On the 28th of October 2013 our new preschool class started in the new school of SCAO. The Class takes place from Monday until Friday from 11-12 clock in the morning. The new project especially is for young kids at the age of 3-6, who are not joining the public school yet. Besides the English language, fun and creativity we set the focus on the importance of community, team spirit, and right behavior so that the children are well prepared for the future.
We started with only 2 children at the beginning and with the help of a flyer we encouraged 18 other young children to come to the class. Most of them are coming from the north of Som Roung and are brothers or sisters of students, who are already attending the school. In the future we also want to promote in the other areas of the village, because we are convinced, that its important for young children to get to know the sense of community and team spirit while learning the English language as early as possible.
At the moment three volunteers are handling the class, which is really needed, because most of the children need large amounts of attention, help to understand and work on the task we give them. This doesn’t mean they are not able to do really creative and wonderful work. All of them even if they are normally shy, gain confidence when they are involved in creative exercises. So that’s why we have so many nice self made things from the preschool-class already.
Referring to the course of the lesson we always start our day with a little circle time, which is a time during which we doing the same skills/things/tasks everyday to set a routine for the young children. This routine is really important for the learning progress and it is beginning to show already. During this time we sit in a circle on the floor and singing certain songs. Some of them encourage the students to clap, others get them to do something with their fingers. After that we do some basics like counting, learning the days, colors, months or just reading a book.
The main body of the lesson often is a creative task, during which the children should learn how to handle a scissors and glue. Additional they have time to play with colours get to know new forms and new vocabularies while working on their own art. For the last 15 minutes we often play with the colored blocks, playing sports games, doing puzzles or other brain games. These activities help to develop the children,s motor skills. I think this is the most fun part of the lesson, because the children have the possibility to develop and discover new abilities they have.
Another fact is the importance of team spirit and the sense of community the children get to know by sharing the materials and doing games together or helping each other. We noticed how the older kids help the young ones already, but we also recognized that it’s difficult for some children to share and to respect each other. In the future we hope that they get used to all those new situations and the importance of team work.
Until now all of us are really happy at how the preschool class is doing and how the kids are learning. From the first day on we all we’re glad to have the little ones coming to our school now.