On their first day the children were led from their Kindergartens into Keir Hall by the Kindergarten teachers. They walked hand in hand, past the children and teachers of the school, right to the front. There they stepped through a green arch covered in fresh red roses, to be greeted by their new teacher – Patrick. They sat on benches as he told them a story about a prince called Chan; and Class 9, the children of Patrick’s last class, presented them with bulbs in pots onto which their names had been painted. Finally the school sang as Patrick led the class out to discover their new classroom and begin their 8 year journey together.
The children quickly started to learn verses, movements, games and songs, in which they delighted. A favourite poem follows:
I think mice are rather nice
Their tails are long
Their faces small
They haven’t any chins at all.
Their ears are pink
Their teeth are white
They run around the house at night.
They nibble things they should not touch
And people do not like them much
But I think mice are nice.
They have had many stories from which they have drawn pictures. In some of these they discovered their first letters, such as the Fisherman letter, the Mountain letter, the Goose letter and the Angel letter.
Michaelmas was soon to come, for which they made dragon streamers; and as the weather was so fine they took a trip to Linford Bottom one afternoon, where the children could walk and wonder and play in the sparkling stream.
The children learned quickly to knit and have all now finished their first piece, which Gitta transformed into adorable rabbits or kittens for them. They are now busy knitting farmers, complete with hats and scarves.
They have enjoyed French with Stephanie, with whom they have learned to count, with the help of a friendly elephant. And Ulrike introduced them to a puppet called Hans, who has led the class through many activities in German: learning colours, counting, and even washing and ironing.
The second main lesson was numeracy, in which the class experienced numbers through songs and stories, exploring the shapes inherent within them in movement and by drawing them. They also discovered the oneness of the golden sun; the many ways in which only 2 occur, such as night and day; the triangular nature of 3; the 4 strong legs of the cow or horse, and the beautiful 5 hidden within the apple in the shape of a star. They enjoyed trying to throw their beanbags into the basket, and working out how many would be in the basket by counting the ones which had fallen outside. And estimating the amount of steps it would take to get to the treasure (a beanbag) from the pirate ship; and then walking and counting the steps.
After their numeracy main lesson, they continued with their reading and writing. They walked the shapes of the letters that they had learned using the full space of the classroom floor, before writing them in their books, and they have now started to create words out of the letters they have learned. They have worked very hard learning poems. They learnt The Golden Ship so well most of them could recite it alone, and they were able to speak it together to the school in assembly, as well as singing their White Cloud Sailing song. The school responded very enthusiastically.
The children enjoyed making lanterns for Martinmas, and taking them out to walk and sing in the darkness with Patrick and their parents. They are now making preparations for their appearance in the Christmas pagent, and singing with Class 2 in the carol concert, after which their first wonderful term will be over.
Class One teacher