Big School Mooos! Senior Infants Dairy Tasting.

Fun Food & Nutrition!

Who says learning can’t be tasty and fun? Not our Senior Infant class, that’s for sure. Any class that involves tasting cream, cheese, chocolate, home-made scones and ice-cream is sure to remain in the minds for a long time.

Discussing the food before tucking in!

Modern teaching practices extol the virtue and indeed necessity of hands on tactile experiences to the young learner, but it was Maria Montessori at the turn of the last century who recognised involvement of the senses as the essential learning tool of the child.  Throughout the Montessori curriculum we see the engagement and refinement of the child’s senses to organise and classify the world around them.

Yummy Dairy Goodness.

Beginning with the sensorial materials, the child’s senses are honed to distinguish fine variations in texture, weight, length, width, temperature, colour, sound and taste. Once these foundation blocks are in place the child can use them to frame their learning in all areas. The “sensorial” learning style is evident in maths, language, culture and science.

Parts of the Cow Display

Our Senior Infants embarked on a project to discover the place of dairy products in our diet. Beginning with a study on the dairy cow, they labelled the parts of the cow and created a wall display.

They practiced their handwriting cutting and drawing skills through various handwriting samples on the theme.

Handwriting Samples.

Handwriting Samples

The budding scientists then collated and classified various food packaging to produce another display of dairy products commonly found in our diet.

Dairy Food Packaging Samples

But by far the highlight of the Dairy Food Project was the tasting morning.

Tasting Table

Using their senses of smell, taste and touch the children sampled various dairy foods and classified them according to sweet, savoury, bitter, hard, soft, cold  and warm.

Cheese, Crackers & Grapes.

Discussing their experiences of the foods in the group added to their vocabulary store, allowing the students to learn new ways of communicating the food experience to each other.

Likes and Dislikes

 

They then filled in their “likes and dislikes” to record the morning’s activity.

 

 

We all know which dairy food our friend “Lots’o Huggin Bear” liked!

Lots'o Dairy Fun.

Lots’o Thanks from Senior Infants for reading all about their project.

Little School Food Revolution.

Hi Everyone,  time for a catch up with the smallest of our charges! Yes its the Nursery School Junior Class 🙂

If you have watched Jamie Oliver’s American Food Revolution, or his earlier UK-based show. You will probably have been inspired, shocked and moved in equal parts at the diet of this generations school going children in both the UK and US. As Ireland does not have a tradition of “school dinners” Irish children in the main have been raised on packed lunches, which looks in comparison to be the better option.

Hedley Park students have benefited from parents that care enough to give their children the healthiest packed lunches. This is supported by the staff and directress ensuring that evening snack is equally fresh and nutritious.


Fruit Bowl Art

Our curriculum  provides opportunity for students to be  educated in good food choices through circle times and various exercises during the school day. While their palates are informed to new flavours at mealtimes and “make and munch” sessions, all of which opens the child to the world of healthy eating we hope they will carry throughout their lives.

This starts at the very beginning of a child’s education in Hedley Park and continues right through to our sixth class students, laying strong foundations for good food practices as an adult.

We all know how resistant to new foods children can be, creatures of habit they like to stick to what they know to be tasty. Repeated introduction in small amounts, visual stimulus and community effort will make a big difference to the reception of new foods. At home, eating together as a family, new foods being introduced in tiny portions, a rule of “try everything on the plate”, and if needed sticker charts when foods are tried/finished will really see your healthy eating child growing strong and positive about food.

Junior Class Healthy Eating Wall

Marianne in the junior class has devised a fantastic project to support her students and their parents in this endeavour. Each day the children in her class are offered a sample of a new fruit or veg at circle time. They talk about the new food, smelling, tasting and talking about its colour, shape and texture.


Healthy Eating Sticker Chart

Children who try the new food are given a sticker for their “Healthy Eating Sticker Sheet” providing a visual stimulus to taste the fruit and a record for them to show off to friends and parents giving them a sense of accomplishment even many days later. In week one the children tried strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pineapple and banana, In week two they tried pear, apple kiwi, mango and avocado.  This week they begin on veg!

Circle time is a perfect arena for this tasting exercise. Allowing the children to encourage each other to try the foods, talking about the taste and texture normalizes the experience and develops taste buds and expands vocabulary to boot! 🙂

After circle time the children create their artistic interpretations of the new fruit or veg. The fine motor skills involved in gluing, cutting, painting the fruit alongside colour and shape matching adds unseen dimensions which aid the child creatively and cognitively, all helping to make this a fun and rewarding introduction to new foods.

Many parents of children in the Junior Class have remarked that their children are taking about the fruit at home, and are more receptive to new foods in their lunches and at family meals. It is amazing to see how a simple but effective Montessori class project can make a difference in our students lives.

Week 2 Fruit Art Assortment

Well Done Junior Class you are setting a great example to your older schoolmates! 🙂

September in full swing.

We are all very busy in Hedley Park Nursery these days. Everyone is in full on work mode and the buzz in the classrooms is fantastic.

Our Asia project is taking shape and thanks to an artistic friend we drew a fantastic map of Continental Asia.  Monday morning we all gathered round to wax crayon in the Indian and Pacific Oceans in the south and the Arctic Ocean in the North. Then painting smocks were donned and together we painted the continent its unique yellow colour.

In Montessori all continents have a colour, and yellow represents Asia. This helps the child connect all the various images and cultural items, books and most importantly the map jigsaw together. Giving the child a linked and unified perspective on each continent and a clear path for later recollection.

Each Thursday the junior and senior classes in the nursery join together for a cookery class. We try to alternate between sweet and savoury, always healthy, fresh and most of all fun! Everyone puts on their chefs hats and washes their hands as every child is encouraged to participate. Last week we voted on Jam Tarts! This is a great store-room treat, with lots of manipulative fun from rolling and cutting the pastry.

First we made the pastry, sieving and weighing are key skills.

Then we greased the tins, little fingers love the minute of these tasks.

Lots of rolling pins were ready once the pastry set.

After the rolling we used the pastry cutter – hours at the playdough table coming in handy here.

And finally spooning the jams and getting a teacher to help us put the tarts in the oven!

Yum Yum! We needed no help eating our jammy creations later on.

This Thursday we hope to try our hand at sushi! It will be great to make our own lunch, and try out new flavours. Hopefully our budding chefs will go easy on the wasabi.

In the senior class our special sound – C is coming along nicely too! We have our tray choc-a-block with Clocks, Cars, Caterpillars, Cows, and Cats! There is still time to bring your special C to class!

Check out our C board.

On that note see you all soon for more Nursery News!

From all the staff & pupils in the “little school”