Take delight in the Lord for he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
What a delight it was to showcase our Kinder last Saturday as we held our first ‘Kinder only’ Open Day. I have been reflecting on how our kinder has developed and grown over the last 9 years. WOW! MECS has had a Kinder for 9 years! Back in 2013 we celebrated the opening of our Kinder full of wonder and imagination about what might happen in this new learning space, and now 9 years later, we are showcasing the growth that has been and all that is still yet to be imagined! That means we currently have students in Year 7 that began at MECS in kindergarten.
A garden of delight
When I think about a Garden it’s a place that heightens my senses, all I can see, hear, touch, smell and taste. We believe our wonderful kinder is a place that does just that for children. A place that opens up such wonder and interest, that draws them in to a learning journey filled with exploration and delight.
Gardens thrive in community and MECS Kinder is no different. Children and families can begin their educational journey together, building relationships and often moving through the school as the children grow.
Deuteronomy 10:14 says: 'To the Lord belongs the heavens and earth and all that is in it.' As we aim to provide Transformative Christian Education, as described in the book, Transformational Education; A framework for Christian Teachers, we acknowledge the Lordship of God over all aspects of our kindergarten. Everything in our Kinder is created with a purpose, from routines to deep investigations, from interactive imaginative play, to cleaning up together. As a messy garden with no design can be unappealing, we strive toward purposeful learning in everything we do. Learning in our kinder is for appreciation, understanding and service.
A garden is often a place where we feel calm and peaceful. Our Kindergarten has many fabulous features, with beautiful wooden furniture that gives a natural and calm feel to the inside kindergarten environment. The ‘piazza’ or ‘meeting place’ is a space at the entry of the kindergarten where families are welcome to spend time together. When children first arrive at kindergarten they get to meet together in this lovely space before beginning their day.
A garden can also invite intrigue and joy. The ’puddle,’ our water feature is a beautiful part of the garden outside. The water pump has been very enthusiastically used to fill containers, and carry water off to create and invent in the sandpit or pour on the garden. The children love taking off their shoes and puddling about, experiencing the water, how it flows, swishes, sploshes, with the opportunity to cool off as well!
A garden can also invite a playful attitude and at MECS kindergarten, we highly value the importance of play. We provide children many opportunities throughout our kinder sessions for long periods of un-interrupted explorative play which enables them to develop good foundations for future learning.
This poem, written by Naomi Jones – One of our Kindergarten teachers, sums up the delight that we pray children have in our KINDERGARTEN…
K is for Kinder, where I get to play
I is for Imagination, I use it every day
N is for Nature, I love to explore
D is for Drawing and a whole lot more
E is for Education, it begins right here
R is for Ready, for learning all year
G is for God, right there with me
A is for Adventure, in all that I see
R is for Rest, a time to slow down
T is for Teacher, they’re always around
E for Excitement, this year I’ll have fun
N is for Now, I’m ready for years to come