We started the day by thinking carefully about what art is and what it means to be creative. We linked this to what we know about wellbeing. We thought about what makes us feel well and safe, comfortable and confident and we realised that we love to be able to make things and explore different materials.
We looked at the self-portrait by Suzy Altman and considered what we knew about the girl from her portrait.
We then designed the backgrounds for our self-portraits using a range of media (paints, crayons, pens, pencils and chalks) before striking a pose for our photographs. Once our photos were stuck onto our backgrounds, we embellished our portraits with pictures, sequins, feathers and more drawings, painting and chalk-work. We tried to reflect ourselves in the colours we chose.
We shared our work with the rest of our class. Hearing the positive comments from our classmates made us feel great.
We read some traditional tales that we recognised but these were set in different places. In particular, we read three versions of Rapunzel: African, Indian & European. One of the retellings does not need a prince to rescue her. We talked about the similarities and differences within the stories and within our class. This led us to the different languages that might be spoken in these stories. One of the stories taught us how to say hello in three African languages, and we used this to discover the many ways we can say hello in a whole myriad of languages that are brought into our classroom. We explored how all cultures have stories and like us, they share the same core but they are dressed up in different ways.
We also read the true story of Harriet Tubman who was born a slave but worked tirelessly to free herself and then others from slavery. We talked about how all people should be able to live together and we have to make sure we are on the side of people like Harriet. We talked about what diversity brings to our community and how we are better off because of it.
Using paints, we mixed paint to create our skin tones. We looked closely at our different skin colours and saw that we are a whole myriad of colours. By mixing paints, we tried to match these are far as possible and then created handprints showing the diversity of skin colour in our classrooms.
The school focus for our very first wellbeing day was one of our core values: resilience. In Reception, we thought about what being resilient meant and talked about things where we have had to try hard, like when we learnt to walk and learning to put on our shoes and coats. We know that lots of the things we are learning and will learn at school require us to be resilient but that if we work hard and keep going even when it is a bit difficult, we will all succeed. We watched Charlie and Lola and how Lola dealt with not being very good at dancing when all her friends were. We used emoticons to help us identify Lola’s feelings and then how her friends and Charlie helped her be resilient. We read about Harry in The Greatest Show on Earth and we talked about how he kept on trying. We likened this to our class reading of The Three Little Pigs, who show resilience and ingenuity to escape the wolf.
We took all we had learnt from the characters in our stories and from our talks and worked together to create rockets and houses from boxes. We needed to work together to paint them and then, we took them on adventures to the moon, across the sea and over mountains. Some of us used them to build strong houses that would stay standing whoever huffed and puffed at them! We learnt that sometimes being resilient is hard work and we can feel cross and frustrated but with a deep breath and a smile, we can keep going and try again. Just like Lola, Harry & the three little pigs, we felt really proud when we worked hard and succeeded.