‘That was before the coronavirus and this is during it now.’ – Ben, Oak room
Welcome to Term 2 in this challenging and unprecedented time. The ELC opened its doors last week to welcome a handful of essential workers’ children back into the Centre. With a whole new routine – including no parents entering the Centre, temperatures being taken on arrival, queuing like at the shops and a handwashing regime in place – the children have re-entered joyfully and are delighting in being back in their familiar place.
While they have been keen to share their experiences of life during their period of time at home since March, young children tend not to dwell on things for too long. They are pragmatic and have shown their adaptability, resilience and acceptance of change in every way. They have embraced the changed format of their learning space with our current three-teacher team, mixed room groups and daily changes in children’s attendance, among some of the initial adaptions.
As Ben’s comment at the beginning so aptly put it, the children, either consciously or unconsciously, have compartmentalised their understanding of life at the moment. That was how things were and this is how things are now. All the children have demonstrated their resilience and their capacity to embrace change – often better than we adults do. This is due to having a strong and supportive family life, caring and honest adults and having the appropriate amount of information for their age and stage of development as they learn to make sense of the world they live in.
Generally, we are all creatures of habit and like the security of routine. All families have their own routines and during this time we have created new routines, like home schooling, bear hunts and rainbow walks, lots of cooking, some gardening, learning to ride bikes, learning to roller skate and practising letter writing to name a few that families have shared with us. The routine of returning to ELC has helped both families and children recapture some normality in enabling the children to play in an environment that has been thoughtfully developed to support their learning. This gives them the opportunity to interact with others and use their play to make sense of their world. The kindergarten children embraced the technology (with a hiccup or two) to have a live session with Music Lesley through our Canvas conference. There was much joy and delight on both sides. The Staff Childcare room children have been delighted to again see the maintenance team and watching Graeme mowing Cluny Green and greeting them with waves and toots as he passes them on his route.
One little girl was so tired after her first day back to ‘normal’ kindergarten routine she took herself to bed at 5.30pm.
Director of ELC Kew