Rhymes in Keeping with the Times
Our ECE looked a little different last week with colourful and playful props popping up all over the Learning Communities space. From animals in a make-believe farm to daubing red paint on boxes to fashion replica buses, it was enough to get creative juices flowing. This was the set-up for World Nursery Rhyme Week (WNRW) that was celebrated November 16-20.
When Sinead Earl, ECE co-ordinator took on her role, one of her first initiatives was the introduction of “Rhyme Time”. She believed it would complement our current ECE curriculum and benefit our young learners in multiple ways.
Even Art Played a Part
First developed in the UK to promote the importance of rhymes in early education, the initiative is now a worldwide feature with this year being YCIS Beijing’s first ever involvement. By signing up to take part in WNRW, schools have access to various materials that aid them in running a successful nursery rhyme week. Our focus is on “the child’s interest”, says Ms Earl, who believes in staying abreast of emergent curriculum.
Walking around our ECE last week, we spotted children immersed in various forms of play styled on nursery rhymes. Monday’s rhyme was the age-old Wheels on a Bus. Students took to the task with relish, painting minibuses. A broad range of activities throughout the week gave students ample opportunity to choose those they fancied.
Old MacDonald Goes Bilingual
Bilingualism is an important aspect of our ECE programme. It was unsurprising then that during singalong time students had the opportunity to participate in both English and Chinese with the assistance of Co-Teachers. For Ms Earl and her team this took extensive planning to fit the YCIS approach.
Throughout the week’s story time and singalongs, popular rhymes made an appearance, from Five little speckled frogs五只小青蛙 to Old MacDonald had a farm 王老先生有个农场. Friday ended the week with a Dress up Day (based on any favourite rhyme), reading time with Primary students, and a singalong with our Director of Music, Mr Gordon Robb. What a fun way to end an entertaining week!
Benefits of Rhyme Time
Fun as it was, Ms Earl hopes Rhyme Time will remain a prominent feature of our ECE as it stands to benefit our students in the following ways:
- Improving vocabulary
- Practising speech and language
- Enhancing reading skills
- Improving social skills and co-learning
The children thoroughly enjoyed the week, with the highlights being the singalong and craft activities, said a pleased Ms Earl, who looks forward to using rhymes as a fun tool to build confidence in students.