So what do the children get up to at Shine Early Years group?
After greeting their teachers and one another with a number of songs and dancing, the children settle down to listen to a prayer and their first story. Even the youngest sit still and quietly, having learned from their older friends and siblings how they should behave. The older children know how to lead the way and very rarely would a younger child be without an older friend to help them. This is how it rolls in the villages. The stories are engaging and interactive using simple, traditional, hand-drawn pictures held in front of the class. Questions are asked to reward those who were listening. Clapping of hands followed by a resounding “Well done, Well done, Keep it up” follows each raised hand and attempt to answer the question. Children are later divided into age groups for various activities. Sorting bottle tops into colours is a simple game enjoyed by the children using recycled Fanta and Coke caps! The teachers like to use a mix of items found in the villages as well as those from the store (donated). Many children need to be instructed on how to handle items such as books and toys, never having been introduced to such things at home. Paints made from clay as well as bright powders are used. Children can, therefore, understand how to use things found in their surrounding area when away from school. Singing, dancing, popping and chasing bubbles together is one of their favorite group activities. A quiet time for reading and writing is encouraged but this can be a challenge when the group is busy. Children look forward to their bowl of porridge which is served at the start of each session.
In 2016 we built a small playground on our grounds which gets lots of wear and tear from our Early Years group every day. The children love the swings and slide and playing with little cars in the sandpit. The seesaw and rubber tyres are also really popular with all ages.
See live clip taken in 2017 from our park – scroll and click below!