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