Jesus said bring the little children to me in Luke chapter 18 verses 15 – 17:
15 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.
16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
The vision here at Glasgow City Mission Child and Family Centre is to invest in full families. We want to see the full family flourish, feel valued and loved. Our nursery provides a great nurturing learning environment for the children to play, learn and develop.
Our manager, Anne Scott, said, “We take our ethos from John 15 were Jesus talked about the vine and the branches. The children are the seeds that we are investing in and they will become the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nation”. We know that God will continue to water these seeds throughout their lives. We believe the children are the future and we often play that Whitney Houston song at the nursery graduation ceremony.
I want to give you a little insight into how our nursery runs and what activities the kids have been doing since starting back this new term. Staff greet the children and parents at the nursery gates in the morning and this gives us a chance to speak to parents, and for the parents to ask any questions etc. This is because parents and carers can still not enter the building. All the children are settling in well and are making new friends. We update families by putting photos of the children’s activities on our Facebook page.
We started our settling in time with the theme “all about me” to get to know the children. The children have been learning the routine of the nursery and getting familiar with our local area. They have been doing community walks; daily visits to Elder Park for the daily mile walk around the park to help keep the children fit, healthy and promote outdoor learning. The kids love the outdoors and it is great for their health and wellbeing as they learn about nature. At the park staff also teach the children about road safety, stranger dangers and have numeracy and literacy learning.
We are now moving to our autumn activities and the children love collecting leaves and sticks at the park to make autumn pictures. We also use the leaves and sticks to help with numeracy as they count them when gathering them in. This will open conversations with the children about the four seasons and will help them to understand their environment.
We then plan to move onto looking at animals. As part of this, children have chosen the story The Tiger Who Came to Tea. We are all excited to make sandwiches and small cakes to have our own The Tiger Who Came to Tea party this week! We are making tiger masks to wear to the party.
Children attending the nursery are encouraged to follow the “Golden Rules” to teach them appropriate behaviour within group settings to ensure their safety and well-being. These rules include “no running in nursery” to avoid accidents, “helping hands” to discourage hitting, “kind words” to discourage hurtful words and “quiet voices” to help with good communication. It is through these rules that we help children develop a sense of right and wrong and encourage positive interaction with their peers/friends.
We establish good foundations with new parents and children through Parent Meetings. These enable us to find out the child’s likes and dislikes and highlights any concerns or worries that the parents may have regarding their child settling into nursery. This helps to make the transition to nursery as stress free as possible for both the child and parents.
The children are learning lots of new songs, which include numeracy (ants go marching two by two), self-awareness (head, shoulders, knees and toes) and faith-based songs such as Jesus is my Superhero and the “Thank You song” in which we thank Father God for the food we eat. Many of the songs the children enjoy most are the action songs, allowing them to move and dance. This helps with their motor skills, co-ordination and they learn and understand new words.