News / Nunn Road / 2006 / February 2006 (E52)

Dear parents,

After the Chinese New Year holidays, children carried the festive mood back to school. Some boys used baskets and towels to play ‘lion dance’. The girls who helped to fold towels use them to dance. The other children role-played as musicians with instruments that they create while they sang Chinese New Year songs.

The children are preparing their painting bags now. Some children who have been with us for a while show improvement in their work. They are more skillful and some of them can make nice patterns as they weave their painting bags. Their work shows that children are able to learn and do better if they have a chance to practice. We adults, sometimes tend to help children because they can’t do things as well as us. But, by helping them we actually deprive them of chances to learn.

Last month, Junko and I were invited to give a public talk about Waldorf Education. During the question and sharing session, a mother whose daughter had graduated from Taska Nania shared her experience. She was very moved when her daughter showed her independence on her first day at primary school. She could respond to the teachers and communicates well with them. The girl continues to show creativity in her works and is eager to learn. I am happy to know that she is doing well in her new school.

Looking back, I realize that children blossom when they are guided with love and patience. It is wonderful to be part of that process.

Teacher Thian

Coming events

Girl’s Day Celebration (3rd March 2006)
We will celebrate the Japanese Girl’s Day Festival (Hinamatsuri) with the children on 3rdMarch. The dolls in traditional kimono displayed at the Festival corner are praying for the well being of girls.  The dolls are called hina-ningyo and the custom is also known as momo-no sekku (Peach Festival) because of the peach blossom season on the old lunar calendar.  In some areas, the old custom, nagashibina, of loading one’s troubles onto a paper doll and floating them off down the river is still practiced.

Most Japanese families with girls display hina-ningyo and dedicate peach blossoms to them. They are usually arranged on a five or seven-tiered stand covered with a red carpet.  At the top are the Emperor and Empress.  The next level sit three court ladies, followed by five musicians, two ministers, and three servants at the bottom row of a five-tiered display. Displays may include small pieces of furniture, meal dishes, and other things.  The hina-ningyo at Nania is hand made by a child’s mother.

The children have started folding paper dolls and make them into wall decorations.  They will bring home the wall decorations on the festival day.

Painting Bag
Children are making their painting bags and colouring them. All the paintings and drawings they will have done during this term will be put into the bags for them to home on 9th March.However, some of the paintings have been given away as presents to their friends in the class.

Japanese Class Graduation (10th march 2006)
There are 9 children in Japanese Class graduating this year. I wish them all the best in their future. As the graduation falls on Friday, we will cancel water play on that day.

Classes will cease from 13th March until 19th March.  We will reopen on 20th March.

Children’s world
One day, I noticed three boys using wood boards as saws to break a ” house” that their friend had built. Instead of stopping them, I remarked to Teacher Tan that I would feel sad if someone broke my house. One of the boys overheard our conversation and tried to stop his friends but he couldn’t stop them. I invited that boy to cut trees in the ‘jungle’. I took a few woodblocks and put them up like a tree. When the other two boys saw our play, they came near. So, I made more “trees” for them to cut down. Later, they used the wood blocks that they had cut down for their play.

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