Blackwood Family Newsletter September 2019

Director’s Notes

Welcome to Precious Cargo Blackwood

I would like to welcome all our new families to the centre, we have had some interesting weather over the last couple months. I am definitely looking forward to spring..

As the end of year is approaching, please bear in mind your bookings for next year. Please log on to your my family lounge if you need to make any changes for 2020, to ensure you have the correct booking for your child/ren. If you have any questions please see Vanessa or Myself at reception.  

Reminder that if you wish to amend your booking for your child, either by reducing care or cancelling your child’s booking. Please remember we do require four (4) weeks in writing.

Lost property- Just a reminder to not forget to check the lost property boxes outside your child’s classroom if you are missing any items. We also have a lost property display in the reception of missing items. At the end of the month any items that are unclaimed we place in the RSPCA bin for donation. Please label everything as we are beginning to have a lot of items that are being unclaimed.

Don’t forget you can still enrol your child in the following classes:

Happy Feet classes on Tuesday’s at 2.30pm and 3.00pm. 

Mindfulness and movement for kids on Wednesday at 11am and Thursday 9.30am. 

Please see reception staff if you would like more information.

Dates to remember:

Please join us on Friday 29th November 2019 between 6.00-8.00 to celebrate for our end of year celebration.

Renae Speck

Montessori Moments:

Throughout the month of July, the staff team attended 3 Montessori training sessions. During these sessions, we learned about the role of the adult, prepared environments and grace and courtesy. 

I have noticed that the educators are already implementing their knowledge with in the classrooms and into their interactions with the children.

I have been working closely in the rooms to help them achieve their monthly goals.

Nursery- the educators have focused on the children using glasses to drink from at morning fruit time. They have also set up the indoor environment to facilitate independence e.g. access to face washers to wipe own faces/ scraping own plates.

Waddlers- have worked on practical life skills such as pouring liquids and wiping their own faces. The educators are interacting at child level and enforcing personal working space by using the green mats.

Pre Kindy- looking more of the physical environment and the activities on offer. The educators have done a small re-shuffle of the shelves and objects with in the classroom.

Kindy- working to enforce personal working space by using the green mats, the educators and children have had input into the layout of the room to create a calmer work space.

ELC- the educators are working 1 on 1 with the children to ensure correct use and respect of the materials and are focusing on setting the table for meals.

Thanks, 

Vanessa

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” (Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook)

Admin News

Centrelink has commenced the CCS reconciliation process so it is extremely important that you regularly check your MyGov as they 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.

If after reconciliation you are advised that you were overpaid it is extremely important that you respond to the notice that will be sent to you. If a CCS overpayment letter is ignored and a repayment arrangement has not been entered into then 20% withholding of future CCS payments will be applied.  This will result in an increased gap payment of your fees that Precious Cargo will have to process.

Some important points that you need to be aware of regarding CCS entitlements are that children can have up to 42 absences 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.

Please remember to provide the centre with copies of any updated immunisation records.

Precious Cargo relies on the timely payment of fees. Fee payment is due Thursday fortnightly.  Please ensure sufficient funds are held in your nominated account.

If you have not already done so can you please sign a new Fee Policy Agreement which is available in your centres Reception.

Can you please ensure you regularly check your emails as this is the primary means of communication from the Administration Hub.

Kitchen News

We are a collection point for bread tags and bottle tops, not only are we helping to keep these products out of landfill but we are also helping two incredible causes.

Bread Tags for Wheelchairs and Envision Hands. Here are some links if you would like to know more information about them. You will find the boxes in reception

https://www.breadtagsforwheelchairs.co.za

https://envision.org.au/bottle-top-drop-off-locations/

Educational Leader

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for all your support in ensuring our centre is delivering quality care for our precious cargos. 

In the past weeks, educators are implementing and applying the knowledge they’ve gained from our last Montessori training as mentioned by Vanessa, Montessori Mentor in her column last newsletter. In the coming weeks, you will notice some changes in the rooms, interaction and routines, but rest assured these changes will benefit our precious ones in their learning journeys. 

Most rooms continue to use the experience roster, please feel free to check this roster that is placed in the room for families to view. If your child has certain interests that you would like us to extend on while in our care, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We are more than happy to collaborate with you.

Similarly, I’ve placed the Parent survey near the kitchen area. It will be great to hear your answer. The survey can help us ensure that we are delivering the quality service you deserve. If you have additional suggestions or comments, let us know we are here to listen and take action if possible. 

Please continue to check your child’s Individual Learning Journal and the Classroom Floor book regularly to see what your child’s been up to. We encourage everyone to take pride in their Floor book entries and we feel that this is shown in the presentation.

 If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s Learning Journal or Floor book please see myself, Vanessa or Renae.

Thanks, 

Valerie

NurseryWaddlersPre-KindyKindyELC

Hello families, 

Recently in the Nursery room we had some of our older children transition into the Waddlers room. Our transition process happens over a few weeks as we increase the length of visits and the children all enjoyed exploring their new environment. This meant we also welcomed some new children and their families into our room, so welcome to you all, we look forward to getting to know your children and help to build their sense of belonging into our centre.

The Nursery room recently said our goodbyes to one of our educators Shashi , who moved to Precious Cargo Marion. We have welcomed Shenay into our team.

We are really excited to start having warmer, sunny days which means more time in our outdoor environment. We would encourage families to remember to pack a hat, shoes and jumpers/ jackets with names on them. We also use sunscreen in the warmer months so if you have any questions about the brand or wish to provide your own please talk to the nursery staff.

We have started having more visiting the music room during the day which our children have really enjoyed. They love riding in the cot down the hallways, smiling and giggling the whole time. We use the music room to engage in activities such as dance, playing musical instruments, dress up’s and other movement and music activities. We will update our floor book with photos so feel free to check from time to time. We also like to bring the activities into our room from time to time and dress up’s has been a very popular activity lately as the children engage in role play and exploring different identities. 

Kate, Juls, Sue. Felicity and Shenay

Welcome to our new and existing families!

It was busy months for Waddlers! We have been welcoming new families and children in our room. Our educators are establishing a trusting and positive relationships with children in order to develop their sense of belonging and feel safe and secure to the environment. 

We have been mainly focusing on revisiting colours by providing a variety of activities that help them in their learning journeys. These activities include coloured matching objects, coloured tablets and lots of painting activities. We’ve been consistently doing one on one lesson with children and introduced green mats. Some activities that we’ve been practicing are Pink Tower, Sandpaper Numbers, Spindle Sticks and Matching Objects (Shapes and Animals).

Waddlers continue to show impressive development with their verbal language skills and to support this, we continue to learn the alphabet during circle time and other group activities. We are using flashcards, picture and real objects to learn words. We’ve set up language-based activities shelf for children to explore the resources every now and then containing the alphabets and numbers we introduced. For numbers, we keep singing number songs, we use counters and flashbook for mastery. 

It is good to note that continuous practical life skills are being practiced and are always part of our routines. Children moved instinctively around our wash area to scrape, wash their plate and clean their face and hands after. We are proud to say that children can now pour their own water and milk using small jugs during mealtimes.

Waddlers continue to enjoy 30 minutes per day visit to Music Room where we sing songs, dance and play instruments. Music and movement help them further develop their gross motor skills, cognitive skills, language, social and emotional skills. When the weather is too cold and rainy, we also do yoga and some exercise in our room and everyone showed enthusiasm.

For this term we celebrated the following event: 

  1. NAIDOC WEEK – we did some painting using the colors of the national flag of Australian Aboriginal.   We sang the hello song in Kaurna language during circle time. We learned some animals that eat only grass and plants as part of expanding our knowledge with Aboriginal Culture. 
  1. SCIENCE WEEK – We’ve done some experiments using vinegar, baking soda and food colours 

Please free to talk to us about your child’s interests and we can continue to extend on that area. We are more than happy to assist you.

Thank you!

Valerie, Kamal, Ana, Uyen and Kate

Dear Pre-Kindy Families 

What a wonderful term we have had! We went through a transitional period which included new children transitioning into the Pre-Kindy room. We have been busy in building relationships with those children and their families. 

We are excited to announce that Pre-Kindy has started progressive lunches for the first time in the centre. During these progressive lunches, the children come in several groups to have their lunches, these groups are formed according to the educator/children ratios. We are ecstatic that this new system has worked very well so far. 

Recently, we also have been very busy with sensorial based activities in which children have engaged with very exciting and purposeful experiences. These activities included such as fabric collage, playdough, coloured pasta and shaving foam. We have also done cooking lessons on different days so children could improve their fine motor skills, practical life skills and social skills. On daily basis, our practical life activities included washing potatoes, peeling sweet potatoes, grating carrots, tonging, and chopping vegetables. We have had variety of creative experiences such as painting, fabric collage, stamp painting. 

We will be having an ongoing focus on intentional teaching which includes 3-period lessons as many children have shown their interest in numbers/counting. We will be using number puzzles and sand-paper numbers to enhance their interest and cognitive development. 

A friendly reminder for the families to pack weather appropriate clothes for your child. These can include jumpers, rain coats, gum boots etc. Also, please ensure to label these things. 

If you have any questions, please come and speak to one of our friendly team members. Thankyou from the Pre-Kindy Team,

Alia, Liz, Natalie, Erin and Jessica.

Dear Kindy Families, 

We have been busy this last quarter with a strong focus on providing consistent circle times, lots of activities on our shelves that will engage and reflect our children’s interests and introducing additional group experiences. 

Our daily circle times have focused on weekly Grace & Courtesy topics (ie. looking after our belongings, ourselves, each other and our environment). We continue to practise our Days of the Week song (to the tune of The Adams Family theme) and have introduced the Months of the Year song (to the tune of Ten Little Indians) for our room calendar and have celebrated lots of 3rd birthdays.  

Our regular Yoga sessions with Jenny have continued and the children are so familiar with the positions and poses that Jenny will follow the children’s preferences so each session is personalised for the group of children involved. 

The children have loved the regular Hip Hop sessions with Kaitie and have settled into the dance routine and are even beginning to grasp the moves. They complete a warm up, learn and practise 2 dance moves, play a game then cool down.  

Our Gardening sessions have been a little slower to develop, in part due to the Wintery weather. However, we have started with regularly rubbish collecting and weeding and most recently have replanted bulbs in preparation for Spring. 

Our Cooking sessions have been a predictable success and the children love both the experiences in the classroom and kitchen. In the classroom, we have assisted in preparing vegetables for our meals (eg chopping mushrooms, broccoli etc) and we have even made our own Celery Boat afternoon tea. While in the kitchen, the children have proudly assisted Chef Jess in making afternoon tea for the centre (eg. hummus, apple crumble, granola etc).  

In June, we celebrated the Queen’s Birthday by making crowns and in July we celebrated Naidoc Week by learning the Kaurna word ‘Ninna Marni’ being hello, listening to Yothu Yindi and rock painting.  

Our Holiday Program consisted of a Music & Movement theme for week 1 where we had various musical instruments in the room and Christina brought in her ukulele, bongo drums and flute to show the class. We invited Natalie who is a ballet dancer from Pre-Kindy to give us group ballet classes and the children loved the mindfulness colouring available all week amongst other experiences. Week 2 had an Arts & Crafts theme where we explored using different materials to paint with, glue together and stamp. 

At the beginning of Term 3, we spoke to the class about rearranging the furniture and in the first week of August the children helped clean, sort and move our activities and furniture to allow for more floor space around our circle mat. The children have adjusted with ease and seem to enjoy the changes so far. We will tinker with the floorplan as needed to include new experiences and ensure we utilise the space to our fullest capacity.    

For the remainder of Term 3, we hope to encourage more consistent use of the green mats, extend our work cycle length in the morning to allow our children a longer period of uninterrupted, self-directed play and as always continue to observe and follow our children’s interests as they develop.   

We would love more input from our parents about what your child’s interests are at home and/or what you would like us to focus on so we can incorporate this into our program so please feel free to chat to one of us.   Thanks

ELC newsletter Aug 2019

This past few weeks has seen ELC continue to grow in numbers. We have welcomed more new children, as well as said goodbye to some mid year school intakes. We continue to follow the children’s interest, by extending their knowledge through books, purposeful equipment and other resources, as well as follow local and broader Community events.

NAIDOC week celebrations were a great success, with the staff utilising some great Kaurna resources to teach the children how to pronounce some of the colours in Kaurna.

ELC celebrated International Day of Mud. We made a huge mud pit and the children explored and engaged with the mud in all forms, from squelching in, to painting with.

We tried and failed numerous times in reusing milk cartons to make an igloo reading area, before we recycle them eventually. Finally, we found a glue that worked and the children are enjoying the calmness of the igloo for rest, relaxation and reading. The children have been a through the entire process with us, and now are very respectful of the igloo and appreciate the hard work that went into it.

August 12th-16th will see ELC celebrating Science week. The children have had access to explore and experiment with a wide range of materials both indoors and outdoors. Responding to, observing and recording changes.

Book week (Aug 17th-23rd) will be a fun week for children to dress as their favourite character from a book and bring the book along to share with the class.

In the next few weeks, you might notice some slight staff changes. Diana will be away for 3 weeks and Azam will be away for 5 weeks however Liz D will be coming in to help support our room during this time of transition. Rikki and Raya will continue as normal. 

We are starting to increase our focus on school readiness with many practical life and grace and courtesy lessons occurring regularly. We will start to ask families about which school your child will be going to, and when so we can work with the school for transitions. We look forward to continuing to grow with your children.

From Rikki, Azam, Diana, Raya and Liz D