This year has been a very different year for everybody. On the 12th of March, we were told by the government that we must close our doors due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country. Naively, we thought this may be for a couple of weeks. Little did we know that we would be closed for nearly four months. We happily but anxiously opened our doors again on the 29th of June. We spent many hours rewriting policies in line with the COVID-19 regulations, creating new cleaning schedules, organising play pods and training staff in on the new COVID-19 procedures.
We worried that it would be a major adjustment for children to return to creche and preschool after spending so much time at home with their parents and guardians. However, we were pleasantly surprised when the children bounced back in the door and were excited to see their friends again. Here we are now, nearly 6 months later and these new COVID-19 procedures have now become the norm. Thankfully, our wonderful team have ensured that COVID-19 has affected the children of Longfield Academy as little as possible. Any new measures have been implemented and introduced to the children in a child-friendly manner, ensuring it is as fun as can be. The children of Longfield Academy come in to creche every day smiling, and go home with smiles on their faces and stories to tell.
Without the support of the parents and guardians of the children here at Longfield Academy, the transition may not have went as smoothly. For your continued support, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
This year, although Christmas time at Longfield Academy was a little different, we successfully kept the Christmas magic alive. The elves arrived to Longfield Academy from the North Pole and quickly got up to mischief!
We spent lots of time decorating the creche and making it festive! One of our fantastic parents painted our windows with some fabulous Christmas characters. The children thought these were great and loved looking at them when they were coming and going from creche.
On Thursday the 17th of December, we recorded messages from our staff to all of our fantastic parents. This was great fun. Thank you to Alan and James for their patience with us!
Unfortunately, this year, due to COVID-19, we were unable to invite parents and grandparents in to the creche for our annual preschool Christmas concert. However, we did not want the children to miss out on the opportunity to perform and to experience the excitement that comes with performing. We decided that this year we would practice our Christmas songs and poems as normal and we would video our concerts so that the parents would not miss out. This also enabled the children to watch the concert with their families. The children were excited about ‘being on TV’ and looked forward to being able to watch themselves singing. The children practice really hard and waited patiently for the day of the performance.
When the day came the children were super excited awaiting the arrival of the camera men. The camera men showed the children the camera and how it worked. The children were fascinated and sang their little hearts out. We were so proud of them. The camera man played their performance back for them and they were delighted with themselves “we are good singers”.
On the 22nd of December, Santa Claus came all the way from the North Pole to visit us! Santa had to social distance so he had to stay outside. The children were very understanding of Santa's personal space, they sang him some of their Christmas songs and he told them all about what he was up to at the North Pole. Before he left, Santa gave all the children a gift. You can imagine the excitement!
Overall, we had a really lovely Christmas here at Longfield Academy. It was full of happiness, laughter and fun. We are looking forward to what 2021 has to bring for us and we want to wish you all a very safe and happy new year!
Research in early childhood education has since confirmed that Friedrich Froebel was indeed on the right track when he suggested that playing with sounds in language has significant benefits for children’s learning and development, and nursery rhymes are one of the best and most fun ways we can do this.
Among the benefits of nursery rhymes for young children are:
Here in Longfield Academy the children love Nursery rhymes/song time and a few of their daily favourites are:
Now think about your favourite nursery rhyme, can you still recite it with all those actions and how much fun it still is! Why not try one of Longfield’s favourite Nursery rhymes and practice with your little expert at home?
By Siobhán Shelly - LINC Co-ordinator
Getting Winter Ready- Tips For Outdoor Play
As we prepare ourselves for winter here in Longfield Academy, we reflect on how winter in Ireland can be unpredictable. The weather can vary from rain, hail, sleet, and snow to blissful winter sunshine on a cold frosty morning. Each weather phenomenon is an opportunity for a rich emergent learning experience for children. These experiences can range from gathering rainwater, to jumping in puddles, or even learning some basic Science by waiting for the ice to thaw.
We are all aware of the vital role outdoor play has in children’s development. It provides children with learning opportunities where they can explore natural resources such as mud, grass, and sticks. This exploration has been shown to promote high levels of attention, emotional regulation, and well-being. There may also be additional opportunities to engage in sensory play with natural resources, which we may not be able to replicate in an indoor environment. The opportunities for risky and creative play are only limited by the imagination.
Top Tips For Being Outdoor Ready in Ireland- Clothing
Waterproof clothing – jacket and trousers or a full suit, which can withstand rain. These act as a top layer.
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