Bishop’s College Playgroup
Our philosophy is simple- To foster meticulous, self motivated growth in all areas of “blooming” with the aim of cherishing each child’s everyday thirst for learning, awareness and recognition.
Our program is Maria Montessori inspired, unique and progressive and is designed to encourage an inquisitive mind and a balance of “Child initiated” and “ Teacher aided ” work.
Our classroom has natural lighting, is cosy, homelike , well arranged with bright and vibrant colours and feels a sense safety and belonging. A wall full of cartoons, cubby holes, a cosy floor carpet and a few wooden chairs and tables. Yes, Simplicity is the key here! An ideal work place where kids will be hard at work, lively, exploring and interact with each other.
Our mornings are usually taken seriously: The kids have direct access to all material which are at their eye level, on open shelves, to explore , to enjoy and to bring out their natural curiosity , with freedom , in this inviting learning space , working at a table or a mat.
Many Montessori activities require a lesson from the teacher before the child can use them. These Learning aids are scientifically made. Knobbed Cylinders, The Pink Tower, The Broad Stair, Coloured Cylinders, Sand paper Letters, Geometrical Solids, The Mystery Bag, Rough and Smooth Boards, Fabric Box, Sound Cylinders to name a few. Some activities like the Dressing Frames, Puzzles, Pouring from pitches, Sucking up water with a pipette, Spooning, Scooping, Arranging flowers, Dressing Frames can be taken off a “shelf” without a lesson. Shelf Work encourages exploration and independent handling. Also these ‘ shelf “ activities change , as we follow the child’s progress entirely based on observation, interest and need. Children who are not receiving a lesson, might be having a light snack or working on something by themselves or walking around the class ‘ observing’ while the teacher acts as an extension of this environment.
Some of our other mid morning activities will include- Painting outdoors with grass brushes, Sculpting, Learning Sounds, Lacing Geometrical Cards, Drawing with Chalk and Charcoal, Colouring, Cutting, Rolling, Pinching and Moulding clay, Pressing leaves and flowers, Mixing mud, Gluing , Transferring liquids and solids and Measuring are some joyful moments to play and learn. These activities help the youngest kids of the school to strengthen fine motor skills and Lots of concentration time flies when kids are having fun.
We also throw in Science Experiments and give lots of emphasis to Geography and Earth Science. Our specialised Sand Paper globes, Land/ Water Form models, Continent boxes, Puzzle maps , pictures and Virtual tours help seal all geographical needs for young minds . Another fantastic learning tool is our Botany sessions where we teach kids to love and respect nature , to differentiate living and non-living things and where all kinds of seeds and the outdoors go hand in hand. We also enjoy teaching kids the parts of a leaf, the life cycle of a pumpkin, what happens during pollination , the importance of the sun and what’s inside a bean seed and how and why flowers look so beautiful. Have you ever cut a flower in half? Do it its worth it – look inside and see whether you could label the parts of a flower.
The kids’ paintings and handwork are organized in a Gallery style concept, giving their work an air of importance. With all this done, It is time to put away the material and have a healthy mid morning snack. Snack time is a great opportunity for our kids to talk and laugh with friends ,while discovering their food through careful tasting, smelling and touching. Then its time to wash hands, lay the napkins, open the snack boxes , eat the food, pour and drink water and pack up when done.
Celebrating a Birthday at this time will be a special one with the classmates singing the Birthday Song, cutting a cake, clapping , blowing off the candles and the birthday girl or boy taking the “ Birthday Curtsy” , not forgetting the teachers taking pictures.
Then it’s time to join the teachers for a Circle Time. We explore numerous topics for curious minds during this special proactive time. The Weather outside, How a clock works, Root Vegetables, Oviparous birds, Camouflaged and Nocturnal Animals and we try to turn the tables with out being ” Why Answerer’s” to ” Why Asker’s” . Why is the moon a cirle? Why do stars shine? Why do cats purr? Why do you think its good to brush our teeth before we go to bed? Researching answers together can make a three year old feel more empowered. These moments very often leaves us all in stitches of laughter.
Our Jiggly Wiggly time is rather amazing. Our little learners learn about music, Tongue Twist, Play handmade Musical Instruments, Rhyme , hop a little, twist a little , spin a little, sing and dance. Our Music Wall is a favourite hang out spot for the music lovers.These are a child’s first experience with words and when actions are linked with words, Language evolves.
We Read heaps of Stories : Our favourite author is Eric Carle. Its time to meet and greet the Mixed up Chameleon, The very busy Spider, The very clumsy click Beatle, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Quiet Cricket and Mr Seahorse and take a peek into The house of the hermit crab and ask Papa to get the moon for you? And I almost forgot- The Reading Nook in the class is so comfortable and simple with a soft mattress, a few coloured cushions , where the kids can catch their breath, gather their thoughts or perhaps loose themselves in the pages of an age appropriate book, easily taken off the well stocked ‘Book basket”.
Our Once a week Cooking sessions sends an assortment of delicious aromas as you pass the classroom. We slice cucumber, peel garlic, stir batter,tear lettuce, squeeze limes, sift flour, crack eggs, mix dough and even toss a salad. This is all done while talking about colour, texture and flavours, a super way to introduce new vocabulary. No matter what recipe we choose to follow,food and cooking are an important part of our very being.
Twice a week ‘ Splish Splash’ time in the College Pool offers joyous spells of fun while getting wet, exploring the water, bubble blowing, pushing and gliding through water with the coach and the teachers . Our Playgroup staff are a part of the coaching team!
Then we head outdoors to stroll or play in our newly designed Playground to jump, slide, swing, climb , ride a tricycle, and hop around or even dig for worms. Or may be even hide away behind a tree, have a ride on the ‘dream catcher’ swing, or simply pop into our magical out door toy bin. If we are especially lucky we’ll spot a green parrot on a tree, a Squirrel helping herself to a yummy mango, the Red Wattled Lapwing family, a kite or a jet flying in the sky, or may be some critters who visit our fenced play spot. We head back indoors, wash hands , sip some water, and enjoy a polite conversation, listen to music and some might even doze off for a moment or two , cuddling a soft toy or a friend, before heading home. It’s going to be a busy time for sure.
This is not all. There is a lot more learning during this powerful and crucial stage of the early childhood, as we believe that the first ‘school’ experience should be filled with curiosity, exploration , joy and opportunities for independence.
Our “ Working Hours” are Monday through Friday, 8.00 am- 11. 00 am with two short Snack breaks in between.
” Our classroom isn’t messy- It’s just custom designed by a three and half year old”