May Report 2017
It is our pleasure to submit our report to the Committee of Management for the month of May.
We continue to enjoy a full complement of children in both groups and no changes to this are anticipated. A number of families are taking holidays in the near future and we thank them for informing us ahead of time. We hope you all have a wonderful time and look forward to corresponding with you over the period your children are not with us.
Inclusion is an important aspect of our Kindergarten philosophy. With our community and families’ needs in mind, we aim to promote diversity and equity so that people with additional needs may have equal opportunities to grow and learn. Research has shown that inclusive practice can be a positive experience for all involved. Children are able to develop mutual respect and acceptance of difference. Qualities such as empathy, kindness and connectedness are encouraged when children’s questions and discussions about differences are approached pro-actively. Our Kindergarten has children with additional needs and we work closely with them and their family. We thank the parents and caregivers who continue to sensitively promote positive feelings about difference and uniqueness.
Over the past month there have been a few absences due to ill health. Thank you for keeping unwell children at home. This ensures that illnesses do not spread and helps children to recover so that they may actively participate in our days at Kindy. We would also like to thank you for ringing ahead of time and letting us know if your child will be away due to circumstances (medical/ personal etc.)
After the delivery of eggs to Kindergarten in the final weeks of last term, the children had to exercise patience whilst waiting for the chickens to hatch. Once the process had begun, eager faces crowded the incubator to watch the baby chickens. The children discovered the life cycle of a chicken and discussed how to take care of them. Designs for the chicken coop being created by the local Scout Group were created and drawn by the children and an interest in nests, eggs and birds in our natural environment was stimulated.
End of Term 1 fun
Miss Jane’s families were able to enjoy a final day picnc celebration in the garden which was a great opportunity for families to come together, but unfortunately Miss Lauren’s families’ celebration was caught in the crosshairs of the terrible weather the Gold Coast endured at that time. It’s hoped another get together can be planned at some stage during Term 2.
Miss Jane’s absence
Whilst Miss Jane was in Europe visiting her daughter Claire, Miss Lauren worked with her group for the first two weeks of Term 2. The children loved having a new teacher for these days and upon Miss Jane’s return, regaled her with tales of what Miss Lauren “read”, “said”, “sang” and “played”! Even though Miss Mandy and Miss Kate were here as usual, being able to adjust to new and unexpected events and people, indicates growing emotional resilience and self-confidence. Life is full of unexpected things and the internal strength to cope with this begins growing from the earliest of days.
As Term 2 continues, we are seeing more confident artists and engineers. The children are comfortably engaging with the diverse experiences that are offered. Mathematical learning is increasing in a child led, incidental way. As the children arrange resources/materials (including your recycled collage materials), they explore relationships between objects (symmetry, one to one correspondence, dimension and patterns). Castles, robots, dolls, cars and other interest-driven creations build foundations for children’s understandings of concepts such as number, algebra, measurement and geometry. The ability to problem solve and perservere during their design process shows high level thinking and reasoning.
Our Nature Days with Miss Skye have begun with great success. Miss Jane’s children have ventured over to the park, after many discussions about the excursions. Miss Lauren’s children will have their turn this week. They have made lists about provisions we may need. They’re thinking about how to be safe when we leave the Kindergarten grounds. What can we do to help each other? What can we do to protect the environment we’re visiting? What will we find when we’re there? What will we do when we’re there? Who has been to ‘forests’ before? What knowledge can you share? They are able to make deeper connections with the natural world as they engage in safe risk taking (such as climbing a tree or walking across the carpark). The children enjoy ‘fishing’ in the river with self-made rods and nets. They also enjoy finding interesting things such as textured branches, birds and stones! In these ways, the children are feeling empowered to develop new skills and a sense of confidence in their own capabilities. We look forward to many adventures together.
Artist In Residence
Miss Alanna has continued to work with the children as they explore colour and its properties more deeply. Experimenting with mixing colours encourages children to dive into the mindset of exploring their ideas and how to express them. The process of thinking creatively when they are presented with different materials/resources is a valuable skill. The children also began to understand the impact of their ‘signature’ as they practiced writing their names. Miss Alanna introduced the concept of patterning and how they can be seen and found every day in the world around us. By creating patterns (in different contexts) the children are developing early numeracy skills such as counting, shape recognition and sequencing. She has returned this week for Term 2 and we have been working on ‘sketching’. Please feel free to have a look in the Art Studio to see our work.
Thank you for actively encouraging your child to participate in the morning routine upon arrival. As the children organise themselves and do their jobs, a sense of responsibility and confidence is their own abilities are developed. Morning discussions on the mat are often stimulated by artefacts, ideas and experiences that the children wish to share. (Topics have included meteorites, nests etc.). If the children would like to bring something in, we encourage them to find something special that “no one else has ever seen”.
Whilst we acknowledge the boys and girls might need a ‘cuddle toy’ at rest time, we want to minimise the bringing of toys from home. We have lots of resources at kindergarten for the children to play with and we find that personal toys can often limit their engagement throughout the day and create a sense of anxiousness because they do not wish to share. These loved toys can also be lost or damaged during play times.
Miss Jane and Miss Lauren attended a Professional Development Workshop on Saturday 18th March. The workshop was valuable and presented theory and strategies of how best to assist children in developing executive functions. These functions include self-regulation, listening and memory skills. This workshop inspired the Kindergarten to be involved with an early childhood study that will be conducted by QUT and Monash University. This study will begin this term, with a researcher coming to the kindergarten to observe the children and their use of executive functions. You will have received a notice about this and if you already have not done so, please return your permission slip to us as soon as you can.
We have two students with us here at Kindergarten. Erica Lambden began working with us last year as a volunteer and as her interest in working with young children and their families grew, she decided to undertake study. She uses her time with us both in assisting Skye at Playgroup and working with both groups at Kindergarten to fulfil her Practicum requirements as part of her course. We also have Fernanda Da Silveira, who has joined Miss Jane’s group on Tuesdays. Fernanda is studying a Diploma in Child Care through TAFE and will be with us for the rest of the year as she fulfils her study requirements. The students have the benefit of seeing and participating in high quality education and care programs and when we have the involvement of mature, focussed and dedicated students, our work with our families is enhanced.
Our Mothers’ Day celebrations have been held this week. To date, Miss Jane’s children welcomed their Mummies, along with a special Grandma and a special Popa, to lunch yesterday. It was a great success filled with lovely gestures and special moments. Miss Lauren’s Mummies will participate in their beautiful lunch on Friday. The children will have prepared surprises, some songs and helped make beautiful meals for some very important people in their lives. We wish all Mums the happiest of Mothers’ Day and hope some special memories are made for you.
Our next Working Bee has been rescheduled from Sunday 21 May to the following weekend, Sunday 28 May. Please see the notice on the sign in table where you can write your name down if you would like to participate this time.
As our second term zooms along already, we thank you all once again for your support and participation as we work together for the children and our beautiful Kindergarten.
Jane Hely and Lauren Regan