Westbourne Park Family Newsletter December 2019

Every year it feels like we are hanging out for the warmer weather that comes along with Spring and then Christmas is here before we know it!

Thank you to all of the families that came to celebrate the end of year at our party on December 6th. It was great to see everyone having fun and engaging in the different activities we had around the Centre. 

To help children with transitions to the next class, many of our rooms have been arranging times where they can leave the doors between the classrooms open. This has allowed children more time to explore the next room before they transition and has helped children to build connections with educators and peers. Just a reminder that it is important for parents and carer‘s to meet with the staff where your child will be transitioning. This helps you to become familiar with the staff and any changes to your child’s routine which helps for when they move into the room full time. 

Critical reflection is a very important part of our self-assessment here at Westbourne Park. Over the next few months we will be working as a Centre to improve our ways of reflecting on our practise. Parent and carer feedback is very important for us at the Centre and gives us a great opportunity for reflection. We understand that drop off and pick up times can be busy but if you have any feedback about our classroom programs or practise please do not hesitate to speak with your child’s room team leader or focus teacher. 

Our Kindy and ELC staff have been busy over the past 3 months preparing for our school and Kindy leavers. We wish all of our families who will be leaving all the best on their next adventures and thank them for being a part of our Westbourne Park community. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at Westbourne Park for their hard work and dedication to our Centre this year. We have a great team of educators who work hard to ensure all children are provided with opportunities to learn and grow each day that they are in our care. 

On behalf of myself, Amy and all of our educators at Westbourne Park, I would like to wish all of our children, families and carers a happy and safe Christmas break. 

General Reminder: 

A reminder to please label all of your children’s belongings that they will be bringing to care. This includes spare clothes that they will pack in their bags, hats and jackets.

Administration Reminders

Christmas Charging – Statements will be emailed to you on Friday 20th December and payment will be processed on Friday 27th December. Please ensure sufficient funds are held in your nominated account to cover your payments.

Signing In and Out – Please remember to sign your child/ren in and out on the iPad at every attendance. This is an important step not only for claiming CCS but also in case of an emergency or evacuation.

Ceasing Care –  4 weeks’ notice is required when you no longer require care . Please request a Notice of Intention to Leave form from your Centre Director when required and remember that your child must attend their last day (minimum stay on last day is 1 hour) for CCS to be claimable. This is a DHS (Centrelink) ruling.

Casual Days – Any casual day request are to be emailed to your Centre Director only.  Any cancellations require 24 hours’ notice.

Vacation Care Cancellations – Please remember that one weeks’ notice is required to cancel any pre-booked Vacation Care.

Centrelink – My Gov – It is the families responsibility to regularly check their MyGov to complete any tasks and read any message.  Any changes to your Child Care Subsidy entitlements is managed between the family and DHS (Centrelink). We are not able to answer queries or resolve CCS issues.

NurseryWaddlersPre-KindyKindyELC

Nursery Newsletter term 4 2019

In the nursery this term we have been engaging in a variety of community events and celebrations. We acknowledged the Australian soldiers for Remembrance Day by teaching children about the poppy flower that is renowned for its symbolism of this day. We did this by showing children many photo’s of the flower and how it is used to recognise the soldiers. We then provided an activity where the children used the colours of the poppy flower to do their own paintings. 

The Nursery children also participated in Plant Ark’s National Recycling Week. The children watched and listened to a song that demonstrated what we do with our rubbish and how we can recycle various items. In the room we made 3 different recycling bin “stations“ where the children got to practise putting various items such as cardboard, paper, cartons and plastic into. The children were interested in posting the rubbish into the bins and then taking them out to practise again. As we were talking with the children about recycling and reducing our waste, we also talked about how this action looks after our planet. We then extended this experience by introducing more items from our natural environments that we do care for at Westbourne Park such as herbs from our garden. The children were very interested using their senses to touch and smell the different herbs.

For our practical life focus the children helped us in the garden to dig the soil and plant some tomato seeds. The children have continued to water the seedlings and will be able to watch as they grow. This experience will allow the children to see how they can care for and influence the natural environments. 

In the Nursery room we nurture every child’s milestones, sensitive periods and interests. Our educators develop a group curriculum that can be tailored to the individual child, so it is developmentally age appropriate. We help children reach many physical stages of development such as sitting, crawling and walking. It is also important that we ensure we have an environment enriched in language, sensory experiences and social inclusion. One thing that helps us to do this is hearing what the children are up to in their home life. We welcome your suggestions in regards to your child’s learning and are always happy to include these into their curriculum at Precious Cargo. 

With the end of year approaching the children have been busy making their Christmas ornaments as a gift for their family. The children have also taken part in baking, listening to traditional carols and exploring in many different sensorial experiences where we have added a touch of Christmas. 

Just an important reminder that when you arrive in the nursery to please close the door behind you. We have children that love exploring new spaces and do try to crawl and walk through the door if it is left open. Thank you for your assistance with this. 

Time flies when you are having fun and that is exactly what the Educators have set out to achieve over the past few months in the Waddler room- FUN!

Our classroom curriculum and planning is based on the interests of the children in our room and it is important that we follow each individuals enquiry.

Messy Play and learning through the senses always seems to bring a buzz of excitement in the Waddler room. The children became involved with the Sensorial tubs activity where Teeka demonstrated how to walk carefully through the different tubs so they can feel the different textures under their feet. The children were keen to have a turn walking through the tubs. Many of our children spent a long time moving between the tubs while squealing with delight as they could feel the different textures. 

The children have shown a big interest in baby animals. Two of our most popular activities, to help encourage the children’s involvement, were the parent to baby matching game and the mini video footage of the animals in their natural environments. The children watched and listened to the sounds the animals made and how they interacted with the other baby animals.

Practical Life activities have been another big focus in the last few months as the Educators have introduced 8 new trays designed to support the children’s hand eye co-ordination, fine motor control, independence, concentration and a sense of responsibility. Supporting children’s need to become independent little people is very important to help them feel a sense of self-efficacy, which promotes self-esteem and confidence. 

Some of the practical life activities we have been using include dry and wet pouring, transferring using spoons and tongs, large and small threading, tonging soft and hard materials and using the mortar and pestle to grind different herbs. 

Grace and Courtesy is another important part of our curriculum as we assist children in communicating and interacting in social settings. Educators play a large part in this every day as we Role model appropriate behaviour towards one another and assist children with their language and ways to communicate,helping our Waddler children to build positive social behaviours with their peers.

We took part in acknowledging some important events over the past few months such as Remembrance Day and Maria Montessori‘s birthday. Our Waddler children joined in the celebrations for Remembrance Day by exploring with the colours of the poppy flower to make some hand printing. 

Making a cake is always fun with the Waddlers as they are extremely enthusiastic bakers, and we thought what better way to mark a special day so we used this as an opportunity to celebrate Maria Montessori birthday. 

Thank you all for a great year in 2019.

Regards 

The Waddler Team, Westbourne Park

Pre-Kindy Newsletter December 2019

We cannot believe it’s nearing the end of 2019. Over the last couple of months, the Pre-Kindy children have been participating in a variety of experiences and activities.

To celebrate Remembrance Day this year, the Pre-Kindy children created their own poppies using pop sticks and red patty pans. This was an opportunity for the children to engage their fine motor movement as they glued the patty pans onto their pop sticks and using a black texta, coloured in the circle to create a picture of a real poppy. The Pre-Kindy children also listened to a thank you song, to learn and gain a better understanding of why we celebrate Remembrance Day.

To acknowledge World Kindness Day, the Pre-Kindy children used two apples to learn about what it is like to be kind to one another. During Circle Time the day before, the children rolled, squished and threw one apple around the circle. The then left the other apple to carry out its day without any poking or prodding. The day of World Kindness Day, we cut open the two apples during our circle time and looked at them to see if there were any differences. The children discovered that one apple had bruises and brown marks on it and the other apple had no bruises or marks. The educator‘s then explained to the children what it can feel like for someone if we hurt them physically and emotionally and how it can make the them feel sad and unsafe. We have pictures of this experience in our group floor book if you would like to see it.

We have continued to watch our tadpoles grow in the tank and have also started to expand our family of snails. The children and educators learnt that there isn’t just a big snail in the tank anymore, but five baby snails. We have observed the snails and their growth and have noticed that some of the baby snails are as small as a tiny speck in the water so we needed magnify glasses to look at them.

Coming into the Christmas time we have been making sure our special gifts are ready, working together with the educators to decorate them ready to take home. We have also been learning about different traditions and how some countries do not celebrate Christmas as we do but celebrate many other traditions and the New Year.

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year,
The Pre-Kindy Team 😃 

It is important that we as educators are following children interests and ideas when planning our curriculum for the Kindy room. Over the last few months we have had many children show an interest in the environment and the world around them which has lead to the exploration of seasons, especially Spring. We have looked at many of the different plants and flowers which bloom in spring time. The children had many opportunities to express themselves creatively by drawing, painting and making different flowers similar to those in our garden. Following the topic of Spring we had a lot of children merge to the topic of farms. We have been exploring who lives on the farm such as a farmer living in the farm house and farm animals living in the barn, meadows and fields. We discussed how a male chicken is a rooster and that he wakes the farm with a loud sound similar to a “Cock-a-Doodle-Doo” at sunrise. A female chicken is called a hen and they lay the eggs. We are lucky to have 4 hens here at Precious Cargo Westbourne Park who lay eggs for us each day. When it is the Kindy children’s week to take care of the chickens, they take turns to go and collect the eggs and fill up the chickens food and water. This allows the children an opportunity to contribute to and care for the world around them.

In further discussion about farms we learnt about what other animals on a farm contribute to some of our produce such as how milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt are made up of ingredients which come from cows and goats. Some children even tried milking a water-filled glove that had a hole in it by squeezing with their hands and squirting into a bowl to replicate what it is like to milk a cow. We investigated how wheat grows on the farm and turns into flour and that flour can then be used to make bread, pancakes, cakes, cookies and even playdough. Throughout this time we have based many of practical life experiences on these processes allowing the children to grind the wheat with a mortar and pestle and sifting flour into a bowl. These experiences gave the children an opportunity to demonstrate how products which come from the farm are harvested once they have grown and are then processed using machines on a farm.  

Until next time

Your kindy team

Mardi, Jamie, Salima and Steph. 

It’s hard to believe I am writing the last newsletter for the year! Term 4 has been a very busy term in ELC indeed.

We started off the term in Spring and had some in-depth conversations about the magpies in our yard. The children showed immense interests in caring for the birds as well as our vegetable garden. It was the children’s idea to put a scarecrow in the garden so as to protect our vegetable garden from the birds. They also suggested having bird feeders so the birds would have something to eat. It was a great team effort planning and constructing the scarecrows. Everyone had a part to play from choosing clothes, drawing facial expressions and naming them. Mr Scarecrow Scare and Lily Scarecrow did make our yard magpie-free!

Adelaide experienced some unpredictable weather changes this Spring and the children commented “Why does it feels like Winter/Summer when it’s supposed to be Spring?” Some inquisitive children pondered, “Why do seasons change?”. To extend the children’s emerging interests in the seasons, we explored the concepts of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, the Earth’s axis and how the angle of the Sun affects the temperature and causes the seasons. It was a challenging concept for the children to understand but with extensive and concrete hands-on experiments, the children appeared to have mastered the concepts!

After learning about temperature changes in weather, what better way to peak their interest than to learn about our senses. The children explored and refined their Thermic and Tactile sense through Montessori activities such as Thermic Bottles, Touch Boards and Fabric Box. 

They got to experience what it was like to be blind by manoeuvring around the room blindfolded and with the aid of a make shift walking stick. We had Braille books and prescription glasses to further curb their curiosity on how the visually impaired went about their daily lives. 

We were lucky to have a special guest speaker, David, to chat about his hearing aid and how to care for our ears when learning about our sense of hearing. The children enjoyed playing games such as ‘Knock Knock’ and ‘What’s That Sound?’ to explore their sense of hearing.

Lastly, the children explored their olfactory sense through smelling and guessing common food. We also made some perfumes using the herbs from the garden.

The past few weeks, we have been busy preparing and practising for our Graduation Day. It is a time where we reflect on all the milestones the children have accomplished this year. I hope you enjoyed this special moment with us.

The ELC team would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all children who will be starting their new adventure in their new schools or Kindergartens next year. We wish them all the best and please come back and visit us. 

On another note, ELC will be running vacation care and our program will continue as per normal. Do remember to book your child in should they require vacation care.

Lastly, we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Best Regards,

Lynn (Early Childhood Teacher/ Team Leader), Annie & Kristy