This lunchtime, I stepped in to cover for an MDA who was not in to oversee and help out Foundation Stage. I was allocated one class and was glad to help them out - I assisted with cutting up the roast chicken and potatoes but made a point of talking through this process and not going all the way through so that the children still had to do some work themselves. It's a valuable life lesson and we do the children no favours doing everything for them.
Once they'd eaten, I took them outside to play and was rewarded in many ways. I got to see first-hand how they interacted with one another, made use of the resources they have at their disposal but more than anything, the conversations I had were marvelous. I know all of their names but after today, I started to see some of their characters.
Two stood out for me: both who at present won't say hello in the mornings. One found me and showed me a brilliant dinosaur impression, including a great "roar" and when a box was broken, he agreed to guard it (to protect others) while I went to sort something else. His confidence with me certainly grew. Another boy who not only won't talk yet but runs past me every morning actually sought me out and engaged in play with me. I almost got him to walk on the 'pot-stilts' and he followed me around for a while.
What is evident is that these two, and others, felt confident with me in their territory but also that the whole year group are developing their physical, emotional and social skills through play.