ICS Early Years Center Blog

Inter-Community School Zurich, Switzerland

November 1, 2013
by Rebecca Smith
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Shared Cultural Experiences: Halloween

In our year-long ‘Who We Are’ Unit Of Inquiry, we are interested in exploring how shared experiences with others can help us to learn about ourselves. The many cultural and seasonal celebrations that occur within our community are a great way to participate in shared activities with our classmates, their families and the people in our wider school and local community.

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On October 31st, we celebrated Halloween with members of our learning community. The children, teachers and some parents came dressed-up to school. There was much laughter shared as we compared, appreciated and discussed the different costumes and choices of characters.

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We listened (in both small and a large groups) to a number of Halloween stories read by Aditi’s mum and Charli’s grandmother.

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As a group, we sang some of the Halloween and Pumpkin songs that the children have been learning in their Music lessons with Ms Mills. We also did some spooky and fun dancing together.

We made some Halloween-inspired crafts (prepared and led by parent volunteers), which included masks, lollipop spiders and lollipop ghosts. We painted and decorated the small pumpkins with glitter, that we had chosen at the Jucker Farm. The parents and teachers helped the children with some of the trickier tasks, such as tying the elastic and strings, or holding items steady while the children used the scissors or paintbrushes.

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Letizia’s and Soichi’s mummies carved our big pumpkin into a friendly Jack-O-Lantern. Everybody took turns to help to remove the guts from inside the pumpkin – it was a messy job!

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Finally, we shared in a special snack of fresh fruits and vegetable sticks, popcorn and cupcakes. It was a wonderful morning. Everyone involved enjoyed the opportunity to spend time working with others to complete the activities, celebrating, singing, dancing, laughing and having fun together! We are looking forward to learning about ourselves and others as we share in more cultural and seasonal celebrations throughout the year.

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Photos by Rebecca Smith (ICS EY Teacher)

October 29, 2013
by Rebecca Smith
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A Field Trip to the Jucker Farm


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The Early Years children along with their teachers and some parent volunteers visited the Jucker Farm on a field trip. Each year the farm displays sculptures made from pumpkins. This year the exhibition’s theme was “Fairytales”. The children were delighted to see some pumpkin sculptures of kings, queens, knights on horseback and a giant frog prince wearing a golden crown.

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On display were some impressively carved pumpkins which made funny and scary faces, and some HUGE pumpkins that were almost as big as we were in size.

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The trip was an opportunity for the children to explore and participate in a Swiss community activity. It also helped for the children to form understandings related to our ‘Who We Are’ Unit of Inquiry, in which the children are exploring about how we can learn about ourselves through shared experiences with others.

The children had a wonderful time climbing hay bales, pretending to drive the tractor and visiting the goats in the animal petting area.

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We shared a snack of fresh apples, cider and roasted pumpkin seeds from the farm, while taking in the beautiful view of the lake and mountains.

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After our snack each child chose a small pumpkin to take back to school. This was not an easy task as there were so many pumpkins to choose from all differing in shape, size, colour and texture. As a group we chose one large pumpkin to turn into a Jack-o-Lantern for our Halloween celebrations for the coming week.

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Above photos by Rebecca Smith (ICS EY Teacher)

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