From the Director …..
I would like to welcome all our new families and children who have joined us in the past few weeks.
Each day we as educators reflect on the day’s activities and experiences the children have enjoyed throughout the day. The children are always so proud of their work and they love to share it with you.
Families are asked to take a minute or two to have a look at their child’s Learning Journey, the program, and their room’s floor book, which are all located outside of each classroom.
With our centre continuing to grow, we have had some staff changes occur recently. We farewelled Charlotte who decided to leave so that she could focus full time on her studies, and we have welcomed Taylor, Shannon and Carolyn.
Taylor has her Diploma and will be working with us 5 days p/w within the Nursery and Grasshopper Rooms.
Shannon has her Bachelor, Carolyn has her Cert 3 and will both be working with us on a casual basis.
They are all warm and compassionate educators and have formed strong bonds with your children already.
Can we please make sure that children are not bringing food in their bags. There has been a few occasions where staff have noticed children eating food from their bags, which may cause harm to those children with allergies.
If your child is toilet training can we please ask that you pack some spare clothes as we all know that accidents can happen and we don’t want to put a nappy on a child that is toilet training as it causes confusion.
We are always in need of spare pants for those little accidents. If you have any that your children have grown out of we would love to have them for spares.
Don’t forget to check the lost property bins located outside of your child’s classroom. At the end of two weeks if there are any unclaimed items, we will be placing the items into the Vinnies donation bin. Please remember to name your child’s clothing to help minimize missing items.
Grow free cart
Have you accessed our cart outside Reception?
Families, staff members and the wider community can drop off their surplus fruits, vegies, preserves, eggs, seeds, seedlings, etc and take someone else’s. It is about giving what you can and taking what you can. If you have anything in which you would like to donate please place it upon the cart
It is extremely important that you regularly check your MyGov as Centrelink may send you tasks and messages requesting you to update your details with them and to notify you of any changes to your entitlements. It is important to understand that it is the families’ responsibility to manage your CCS with Centrelink.
For some of our families the annual CCS cap may have been reached which means that until 30/6/19 full fees will apply. The annual cap will reset on 1/7/19.
As some of you may be aware, there have been many “glitches” (Centrelink’s own wording) in the new CCS system. We have attempted to notify you when we have identified changes to your CCS but, as we do not receive any notification this may not always be the case.
Some important points that you need to be aware of regarding CCS entitlements are that children can have up to 42 absences (including public holidays and sick days) before your CCS is no longer paid. If your child has 8 weeks of consecutive absences, Centrelink will cease your child’s CCS enrolment and recover any paid CCS back to their last physical day of attendance. If you travel overseas, CCS is no longer claimable if you are absent for 6 consecutive weeks. If any of these instances are likely to occur it is very important you discuss this with your Director.
Can you please ensure you regularly check your emails as this is the primary means of communication from the Administration Hub.
Can you believe we are half way through the year! Zoe and Hannah are continuing to work full-time in to term 3 with the support of Taylor and Rachel as occupancy grows. Looking back on term 2, we shared a lot of learning and precious moments. We supported children on their transition to the Grasshopper Classroom and built relationships as we welcomed new families.
In April we enjoyed the lovely Autumn weather, spending long periods of the day outside including meal times! We began the month investigating the culture in Mexico; together participating in bean sensory play, created spice mixes, decorated pinatas and sombreros, listened to stories in Spanish and cooked traditional Mexican food. In the second half of April as part of our group Educational Programme we offered ANZAC day and Easter inspired activities. Another highlight of April was group sensorial experiences, as we began exploring both scent and texture! The children got the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of comparing experiences; including sensorial balloons, messy play with food, essential oil paintings, scented playdough and spice jars!
In May, we welcomed back Zoe from her annual leave (congratulations Mrs Zanlorenzi!) and started creating our Mother’s Day gifts! The children baked goods and began painting tea-towels. We also continued our ‘trip around the world’ by exploring Egyptian culture through sand paintings, Egyptian flag collages and cooking falafels! ‘Sound’ and ‘Colour’ were our sensorial concept we explored in May; together engaging in musical circle times, identifying recorded sounds, using the light table, water-colour painting and mixing coloured playdough.
The activities of Practical Life in the Montessori curriculum are divided into three categories; Care of the Environment, Care of the Person (oneself) and Grace and Courtesy. Each fortnight we continue focus on an element from each category. Each element is chosen based on either following the children’s interests, parent input or intentional teaching. So far for ‘Care of the environment’ we have focussed on gardening, setting out play spaces, cleaning up after meal times and cleaning surroundings such as windows. For ‘Care of the person (oneself)’ we have concentrated on supporting the children through setting the table, safe risk taking and using a face washer. We have used circle time to promote our ‘Grace and Courtesy’ topics such as speaking clearly, negotiating, farewelling others and patience.
We look forward to another great term, thank you for trusting and supporting us.
The Starfish Team
The last three months have been busy in the Grasshopper room.
We have welcomed Lyndall to the room on a permanent basis and have had children transition in and out of our classroom. We farewelled Kia, Aisha, Celeste, Oliver and Esther as they graduated to the Canary Room and welcomed Jacob, Harper, Jaxton, Evie and Hamish from starfish.
Some of our highlights have included Shrove Tuesday, where the children made special chocolate chip banana pancakes with all children being introduced to an electric beater. The children all had a turn using the beater with some children stating it was noisy.
The Grasshopper children had the opportunity to bring in their bikes for Wheels day 2019. In preparation for the day all children were involved in making road signs for the carpark , these signs were used to direct the children safely around the carpark.
In the lead up to Easter the grasshopper children explored eggs through play, cooking and eating. With our egg play we explored boiled and raw eggs. Some of the grasshopper children were a little unsure about the eggs once they cracked them open into their bowls as they were slimly and cold however when they got cooked ones, they were more than willing to eat them. We also explored the other ways that eggs could be cooked by frying and scrambling them, when we fried the eggs the children had the chance to explore and crush the egg shells. With our scramble eggs we experimented by adding curry powder, the smell coming from the classroom drew another educators in.
In April we had a family visit with their reptiles. We were lucky enough not only meet them but to also pat and hold them. We met Smiley and Riley who are children carpet pythons, Tick Tock the salt water crocodile and Sandy the goanna. The Grasshopper children were intently watching as the reptiles moved around the room
Mother’s Day was the next classroom focus with all children busy making craft items to go home for their mums or special persons. Each of the children were offered the chance to derogate a mug, have their hands and feet painted and to make small chocolates.
Our last high light was our walk safely to school day. Lyndall and my self took the grasshoppers on a little walk. On our walk we saw many things “mountains, up mountains, red cars, plane, trolleys, yellow car and train tracks”.
Upon reflection from our month, the children’s learning has been focused on cooking and caring for our environments. Our children have cooked stir fry’s, pancakes, cakes, chocolate, toasties, pizza, spinach puffs, lemonade scones and macaroni and cheese.
The educators in the room have also been encouraging the children to takes reasonability for their environment by asking them to pack away their activity’s, offering the children more opportunities to assist in setting and packing up. They are becoming more confident in using the smalls brooms and have also been working on their fine motor skills in the classroom as they explore some new art resources.
Thanks – Vanda, Lyndall and Sarah
I’d like to say a warm welcome to all the children and families in the Canary room.
The transitioning children have settled well into the daily routine and have begun establishing friendships with peers and educators. If you have any concerns please speak to myself or Steph because we are more than happy to work with you to assist in you child’s development and learning.
Over the last couple of months, we have been learning about the seven continents and a selected country within each of the continents that has been based on the children’s backgrounds. This has given the children an opportunity to view different parts of the world, which broadens their perspectives about the world around us. The children have been involved in lots of hands on learning to reinforce learning about the selected continent.
In the Canary room we focus on a different sound letter-sound each fortnight and provide the children with lots of different learning to support the learning. Every day we introduce the sound of the fortnight by verbalising the sound and tracing around the letter then we look at pictures of objects that begin with the same sound. During lessons the children are encouraged to practice writing their names by tracing over their name tag and also writing the sound of the week in their writing books. The children seem to enjoy drawing pictures of objects that begin with the sound and also tracing the letter on the light box.
We have recently changed our fortnightly programme. Rather having one focus over the fortnight we will be embedding the different areas of the Montessori learning areas and having more intentional learning experiences that align with each of the Montessori learning areas –practical life, sensorial and creative, culture, literacy, numeracy and spontaneous groups. We provide these experiences on the shelves every day, but we will be intentionally planning experiences and providing group times on the experiences that support the Montessori learning areas to reinforce children’s learning and development.
The Canary daily routine and fortnightly plan are displayed in the room – I encourage families to provide feedback on both documents to ensure that we can provide the best environment that supports the children’s interests and needs.
Thanks, Beck and Steph.