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The Time for Nursery is Now!

In the news this week we heard about Ofsted’s concerns regarding the implications of the 2020 lockdown and how this has impacted on our children. The headline in the news suggested that young children are loosing basic skills such as using a knife and fork. Confidently using cutlery is not an optional skill here where a daily hot lunch is served to all and mastering effective cutting up of your roast dinner is all the easier when a)you are hungry after an active morning and b)the food tastes so good!

Perhaps our children are just lucky to have this daily lunch practice which seems an easy challenge after cutting up fruit and vegetables in the Nursery Kitchen. The brilliant child-friendly serrated knives (Kiddi Kutter, Lakeland-see photo below) have rounded teeth that cut ingredients not fingers and these allow our young chefs to independently prepare their cooking ingredients from the tender age of 3. Strength for writing comes from a wide range of of exercises and making pastry or cutting are wonderful ways to strengthen small hands.

Concern about development is not just restricted to the art of dining and Inspectors have looked at children’s resilience too.  We have found that during the first lockdown, children spent so much of their time blossoming outdoors that they returned on 1st June refreshed and ready to tackle challenges energetically. It appears however that the skills of focus and concentration that schools gently build and develop is also a cause for concern for some children who have missed school are showing a lack of resilience evident with subjects such as reading.

Although our remote learning provision during the spring lockdown when all schools were closed, was exceptional, there is no substitute for being back in the classroom. We all missed each other and the enthusiasm for learning once reunited was evident in little people and grown ups alike. With the current lockdown children are confined to home during evenings and weekends. During times when getting out to meet others is restricted it is good to know that collaborative learning and excellent social skills are just part of the daily routine. Arguably there has never been a better time for nursery education.

Annie Thackray