July Report 2017


Wednesday 19 July, 2017.

Once again, it is our pleasure to present our monthly report.


Our groups continue to enjoy their full complement of children. We welcomed Napat and his family to Miss Lauren’s group this month as a vacancy had arisen after Ryan and his family moved further south.


Generally, the health of the centre has been good over the past weeks although half of this has been spent away from the Kindergarten due to holidays. We hope to continue to keep the community healthy as the cooler months pass by. As usual, we are grateful to families for keeping unwell children at home so they can recover and so that no one else catches the germs. Handwashing continues to be a major focus for us as we encourage the children in personal health and hygiene.


Upon both groups’ return for the new term, new directions are already being pursued. The children are continuing to pursue an active interest in our gorgeous outdoor environment. There are many Chasing Games and other collaborative projects being carried over from last term. There are concerns about working together to discuss so that everyone is safe and happy. The children respond well to these types of efforts and as such are keen to be fair and just. This skill is essential to be able to negotiate our world, so practice in this environment is welcome.

Skye’s return this term has seen a new interest in camp fires. We have been very fortunate to have been given a fire pit by Bunnings’ and it’s already been put to use. There were long, earnest discussions about what safety considerations needed to be taken into account and preparations were made together beforehand so everyone’s safety was ensured. When these kinds of challenges are put to children, they draw on all their previous knowledge and rise sensibly to the occasion. We enjoyed preparing the fire together before Skye used her flint to light it. We watched as the adults toasted marshmallows over the flames. We sang songs and watched the fire dance and the smoke billow skyward. Afterwards, some children helped to extinguish the flames and discard the remains after collecting the cool charcoal for use in our drawing.

Both groups are thinking about the world and its myriad lands and peoples. By looking at our own family origins we will be beginning to develop a deeper understanding of the innate connectedness we have with many other cultures and indeed with each other. Everyone hails from somewhere and by exploring those similarities and differences we can come to see our common threads and in turn feel more empathy and interest towards others. There will is a display on the wall in our entrance foyer, which shows just how far some people have travelled to eventually become a part of our Kindergarten community. It is fascinating and really heartwarming. Please take a look!

A definite highlight for everyone next week will be our excursion by bus to the Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre. This experience never fails to have a profound and long-lasting effect on all who have it. Everyone has received their relevant notice by now. We like to have as many adults join us as possible on this journey. One per child is our ideal situation. Miss Jane’s group will have their day on Tuesday 25 July and Miss Lauren’s children will go on Friday 28 July.

New Image2

(Children are showing increasing respect for and understanding of environments. They are exploring their role in caring for these. Connectedness  – Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline)

Miss Alanna will return this term in her role as Artist-in-Residence. The children will be exploring the art world further under her guidance. Initially she will be helping us all acquaint ourselves further with clay and how we can use certain techniques to express ideas and understandings.

Japanese lessons began this term. Miss Emily has visited both groups now and the children are learning songs and games and with these, new vocabulary. A greeting song is already familiar, as are the names and sounds of some well-known animals. It is so interesting to hear how easily the children can recall words and phrases just learned. They truly are in an ideal position to develop and remember this knowledge. Miss Emily’s cheerful and enthusiastic presentation helps keep the children focused.


Last week, all teaching staff attended the biennial Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange Conference in Sydney. Following Jane’s amazing trip to Reggio Emilia in April 2016, where she embarked on a week-long intensive Study Tour, the natural progression to a group experience was obvious. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is not one that can be written on a piece of paper and passed around so everyone will become knowledgeable and confident about utilizing its ideas in their own individual contexts.

The Reggio Emilia Education Project is already over 50 years old and continues to evolve and change as the teachers and other staff immerse themselves in it. It was born of a vision of Loris Malaguzzi, who was a teacher in Reggio Emilia following the second World War. He believed that the way children learn and develop should be paramount to the work undertaken with them by teachers.

The centres in Reggio Emilia are inextricably intertwined with the local community as well as the wider context of Italy. They do not provide us with a model, but rather the opportunity to reflect on our own educational theories, practice and organization.

And reflect we have! The four conference days have given Jane, Lauren, Mandy and Kate an incredible opportunity to think about our own beliefs about how children learn, what our role is within their learning, how we can best facilitate what we believe to be their individual explorations of their own identity and all that this entails.

We arrived back on the Gold Coast brimming with ideas about how we can all move together towards changing the ways we work with our children so we can honour their identity and do their journey justice. We are all agreed that we must go slowly as we adjust our thinking and methods of working. We will meet and reflect on a very regular basis so as to adjust as necessary.

It will be about utilizing our time each day in ways that allow us to work with the children in much smaller groups so as to be able to truly engage with individuals and actually listen so as to hear what they are trying to tell us about their self-awareness and their perspective on their world. To do this we are experimenting with ways to support each other so we can all take moments alone with small groups for meaningful conversations and experiences.

This conference was a “gift” to us that will change us professionally and we will always be very grateful for the support of our Committee as we take our new knowledge and inspiration forward.

Prior to the end of last term, we began to make contact with the families whose children will join us in 2018. It is hard to believe that this time is once again upon us. We will soon begin organizing the distribution of Enrolment Packs and holding Orientation Days and Play Days. It appears that our groups have already reached their full complement.

There is a notice on the sign-in table asking families whose children are going to Prep next year, to write down which school their child will go to next year. This gives everyone a clear picture of who else their child may know and encourages us all to begin to establish connections. If you’re still deciding on particular venues, you’ll also be able to use this list to chat with other families.

Thank you all once again for your support as we begin new journeys and continue to relish our days together.

Jane Hely                                                 Lauren Regan

Co-Director                                                   Co-Director

May Report 2017

May Report 2017


May, 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.)

Kindergarten Curriculum:

Living eggs

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.

Nature Day

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.

Circle Time

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.

General Business:

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


October Report 2016

October Report 2016


October, 2016

Wednesday 12 October, 2016.

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


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

All positions for our 2017 groups have been filled and an Orientation Day for these families was held on Wednesday 14 September, 2016. There will be further opportunities for families to connect and familiarise themselves with our beautiful environment before starting in the new year.


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 shortlived.

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, Mandy, Jakki and I attended Kindy over several days to prepare for the new and final term together. The room was completely redesigned and Mandy and I set about recreating the environment so as to place new emphases on areas which encouraged 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.

In Term 4 Group 1 has 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, bush butterfly, koala, goanna to name a few. Group 2 will enjoy this same experience on Thursday 13 October.

The new term also meant a new way of working with the children for Mrs T in her role as our Outdoor Teacher. After much preparation and discussion, we have finally begun our “Nature Days” and the first was held last week for Group 1 with enormous success. The children were completely engaged with the environment on the far side of our local park. They moved freely through the bushes, trees, water’s edge and leafy undergrowth as they explored this gorgeous and mysterious environment. There were opportunities to be creative and to challenge ourselves. We will continue to support the children’s ideas about how to enhance their connection to this place and to extend their work there so as to make it relevant and challenging. We are all looking forward to presenting the same opportunities to Group 2 from next week.

General Business:

Mandy and I will be attending a Reggio Emilia Australia seminar this Saturday 15 October at the Southern Cross University campus at Tugun. We are looking forward to exploring the Reggio philosophy together and hope to bring new insights to our work with the children as a result of this occasion. We are also anticipating being able to share our knowledge with Kate and Jakki, as well as the families as we incorporate more and more of this philosophy into our work.

Barefoot in the Park will occur once again this year. It will be held in Firth Park, Mudgeeraba on Wednesday 26 October from 10:00am-1:00pm. Please see your separate notice outlining details about this very important day in our centre’s calendar. We look forward to seeing you all there.

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              



June Report 2016


June, 2016

Wednesday 15 June, 2016

As our second term draws quickly to a close, it is my pleasure to present our Monthly Report.


We continue to enjoy a full complement of children in both groups and no changes to this are anticipated.


There has been the usual number of absences due to a variety of illnesses, but thankfully, no epidemics! We are grateful to parents for being vigilant about keeping unwell children at home until they are no longer contagious. Hand washing is still the easiest and most effective way to prevent the spread of disease. We continue to use a specific waste bin for tissues (The “Sniffle Bin”) and this has proven to be very popular.


Both groups have been very busy these past weeks as they continue to explore their interests and the environment here at Kindergarten.

The onset of cooler weather has altered our work together somewhat. The mornings are crisp and we are finding ourselves staying indoors a little longer to give the grass time to dry and warm up before venturing outside.

The introduction of our new overhead projector (OHP) has encouraged some creative experimentation in both groups. The use of everyday items on the projector’s glass top has encouraged us to look more carefully at the shapes of many other things around us. What we envisage may appear on the wall as a shadow is often very different from what we do see. The children are hypothesizing as they work and experimenting to achieve certain results. The OHP also lends itself perfectly to imaginative story telling as we use a beautiful set of transparent sheets with a variety of images that support ideas and thoughts.

The art of story telling is learned in that children must first put thoughts into an order and then reproduce these in context so as to make sense. There is a process to telling as story and these props are perfect for working on this skill.

The Reggio Approach to early childhood learning actively supports children following and developing ideas through the use of resources such as these. We are beginning to work more towards helping children use them with success. This journey will continue long term for us all.

Outdoors, there are lots of projects being developed and collaborated on. The hammering table with its accessories is a popular place to visit of late. Through Miss Kate’s contacts, we have been fortunate to finally find a regular supplier of wood offcuts so we can continue to offer this wonderful experience.

Our beautiful, natural environment, although a welcoming and exciting place for children, is also home to many kinds of wildlife. This includes bees, both native and European. The latter, as in many past years, are currently gathering in the blossoms of the massive gum tree above the sandpit. They are falling onto the ground around the sand and grassy areas nearby. Because there have been a couple of children who have been stung, we are all currently wearing our shoes outdoors each day. This means that we are also being very vigilant about how the children climb and use other pieces of equipment. (Climbing barefoot is safer than with shoes.) Once the ‘bee season’ has passed and the weather is warm enough, we will remove our shoes once again.

Although the children’s work is wide ranging, our report cannot contain everything we think about, discuss and do each month with the children. Our Big Book/Day Book contains a greater amount of information for families to peruse. These are available every day for you to read and discuss with your children. The weekly newsletter that goes home is another source of wonderful information for everyone to access as well. Please feel free to contribute your thoughts or reactions to our books. They belong to us all!


Mrs T has been working each week with both groups as our Outdoor Teacher. She left at the end of May to spend two months in London with her daughter Hannah and her family. This term she has continued to help us think about all manner of ways we can contribute meaningfully to our efforts in sustainability here at Kindergarten. It is envisaged that these practices can find themselves slipping into the way our families live also. Upon Mrs T’s return, we will explore more ways that we can connect with our natural environment, that are respectful and inclusive for all.

Amanda, Deb and I attended a seminar on Wednesday 25 May, which further explored the notion of risky play in early childhood settings. It was facilitated by Stephen Gallen whose ideas and knowledge are inspirational when we consider our responsibilities towards children’s safety in conjunction with their need to trust and challenge their own abilities. Research shows that we are not doing children any favours by mollycoddling and protecting them to the point where they have had no experience of testing their own skills and taking some well thought through risks. Children who have not had the opportunity to take calculated risks when young, are often the ones who take unnecessary and ill-considered risks as teenagers and young adults.

On Wednesday 1 June, Amanda and I attended a networking meeting at C&K Mudgeeraba where the annual Barefoot in the Park Day was discussed. This event has been held in a variety of forms here on the Gold Coast for over 35 years and our centre has been involved in almost all of them. It is a special day in the Gold Coast Community Kindergartens’ calendar and an opportunity for us all to come together in one space to celebrate our region’s children and families. We meet each year during Children’s Week in October and more specifically on International Children’s Day, which is the Wednesday of this week. Centres take turns to be the coordinators and this year, as well as last year, Labrador Kindergarten is at the helm. Our centre was responsible for organizing it for almost 10 years in a row a while back, so we’re off the hook for quite a while! J

Last Wednesday 8 June, families in Miss Jane’s group visited the centre for a quick 10 minute chat about their children’s progress so far this year. Thank you to those families who were able to join in on this opportunity. As Miss Amanda’s group has only been working with her for one term, these chats will occur early next term. Watch for a relevant notice coming soon.

This afternoon, our centre will host a Gowrie Networking Meeting from 3:45pm – 5:30pm where all Gold Coast based Gowrie affiliates will attend to work together on Professional Development. It will centre this time on “Transitions”, which is part of Quality Area 1 of the National Curriculum. This focuses on Educational Program and Practices. All centres will share and discuss their own practices. These are always very supportive and informative meetings.

Next Wednesday 22 June will be a Pupil-Free Day for our centre. During these days, all staff are in attendance as we come together to reflect on our past term and to plan for the direction our centre will take over the next term. Third term is always busy as we begin to make arrangements and prepare for our 2017 intake. On this day we will all be updating our CPR qualifications and also meeting with Ms Sue Brown, the Deputy Principal of Broadbeach State School, who will be sharing the specific local results of the recent AEDC census. This gives a picture of what is happening in our immediate region and will provide us with information that we may use to continue to meet the specific needs of those in our community.

Our journey towards truly reflecting the National Quality Framework continues. The ongoing work on our Quality Improvement Plan also continues. This document, which is on our sign-in table every day, grows and changes continually as we work to set plans in place to represent what is considered best practice in Early Childhood Education. Miss Mandy, Miss Jakki and Miss Kate are also a part of these professional conversations. There continues to be many opportunities for us to consult with all members of our community and beyond so as to best meet the needs of all stakeholders. We are enjoying sharing our QIP with all families. Please let us know if you would like to discuss it with us. We’re always keen to talk about ourselves! 😉

Our centre is affiliated with Gowrie Qld, and as such we are required to use the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline as our basis for curriculum development.

The QKLG has five Learning and Development Areas which must be considered. One of these is Wellbeing.  According to the QKLG:

A kindergarten child who has a strong sense of wellbeing:

  • is building a sense of autonomy and wellbeing 

- they delight in making decisions and choices (a sense of agency)

- they have courage and resilience to manage change and challenges

-they are building ways to understand and regulate their emotions

  • explores ways to show care and concern and interact positively with others

-they have an interest in and a desire to interact with others

-they are considering and empathising with others.

  • explores ways to promote their own and others’ health and safety

-they manage personal hygiene and self-care

-they manage ways to stay healthy and safe

  • explores ways to promote physical wellbeing

-they develop control and strength for manipulating objects, tools and   equipment

-they have large movement skills, movement control, coordination and strength

-they have the confidence to engage in movement challenges

**According to definitions, the "sense of agency" refers to the subjective awareness that one is initiating, executing, and controlling one's own volitional actions in the world.

In our view, "Agency" is more than just initiative or ownership. It’s a powerful concept and tells us how much a child is engaged and in control of their own learning, how much control they have over what is around them, and it requires us to question our own expectations of them in that process. It’s about children facilitating their own learning and how we adults see that, allow that and plan for it.

Stopping to really listen to children is more than just asking - it requires respect as well as thoughtful and authentic consideration.

Giving children agency at Kindergarten means that we are genuinely including them in the direction we take each and every day. The journey is meaningful to all because it truly reflects those who take it. This is an ongoing endeavour for us.

Our last week of the term ends on Friday 24 June, 2016. Prior to that we will be asking families to spare a half hour or so to assist us with preparing the centre for the upcoming holidays. During these two weeks, we will be working on and off in the centre to organise and improve our environment.

We will also be assisting where possible with preparations for our Cake Stall on Election Day, Saturday 02 July 2016. Sadly, our centre will not be a Polling Booth but we will hold our stall at the nearest booth, the Senior Citizen’s Centre in TE Peters Drive. A note about this will be distributed this week. Please help us if you can.

Kindergarten will resume in Term 3 on Monday 11 July 2016 for Miss Jane’s group and on Thursday 14 July 2016 for Miss Amanda’s group. By that time, Mrs T will have returned from her adventures and will have so much to tell us! We’ll look forward to it.

Finally, grateful thanks go to our Committee of Management and to all our families for your wonderful support once again this term. We look forward to another busy and happy 10 weeks together.

Be safe.


Jane Hely                                         Amanda Driessen

Co-Director                                      Co-Director

February 2016


February, 2016

17 February, 2016

It is my pleasure to submit my first report to the Committee of Management for 2016.


Our year has begun with a full complement of children in the centre. A staggered start to both groups (half of each group entering the centre for the first time on two parts of a day in the first week) afforded everyone the opportunity to settle in at their own pace, and thus avoid much of the anxiety that usually accompanies ‘first times’. After a few minor bumps in the road we are all truly on the way to happy, secure starts for everyone.


Thankfully there have been few absences since our term began. Hopefully this will auger

well for the rest of the year! Thank you for keeping unwell children at home until they’re on the road to recovery. By nipping illnesses in the bud this way, epidemics can be largely avoided.

Kindergarten Curriculum:

The children have settled in well and some friendships are already becoming established. Our emerging curriculum requires input from the children regarding the day’s activities as well as the day to day organisation of meal times and tidying up after ourselves. They have accepted these responsibilities eagerly and look forward each day to the time when the names of the daily helpers are revealed!

Our Circle Time each morning is a success. The children arrive and, after completing their morning chores, move promptly to the green mat to greet each other. Thank you for actively encouraging your children to participate in the morning routine upon arrival. Our settling song denotes the beginning of our day together and signals the opportunity to share news and discuss interests. (Our “Welcome to Country” greeting also encourages us to be appreciative of those who came before us. Our local tribes were the Yugambeh people.)

The introduction of little name tags which are used by the children to label their work with ease has been popular. In the past some parents have been a little alarmed by this because they think that if the children are simply selecting their name tag to name work, they will then cease to practice writing their name themselves. We look on the tags as an adjunct to name writing. They are providing another opportunity for the children to continue to reinforce their knowledge of their own name, as well as those of their friends. When children first start practising their writing, they have to work very hard on the fine motor skills required to do it well. For this they need plenty of space and a smooth, unimpeded surface, along with larger pens or crayons which are easier to grip. It is difficult to name a wet, wobbly collage construction themselves. The independence gained when writing one’s own name on work is more than equaled by a child finding a name tag amongst 23 and attaching it to work unaided. There are always lots of opportunities for the children to practise writing skills in other ways.

The Belonging Stones, which were introduced early in the year, are a tangible way for children to quickly connect with their Kindergarten and those in it. Our wellbeing is fundamental to our happiness and children need to feel that they belong here and are a part of a community. They’re part of the basketful of stones so they’re important.

Over the past weeks the children have had opportunities to explore their creative side through the presentation of art activities. As everyone comes to feel more confident and comfortable in the Kindergarten environment they will be able to decide on many of their endeavours by themselves. One of our main goals is to give children the opportunity to explore their own strengths and interests through decision-making and free choice. Equipment and materials are freely available to everyone to use as they require. Naturally, should the need arise, we will be there to help stimulate their explorations and assist to send these in the directions most meaningful to them.

Outdoors, many of the children are very involved in all aspects of the playground environment. Each day the children have the chance to explore those areas which are always available – ie: sand, water, mud (!), swinging apparatus, our amazing climbing equipment, etc. Within these areas, there are many new and changing accessories or configurations which alter and evolve as the children’s interests and skills ebb and flow. It is through our observation of the children’s interactions with each other, ongoing discussion with them and the materials provided that we begin to see the path that the developing curriculum will take.

Already we have had visitors here at Kindergarten. We have met and worked with Mrs T in our Outdoor environment. They children have helped clear and replant the vegetable patch with her. They have planted their own bean seeds so as to begin to create a Bean Teepee. Group 1 is growing the beans into stalks and Group 2 will plant these so as to create a living teepee in the garden. Mrs T will work with us over the year on sustainable practices and a deeper connection to the world outdoors. We will focus on considered risk taking and physical skills which encourage resilience and perseverance. Of course these traits carry through with us into adulthood. Practising them as early as possible is very desirable.

Miss Alanna has begun working with us in the Art Studio this week. Alanna, our Artist-in-Residence, will be guiding the children throughout the year as we explore the world of self-expression through artistic pursuits. We have begun our journey by thinking about what an artist is and examining the concepts of aspect when arranging paper before working (portrait and landscape). Even the most accomplished artists had some guidance and training in techniques and methods before they could produce what is in their head and heart. In this way, we can give children the skills and then the opportunity to use these skills in whatever ways they see fit. Alanna will work with the groups each fortnight and introduce new concepts and methods for examination.

General Business:

The Afternoon Chats to be held this week for each group will provide an opportunity for some common questions to be addressed. Thank you to those parents who are able to come along. If you aren’t able to attend, a small handout with some points of discussion is available for you to collect.

Following an offer to decline inclusion, a list will be distributed to everyone, which contains the names and telephone numbers of every family in the centre. This is to make contact within the centre easier and more expedient.

The Dads will be joining us next Saturday morning, 27 February, 2016, for Fathers’ Morning. The Group 1 Dads will be able to bring their Kindy girl or boy for an hour’s fun from 9:00-10:00am. The Group 2 Dads will come along after that from 10:30 – 11:30am. The kindergarten will be set up as it would for a typical Kindergarten day and everyone will be able to move around the centre freely and explore together. This short and casual visit will give Dads (or significant others) the chance to see the environment their child will spend a great deal of time in this year. It is hoped that by knowing the spaces and the other people the children mention, lots of conversation and feelings of connection will arise.

Our first few weeks together appear to be a portent of the year to come – ie: exciting, happy, productive and meaningful! We’re looking forward to many days of fun and sharing with you all.

Jane Hely





Enjoying a funny song together…



I’ve noticed one thing about parents. No matter what stage your child is in, the parents who have older children always tell you the next stage is worse. Dave Barry