Monday 11th: we had the lovely Andrea to escort us to our work placement. We will be working for the next two weeks in Centro Infantile Pecosetes, a Creche and Pre-school facility that caters for children from O-3 years of age. Pecosetes is a bilingual school located in Huetor Vega in Granada. It is open from 7.30am-8.30 pm, currently they have 38 children to seven staff. The no. 9 bus will take you there and it leaves approximately every 10-15 mins. We met Paco the owner and our supervisor Hannah, who will be looking after us while we are here. Later that evening we had the Erasmus group “welcome tour” by the lovely Anea, who showed us around the town, the main shopping areas, places to eat, relax and we got some group pictures of the city at night.
Tuesday 12th: Today we started at 9.00am upon arriving we received our weekly timetable, we met with the rest of the staff and were shown around the different classrooms. 0-1 caters for the babies in the nursery. 1-2 is the next group and the 2-3 year olds are in preschool. Here they refer to there learning time as ‘assembly’ where all the children gathered and sit down on the mat. Today we rotated between the three different classes first in the morning we observed the teacher in the 1-2, then after break we helped out with the 2-3, and after dinner we were assisting in the nursery room for babies from 0-1year old. This was the highlight of my day as we were shown how to relax the babies,by giving them a massage with the assistance from Hannah. We are very lucky that Hannah speaks fluent English this will make this experience much nicer.
Wednesday 13th: We arrived at work earlier today and before the class began we prepared some art work, cutting out red card in preparation for Valentine’s day tomorrow. We assisted with the babies again today and did their handprints on the red card. This was a fun experience as some of the young babies did not want to open their hands. We got a few great prints.
Thursday 14th: After we arrived in workplacement today. I was in the classroom with 1-2 year old with Selvia. The ratio 11:1 children in this age group. Today I got more involved as the children needed assistance with applying glue on their valentine’s card. I assisted the teacher with the art activity and I enjoyed this special time getting to know the children. I applied the glue and helped the children place the small love heart pieces to their card, and applied their photo and name. Later that evening our group enjoyed a Flamenco show in the city. I got a great view from where I was sitting if you arrive early. It is approximately 40 mins of intense dancing. I loved the beautiful dresses the lady wore and she changed outfit between each dance. This is definitely a great treat for tourist and a must see. It is an intimate experience as the stage is small but this adds to the overall experience.
Friday 15th: Today I was in the classroom with the 2-3 years old. The ratio is 20:1 children in this group. During assembly today, the children are all greeted with a song in English as they use both languages. Hannah begins each day by asking the children how they are feeling and anamates the actions with her hand. The children in this group are preparing for primary school so they practiced colours in a fun way, the numbers from 1-10, and their feelings. The art activity today is linked with the days lesson, was the colour red and green and they painted the Statue of Liberty. The children had a treat today, they got a bus to telepizza down town. This is one of their twice monthly educational trips away.
Learning & Positive Aspects week 1: The highlight of this week was spending time in the nursery getting to know the babies as each is at a different stage of development. We were shown how to give the babies a massage to relax them before siesta. The ratio of babies to adult is 9:1 so this is different from Ireland. I enjoyed doing the art activity with the babies.
Challenges Encounter: The first week is completed. I was tired in the evenings as this is my first time working abroad. Our supervisor gave us an observation task on our first day, to observe the 2-3 year olds and we were to report back to her at the end of the week, this was a bit of a challenge for me. The class sizes are different from Ireland in the group 2-3 year olds is 20:1 ratio. The days are very busy with activities and learning and moving from each group. Trying to use the language.
Self-Evaluation: overall the week went well I carried out task that were assigned to me, and did them to the best of my ability. I am glad I came on this exchange as I will be experiencing new things taking me out of my comfort zone.
Cultural: The culture here is to eat late in the evenings so a group of us tried out the “Nuevo ” restaurant. I sampled the hake and steamed vegetables. It was a perfect end to a long day amongst friends from Mallow college.