We are a Reform Jewish Kindergarten attached to the Synagogue where Jewish religion and culture are a living part of the daily curriculum. We celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat each Friday with blessings and songs. The Jewish festivals are celebrated as they occur through stories, music, drama, creative work and cookery, with parents and / or carers and our Rabbi often invited to attend. The staff plan the daily curriculum in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage, making the most of our indoor and outdoor classroom spaces. Planning is developed according to the interests and learning needs of the children, within a framework of fortnightly topics, either Jewish or secular, which enrich the children’s experiences and provide valuable opportunities to broaden and enhance their learning. Within the themes, we pride ourselves in the enriching experiences which we provide for the children, in order to bring their learning to life, whether through an interactive session with professionals from the community or taking the children on outings to the farm, theatre or local places of interest.
“A child’s early education lasts a lifetime,” Ofsted 2015.
The curriculum is designed to meet each child’s individual needs. When planning activities we pay particular attention to early literacy, numeracy and the development of personal and social skills, communication and language and physical skills, both gross and fine motor. The programme also ensures that the children are given an understanding of the world around them and the opportunity to develop their creativity and critical thinking skills, which together will provide them with the foundations for later achievement. Our ‘growth mindset’ approach aims to provide the children with the valuable life skills of perseverance, positivity, resilience and a love of challenge.
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” Carol Dweck, 2013.
The activities we provide both indoors and outdoors to promote the children’s learning include:
- Arts and Crafts, using a variety of mediums to encourage the children’s creativity.
- Sand and Water play, especially good for early mathematics and encouraging children to play alongside their peers.
- Book corner where children are encouraged to look at picture and story books and talk about them. We have a library club where children may borrow a book on a weekly basis to take home.
- Home corner equipped with dolls, furniture and household items where children can enjoy imaginative play and interact with their peers.
- Construction toys including blocks, puzzles, woodwork, threading and games, all help co-ordination and teach children about shape, size, colour, number and position, in preparation for reading and writing.
- Cookery, a favourite activity of the children, which is normally offered once a week.
- Physical play – children have daily open access to a secure playground and can usually use this freely throughout the morning. Children can use many resources to support all areas of the curriculum in the outside areas, including the use of bikes, balls, hoops and beanbags to extend their gross motor skills.
- Music plays an important part in the children’s learning experience with opportunities to explore different instruments, learn many new songs and enjoy listening to and moving to a variety of different types of music, providing excellent links to their learning.
We employ specialist teachers for the following areas of learning:
- Music and movement is fantastic for the children’s creativity and physical development – is taught with the use of music cassettes, instruments and piano.
- Fun and Fitness which is taught by a trained fitness instructor who works with all the children once a week, developing the children’s gross motor coordination, agility, control and confidence.
- Modern Hebrew is taught to the children by a Hebrew teacher who works with the children in small groups or within the classroom, developing their knowledge and interest in the Hebrew language through fun activities and songs.