We have had a truly brilliant 6 weeks at our new Kitley Farm setting and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you all. We have been lucky to have a great combination of sun and rain, giving us many different opportunities and experiences. From splashing in puddles, delighting in being squirted by the hose and picking strawberries, to lighting the log burner in the teepee and drinking hot chocolate. The children all settled incredibly quickly and there have been many new friendships forged some of which we look forward to developing further next term.
We work hard at Venture to promote the children’s independence and it has been an absolute joy to watch these new children embrace the routines and delight in learning new skills. All of these small things we do such as ensuring that they learn how to pack away their own snack and lunch, find their own bag and get themselves changed are giving them the tools they need to move onto their next experiences. We have interviewed many reception teachers who find that the most frustrating thing for both themselves and the children in their class is when children arrive unable to do simple tasks for themselves. So often this important resilience is overlooked and it can have a huge impact on the child’s confidence, self-esteem and learning at the most crucial stage of their education.
Another wonderful thing the children learn at Venture is how to look after each other and we place a huge emphasis on respect. It has been incredible to watch how quickly these children have learnt to enjoy helping a friend in need. Whether it is a gentle arm on their shoulder when they are upset or a helping hand undoing a friend’s rucksack. We watch the warm delight spread over their faces as they experience the emotion kindness and caring brings. We spend long periods of time sitting at snack and lunch times and we are always so proud of the conversation that arises during these moments. With small ratios and a quiet calm environment there is so much opportunity for communication and language at Venture. The children learn to listen to one another, taking into account what their friends tell them and thinking of appropriate responses. There have been some very detailed accounts of experiences shared and again you can see their confidence and self esteem rise as they get positive feedback from the adults and their peers. There is usually a lot of laughter as well as they hone their sense of humour on their friends.
One of the most rewarding things to watch this term has been the creativity we have seen, the children have embraced the freedom to explore the resources. Resulting in building and making some pretty extraordinary structures with loose parts, odd bits of woods and real tools. During this time they learn to negotiate, problem solve and are learning collaboration and cooperation. Having loose parts available offers an entirely different way of learning offering multiple rather than single outcomes. It is a joy to watch the children use these skills and to then experience simple pleasures with their friends, away from indoor noise or with toys which so often leave nothing to the imagination.
We cannot begin to tell you how happy and excited we are as we develop Venture Kindergarten. It is for us quite literally a dream come true, we have worked so hard to create what we feel is the best early years education. We spend hours discussing and tweaking the ways in which we do things in order to try and create the absolute best environment for the children. We use our own experiences as parents, and from many years of teaching, we ensure that we are still learning from one another, our families and from every child in our care today. We have spent a long time carefully interviewing new staff and we are very lucky to have a selection of the very best early years educators in the area. Some have recently moved or in the process of moving and all with really interesting and varied backgrounds. All of them have amazing experiences outside of childcare which brings a unique richness to the provision we can offer.
We can say with absolute confidence that our team is of the best quality you can imagine. We are about to welcome a selection of new staff, who are all exceptional individuals and will add many new exciting opportunities for the children.
To read the Venture Kitley Farm summer newsletter click here.