22 Apr Holy Apostles’ Preschool during the COVID-19 Pandemic
In March 2020, we received short notice that we were to close our preschool on the 20th of the month to all but the children of key workers. At Holy Apostles, we actually only had one child with us on Monday 23rd March whose parents, as key workers, decided that they would be able to juggle care and work, so we closed our doors on Monday lunchtime. All the staff were keen not to lose touch with our children, especially because we don’t know how long the situation will last, and we feel that the children and staff will benefit from regular contact and fun learning activities for preschoolers to do at home. Thus, Holy Apostles Zoom sessions were started!
We try to keep our Holy Apostles’ carpet time format, and so each morning at 10am the children all join in with our ‘Hello’ song, which we sing in English, French & Italian! They also ‘sign’ the song too! This is followed by our Nursery Rhyme of the week, which has so far included ‘Little Miss Muffet,’ ‘12345 Once I caught a Fish alive’, ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ and ‘Five Speckled Frogs’ and this week we are learning ‘10 in a Bed.’
We included activities that parents could continue to develop at home, and encouraged them to upload photos to ILD of what they had been doing with their children. We focussed on some number work using cards and duplo bricks, and suggested that parents could make their own cards and collect items to count.
Another fun learning activity for preschoolers to do at home is matching domino spots! Ideas might include rolling a dice and then finding a corresponding number of items, or choosing a domino to match. Any activity that you do with numbers will help your child to understand number concepts, for example, count the stairs as you go up, count the plates and cutlery as you lay the table and so on. Deliberately choose the wrong number and see if your child can add/take away 1 more.
During the first week of the lockdown we posted a packet of sunflower seeds to all Holy Apostles’ preschoolers. The preschoolers were kindly included in the sunflower competition by Holy Apostles’ PTA and the children have been asked to post their sunflower’s progress on our interactive learning diary; I have included some planting activity we have been sent! We will be watching with interest to see who can grow the tallest sunflower!
Another highlight of our Zoom sessions has been music time with Mrs Watts, accompanied by her daughter, Emily, on guitar! The children have loved joining in with action songs using their home-made shakers. This was an activity suggested by Mrs Watts for the children to do before the music session on Friday afternoons. We could see on the Zoom session that lots of the pre-schoolers had made a shaker!
This week Holy Apostles’ Pre-schoolers will be demonstrating the rhythms they have made using fast and slow movements and loud and soft shakes!
We are planning to continue with our Zoom sessions daily at 10am and 2pm during the lockdown. We are really pleased with the large number of preschoolers accessing the Zoom sessions and joining in so enthusiastically, and parents partaking in fun learning activities for our preschoolers to do at home! It’s really important for everybody to keep in touch during this time and to stay safe!