CO-DIRECTORS’ REPORT October, 2018

CO-DIRECTORS’ REPORT October, 2018

It is our pleasure to present our report for the month.

Enrolments:
A full complement of children continues to be enjoyed by both groups and no changes to this are expected in the foreseeable future.

All bar one position in each of our 2019 groups have been filled and an Orientation Evening for these families was held on Wednesday 19 September, 2018. There will be further opportunities for
families to connect and familiarise themselves with our beautiful environment before starting in the new year. Our Play Days are coming very soon.

Health:
Generally speaking, the health of everyone here at Kindergarten as we moved towards the end of Term 3 and into Term 4 was good. Occasional absences due to various illnesses occurred but thankfully these were short-lived.

Kindergarten Curriculum:
Following last month’s report, the centre closed for the Term 3 holiday, when a well-earned rest occurred for everyone. During that time, staff attended Kindy over several days to prepare for the new and final term together. The room was once again reconfigured to better reflect our growing knowledge of and interest in the Reggio Emilia philosophy and we set about organising the environment so as to place new emphasis on areas which encourage the children to explore and experience their familiar environment in a whole new way. Upon both groups’ return we have found this to be the case. It has been a positive change and new work and projects are emerging.

The use of clay, wood, brown paper and other natural resources we can access alongside the materials we offer, has enabled us to provide opportunities for the children to express their ideas in myriad ways. The Reggio philosophy is based on the acknowledgment that a child is competent and must be able to make their knowledge known in ways that are truly meaningful to their experience. These are, more often than
not, tangible and artistically based. Our role as is to listen and observe so as to try to anticipate and additionally, support the journey that may be undertaken. We are not there to simply provide the answers to the questions that may be posed by the children as they work and discuss their thoughts. Giving answers serves no one, least of all the children. They must be free to find out and theorise. Correct answers will always come later. It is the thought processes that children have which lead them to investigate and research and then ultimately build their bank of knowledge. They build confidence in their own abilities to discover and therefore continue to seek new information. They become even more active learners!

Miss Alanna has returned this term also. In line with our Reggio Emilia explorations, Alanna has been supporting the children as they work on self- knowledge and expression through the continued examination of “self”. They are representing their ideas, thoughts and feelings through the creation of their body’s outline. Being given the practical skills to use tools and materials in a variety of ways empowers the children to continue to do this whilst they are currently unable to use words and writing as a form of self-expression.

During this week, both groups have enjoyed a visit from Aunty Di, a member of our local Aboriginal tribe, who presented her “Koori Kids” program. The children engaged with her in a corroboree where they discussed “the tribe’s problems” together and discussed how to solve them. They danced to the beat of clap sticks and acted out animal movements. They thought about all the food that the tribes could find and catch in the bush and the ocean. The boys tried their hand at playing the didgeridoo. Girls are not permitted to play this instrument due to aboriginal rule. Aunty Di needed to gain special permission from the elders to be able to demonstrate its sound. We finished the wonderful sessions by having our face painted with authentic white ochre. The children chose which animal they wanted to be – a shark, rainbow lorikeet, koala, goanna to name a few.

General Business:
Our annual Disco will be held on Friday 19 October from 5:30 – 7:30pm. This year it will be at BAVIA House which will certainly take pressure off staff as in previous years, we have had to
completely pull the centre down and reconstruct the room in the same night. There have also been many issues with damage done to our lovely centre by older siblings in the past, so we are pleased
to be avoiding this now. We look forward to another fun and memorable night as we welcome past, present and future families to our event.

Bandanna Day will be held once again this year. We will celebrate on Wednesday 24 October and Friday 26 October 2018. On this day, we will all don a bandanna which has been purchased for each person by their family. Some fun activities will ensue. All money raised will be donated to CanTeen which is an organisation that is close to our hearts at Broadbeach Waters Kindergarten. Miss Mandy’s lovely daughter Sharni was diagnosed with Leukaemia 10 years ago and amongst other worthy organisations, CanTeen stepped in to assist Sharni and her family through this traumatic time in their lives. This event enables us to show our appreciation for the wonderful work this organisation does for so many families around Australia.

Both Co-Directors will be attending a Gold Coast meeting of the Queensland Early Childhood Sustainability Network on Saturday 27 October 2018. This will be held at a centre in Elanora. At this particular meeting, early childhood professionals will engage in discussions which explore the benefits of linking sustainability education with Australian Indigenous cultural education and how both of these may enjoy simultaneous priority in early childhood programs. We will also examine some centres’ ongoing endeavours to develop their Reconciliation Action Plans. Ours is already in
development.

We are continuing to plan for our week of Professional Learning to be held in Week 10 of this term. All staff will be travelling to Melbourne to visit the Reggio Emilia Exchange Documentation Centre for a personalised seminar. We will also be making contact with several Reggio Emilia inspired centres and spending time observing their beautiful environments and connecting with staff. Constant discussions and meetings for we staff continue to lead us towards a deeper understanding of our role as we incorporate more and more of this philosophy into our work.

We look forward to our final weeks together. This is always the most exciting and eventful time of the year for the children, and it passes by so quickly. Don’t blink!

Jane Hely & Lauren Regan

Co-Directors

CO-DIRECTORS’ REPORT September, 2018

Co-Director’s Report September 2018

Wednesday 12th September 2018

It is our pleasure to submit this report to the Committee of Management.

Enrolments:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Riaz and his family have relocated south. To fill this position in Group two, a child enrolled in this group for next year will attend during fourth term.

 Health:

With this cold and flu season drawing to a close we would like to thank families for keeping unwell children at home. A gentle reminder that children can not come to Kindergarten within 24 hours of vomiting, diarrhoea or head lice.

 Kindergarten Curriculum:

As third term continues to ‘zoom’ along, so to does the confidence of the children. We have seen more discussion and sharing from quieter children, during our group experiences. Many boys and girls come to Kindergarten with a plan for their day, whereas others wish to finish projects from earlier days. This continuity of self-driven learning is evidence of the children’s growing independence and self-awareness.

Miss Emily continues to present engaging and energetic language experiences for the children as they learn the Japanese vocabulary for food, animals, colours, questions and etiquette. Recently, the children were able to verbalise the correct answers to Miss Emily’s assessment (a friendly quiz). The progress made by all children gives testament to the well-researched fact that learning another language at a young age is most successful. There are a handful of girls and boys who use rest time to recall previous learning and happily sing Japanese songs during rest time.

Miss Alanna supports the children as they progress with their exploration of identity. Using many different mediums and techniques, the children have pulled apart the many facets that make them both similar to peers and uniquely individual. A greater self-awareness and sense of belonging has blossomed from this journey. The children are respectful of differences and recognise that their emotions have a visual affect on their facial features and body language.  Artwork will now be displayed in books and folders which are located at our art studio. Children will be able to take these artworks home at the end of year with their portfolios.

Our ‘Barefoot Goes Bush’ day, held in the beautiful Tallebudgera Valley was very successful. The outdoor learning and large group collaboration worked seamlessly ensuring families took home fond memories and developed deeper connections with the natural world. We would like to thank all involved in making it such a positive experience. We envision using this location again and continuing to offer families from both groups this wonderful opportunity each year.

This years Book Week theme of ‘Find Your Treasure’ inspired us to focus on the literary aspect of this celebration. We moved away from the dress up parade, however still provided opportunities for children to bring in and share their favourite stories.  The children shared a range of literature, from information books, early readers and traditional stories that had been handed down from previous generations within their family.  This reduced the pressure on families to create costumes and emphasised the true meaning of Book Week. That is, coming together to read and share quality literature for the Early Childhood sector.

We would like to thank the father’s and grandfathers for joining us at Kindergarten to celebrate Father’s Day. The children had spent previous weeks excitedly preparing the treats and gifts for their loved one. Most special was the time they shared and the memories made during this experience.

Suzette visited our Kindergarten once again, to tell a story of the creatures of the sea. Using colourful language, Suzette imparted her knowledge of the migration patterns of whales. The boys and girls remained captivated throughout the story as musical instruments and colourful resources were used. Suzette incorporated gentle movements (yoga and breathing techniques) throughout the experience. This helps children to develop self-awareness of their bodies and self-regulation of their physical actions, emotions and thoughts.

General Business:

On Saturday 8th September we received a visit from the designer and creator of Kindy Portal’. We were joined by other local Lady Gowrie Kindergartens, as we sat through a demonstration of the application.  This safe web application can be used to document children’s learning and provide an online portfolio of children’s Kindergarten journey.  We believe that this avenue will more sustainable and minimise our printing costs. The staff have agreed to move forward next year with this application and will be introducing it in term one, 2019. We look forward to supporting the parents as they engage in this wonderful new way of communicating and sharing their children’s learning journey.

Term 4 begins on Monday 8th October for Miss Jane’s Group and Thursday 11th October for Miss Lauren’s Group. 

As this is the last report before end of term, we would like to sincerely thank you for your continued support as we work together for the betterment of all children and their families in our lovely Kindergarten community.

 

Jane Hely and Lauren Regan

      CO-DIRECTORS