The majority of our children were away for five months over last year’s lockdown. Together with the subsequent summer holiday, their return to the Preschool at the start of the year was extra special. Pivotal to say the least.
It was time for our children to reconnect with their friends and their teachers, return to routines and their challenging tasks using tools and provocations that the Preschool offers, gain new skills and build more memories.
It was encouraging to see our children back in full steam with great enthusiasm and I reflected on our children and their place within the Preschool. We often take for granted that their role as the youngest children in our Community is reserved for the future, yet if we observe closely, these children are already stepping up, and making a difference in their own way to all around them as they grow.
For many of our children, the return to Preschool came naturally as they seamlessly reconnected with others and got back into the rhythm of collaborative learning and helping those who needed time to readjust. This was especially evident with Covid restrictions in place and families having to drop off children at the front door. These students stepped forward to welcome their peers back. Our older children who are preparing to start Primary school soon demonstrated their own leadership as they took time to share their favourite books with the younger children, reading them stories as they remember having heard them told.
It was encouraging to see the manner in which these young children intuitively connected with the Community of learners at the Preschool; friends they spend each day with, children of younger or older ages who share their space, teachers who help guide their path as they continue to develop their social and emotional skills that are so important for the rest of their lives, in spite of restrictions that had inhibited our broader Saint Kentigern Community to connect as we normally do.
Therefore, for our teachers, the priority this term was to facilitate the ‘occasion’, to ensure that our children develop close bonds to support their individual needs, to nurture a sense of belonging, a strong sense of self and a sense of connection. Our focus was to look beyond their eager faces which we missed so much, to understand and facilitate their needs. When our children feel emotionally and physically safe and valued; they develop social abilities and have a sense of sharing and caring for others.
As we prepare to move to our new Preschool premises on Shore Road in early 2023, we are aware that children need a sense of belonging. We are making plans to ensure they know about the move, and understand that while it will feel new, their role remains an integral part of our Preschool Community. It is our hope that the connectedness they feel at Saint Kentigern, together with the relationships they foster, will follow them as they move through Preschool, to our Primary Schools, College and beyond.
I am extremely proud of our children for the resilience they have shown in picking up where they left off and getting back into the rhythm of things with such excitement, enthusiasm and sense of purpose. They truly inspire us everyday, the part they play now as members of our Community and the abundance of possibilities they will bring, as sons and daughters of Saint Kentigern.
Fides Servanda Est
Ms Nikki Joyce