That’s us finished our first week of placement, wow! There is so much to take in and so much to tell…
We are lucky enough to be placed in Huddinge, just a 23 minute bus journey away from our home. The preschool (förskola) is run as a parent cooperative, meaning that the parents are directly involved in their children’s early education. The children enrolled at the förskola are from the age of 16 months to 6 years old. The school offers a bilingual approach, with teachers speaking to the children in either only Swedish or English.
On day one we went through another phase of culture shock. We were on our tour of the school when our mentor casually noted ‘This is where the little ones sleep’ whilst pointing to the prams on the outside decking… She explained that this is very common in Nordic countries, and the theory is that outdoor napping during all seasons makes the children less likely to catch colds and coughs. It was only once the children were outside all wrapped up in blankets and warm bedding that we fully understood the meaning behind the old Scandinavian saying that “There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong gear.” We suppose it must be better than spending a whole day in the same room with 30 other children, right?
There is a big focus on Health and Wellbeing throughout the whole curriculum and the day-to-day agenda as the preschool are working together on the Swedish ‘Green Flag’ initiative (Grön Flagg). The children have two fruit breaks throughout the day, and start their lunch with a salad (which includes 7 different vegetables). All the meals are cooked in the school, and they are absolutely delicious (thank you Johanna)! Each winter the children are taken ice skating to keep them fit and active and each spring there is a running race organised around the local park; Rådsparken. The staff constantly attend training courses (for example kids massage and yoga) to develop on this health and wellbeing aspect of the curriculum.
The thing we are enjoying most about placement is the amount of time we are spending outdoors! The children and staff get kitted out in all their waterproofs and embrace the outdoors everyday, rain or shine. As well as this, every Wednesday is spent in the forest! Sadly, we didn’t make it to the forest this week as we missed the bus, but we ventured to a local park instead and enjoyed our day there instead. We can definitely see the benefits of the children spending a large chunk of their day outdoors. They are free to go and explore whatever interests them. While one child is on the hunt for snails and working out where to find them, another child is learning to balance on a track of wooden planks.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our first week of placement at the preschool and are very much looking forward to the next three weeks. We have big plans including trips to museums, the fire station, the forest and are even being given time to teach the children all about Guy Fawkes along with some other Scottish traditions! But we will tell you all more about that later…
Madi and Sarah 🙂