The teachers at the Jujurha Education Centre are encouraged to use materials and resources from the local environment in their classroom activities.
Phikiswa and Nangamso (teachers in the 4-5 year age group) were recently busy with the theme of Homes (of people, animals, insects etc). As part of the theme-related activities, the children looked at pictures of birds’ nests, discussed them and then went out and collected grass and feathers in the fields around the school. The grass and feathers were added to recycled yoghurt & other containers to create these beautiful nests. As the final touch, the children added plasticine eggs!
On a recent outing to the beach, the children collected a variety of beautiful sea plants, shells and creatures. These made guest appearances in the classroom before being safely returned to their natural environment.
We also use creative activities to deal with local issues of concern. As an example, the teachers have been working with children to try to address the harsh treatment of animals in our village, even by very young children who wield sticks and throw stones all too easily. Each teacher is addressing this issue in an age appropriate way with her class and it is visible in the creative work adorning the classroom walls, using a variety of materials and techniques within a developmental framework. Discussions, questions, games, puzzles, songs and dances have all been used to good effect, encompassing many different animals, domestic and wild, with which they are familiar.
And of course, our beautiful setting also provides wonderful inspiration for creative activities!!