next Mark Rothko and experimenting with block colour.
They learn to observe and describe, analyse and interpret, express feelings, with or without words it is a great experience where children will discover that there is more than one right answer and explore multiple points of view. Arts introduce children to cultures from around the world. Finally art builds confidence. because there is not just one right way to make art, every child can feel pride in his or her original artistic creations. I am very excited at seeing the masterpieces each child creates and these shall be displayed on our walls with pride.
Lots of our children come from multi-lingual homes as well as often travel to and from many different countries around the world. We want to celebrate these languages and teach others about these amazing places and give them an opportunity to learn new languages too. Children are able to learn simple words, phrases, greetings and even numbers and colours from lots of different languages. Sessions will be planned alongside World celebrations and National days. This also links in with our Kids Kitchen program. Practitioners who speak different languages support the planning of the sessions znd deliver sessions within the nurseries. Alongside this We have a French Teacher Devyani Finch come in once a week to teach French to our Kindergarten and Pre-School.