Towards the end of 2016, we took on the task of working with the nursery class at Little Daffodils and we are very pleased to report on the progress that we have made so far.
In a little over two months, we have seen some significant development.
The original program had little, if any, exposure to books and reading. We know from research that exposure to books is one of the best ways to develop children’s vocabulary and attention span so we introduced a reading time to the program. The children have developed to the stage where they have a good interest in books and are able to sit and look at a book independently as well as listen to a short story. Importantly, exposing the children to the culture of reading is something we are keen to achieve and we will encourage them to take this with them to their next school level.
Songs and rhymes are also significant in developing children’s English skills. It not only exposes the children to new words but also rhyme and rhythm. This supports the children when they use expression in oral language as well as developing a grasp of phonics which is so important for spelling. Songs with actions reinforce the words and also helps with kinesthetic development. We have been pleased to see the children joining in more and more with the songs and rhymes and it’s also great to see the teachers join in too.
We have also introduced a tooth brushing program. Each child now has their own toothbrush and as a group, the children brush their teeth each morning. Our construction volunteers have made tooth brushing stations to ensure the tooth brushing is done in a hygienic and organised manner. We also did lessons about the importance of brushing teeth and we will continue to reinforce this.
Although its early days with our participation in the nursery program we are already seeing development in the children. They are able to spend increasing periods of time at a task and are also responding to stories by pointing, laughing, and joining in with repetitive words. We are seeing the children waiting more patiently, excited to brush their teeth and responding to songs with enthusiasm. The teachers have reported that they are learning new things and are pleased with the input we have had in the program. We are looking forward to building on the start we have made and in particular supporting the teachers with their professional growth.