Isobel Edmond, Head Teacher of Inchlair Nursery School shares how youngsters have embraced the context of the Commonwealth Games and how this has had a tangible impact on learning.
The Game On Challenge has given our pupils the skills to try out new Sports. We are purchasing new equipment to ensure that the children can continue to develop their new skills in our wonderful outdoor play space. When the coaches are not available children can very ably organise equipment and ensure that their peers wait and take their turn. They could be the Sports coaches of the future.
There is a real noticeable increase in the confidence of children to apply learning to new situations. The Story of the birth of CLYDE, “Captain Bristle’s Thistles” really caught their imagination. From this they have had countless role play experiences using uniforms, telescopes, globes, flags, flower pots, thistles, climbing frames. We have noticed their play is more focussed and shared experiences give children more opportunity to talk and learn together during exciting, imaginative play activities. There can be no doubt that using the Commonwealth Games as a context for learning has added an exciting layer of experience which has enriched learning for all.
A year ago our pupils would mostly say they lived in Stenhousemuir not Scotland. A focus on the Commonwealth Games has made them very aware that they are Scottish. They recognise the saltire and call it the “X” factor flag. The baton relay has given them the opportunity to study Commonwealth countries, flags of the world, maps, and wild animals. Relations have sent them postcards from across the globe. Access to the internet and in particular the BBC coverage of the Queen’s Baton Relay has enabled children to see places for themselves which has made them much more aware of life beyond our own town. We have complied a short video which allows the children to share their learning.
As a school, we sponsor a child in Malawi. Our support means she can go to school. We sell Nursery Cookbooks to raise funds for this as part of our Enterprise project. As Malawi is part of the Commonwealth children have been interested in finding the country on the world map, recognising the flag and studying pictures of Rachael over the years. They see her home, a hut in a dry dusty garden. The fact that fascinates them most is that she never has any shoes. This has helped our pupils understand how fortunate they are to live in a country which recognises and values the importance of learning. They have been genuinely touched by the difference in lifestyle between Scotland and Malawi and are beginning to understand how fortunate they are.
We were thrilled to be part of the “Going for Glasgow” challenge. Our children have had the opportunity to take part in 12 sports activities. To develop the Legacy, children take our CLYDE toy to their after school activity classes. They take photos and display them in the Nursery along with posters from their sports classes. Hopefully this will encourage other children to join a new club. The children love to talk about CLYDE’S visits and Parents are fully engaged with this idea.
As an active nursery, we are committed to daily outdoor play and developing physical sports activities. Being part of the Game on Challenge this year has brought a real buzz and sense of excitement to the Nursery. There is a competitive spirit as older brothers and sisters tell us about what they are doing at school to complete their challenge. Our youngsters go home at night and share their learning with family and friends. A number of parents have been inspired by their enthusiasm and depth of knowledge.
The high spot of our year is receiving the award of a Game On Scotland Plaque by Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners’ Rights. This award has given staff, pupils and parents a great sense of achievement and pride in the excellent work being done.
We would really advise anyone who has not already registered their Game On Challenge to do so. It has been great fun here at Inchlair, and we look forward to reading what you have been up to!