Heatherton Family Newsletter December 2019

Welcome to our December 2019 Newsletter

From the Acting Director Caitlin Smith 

At Precious Cargo Heatherton we had our children’s end of year Christmas party held on Saturday the 7th of December. We had all different activities set up for the families and children to engage with such as Jumping Castle, bubble station, face painting, nail painting, braiding and water play. We received some wonderful feedback from you all and are glad everyone had such a great time. I would also like to thank our amazing team for all their hard work and time on the day. It was a great success. 

As we are getting into the warmer months now just reminder that the UV is now over 3 most days that all children are required to wear sunscreen and hats. If your child can’t use the Cancer Council Kids sunscreen that we provide you need to provide an alternative. The sunscreen you provide must have a chemist prescription label on it or we cannot apply it. Please bring your child a broad brimmed hat that is clearly named for them to wear for outdoor play.

I would like to thank you all for your support and another great year. We look forward to caring for and teaching your children again in 2020. Those of you who are leaving us we wish you all the very best.  

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy safe New Year.  

Merging the Kinder Rooms: 

At the end of November beginning of December we had been transitioning the two kinder rooms together into the ELC Classrooms as the kinder children will be combined together for now on. We have been focusing to be making sure that the transitioning has been as smooth as possible for all the children and educators.  If you do have any enquires about this please don’t hesitate to come and see me. 

Room Configurations for 2020: 

Week commencing the 06/01/2020 there will be slight changes with educators moving around within the rooms for the New Year, in which will be permanently for the year of 2020. This follows as: 

Nursery – Michelle – team leader and Lalita as assistant educator

Waddlers – Sam – team leader – Simran, Hafsa and Jeevan as assistant educators 

Pre Kindy 1 – Orel – team leader – Annie, Ana, Ikue and Vikki as assistant educators. 

Pre Kindy 2 – Bec – team leader – Olivia, Emily and Eliza as assistant educators 

ELC – Amelia – team leader – Chris, Himani, Sharon, Jasmine, Erin and Thu assistant educators. 

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 nominate 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.

Playgroup

Playgroup has been really successful this year. We had our last playgroup session Monday the 16th of December and will be returning the playgroup session on Monday the 3rd of February from 9:30am – 11:00am. The playgroup program that we run is for children aged 6 weeks – 5 years. If you know anyone who would enjoy coming please let them know. It is free of charge and all you need to do is supply a healthy snack (Please avoid nuts) and a drink for your child. It’s a great introduction to Montessori. 

Practical Life Montessori

Practical life in Montessori is purposeful activity, develops motor control and coordination, and develops independence, concentration, and a sense of responsibility. Generally the activities of practical life revolve around four areas: Caring for the Self, Caring for the Environment, Grace & Courtesy and Movement of Objects. There is another area which encompasses all four areas and which is a very important part of practical life, namely food.

These practical life activities are cultural and specific to the child’s time and place. The activities also help give the child a sense of being and belonging, established through participation in daily life with us. Through practical life the child learns about their culture and all about what it is to be human. Practical Life activities are an integral part of any Montessori environment.

“When we speak about the behaviour of men and animals, we refer to their purposeful movements. This behaviour is the centre of their practical life. It is not just the practical life in a house, cleaning rooms, watering plants, etc., that is important, but the fact that everyone in the world must move with a purpose and must work, not only for himself but also for others. It is strange that man’s work must also be work in service of others; if this were not so, his work would have no more meaning than gymnastic exercises. All work is done not only for ourselves but also for others. Even something as frivolous as dancing would be pointless without an audience. The dancers, who perfect their movements with so much trouble and fatigue, dance for others. Tailors who spend their lives sewing could not wear all the clothes they make themselves. Yet tailoring, like gymnastics, requires lots of movements.

If you have a vision of the cosmic purpose, that every life in the world is based on this movement with a purpose, you will be able to understand and better direct the children’s work. In the beginning, children are urged by nature to be active. They are happy when they are active. They begin to develop the behaviour of humanity with its limits and its possibilities. Movement is closely connected to psychic life; we must move with intelligence, will, character, etc.”

Montessori, Maria. The 1946 London Lectures.

Kids in the kitchen

Fruit Smoothie

Puree 1 cup vanilla yogurt, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 frozen banana and 1/4 cup orange juice in a blender until smooth.

Super delicious, nutritious and the children love to help make them. 

Book Review

“It’s time for bed, little mouse, little mouse, Darkness is falling all over the house . . .” Time for Bed is a 1993 Children’s picture book by Mem Fox, which is on Oprah’s list of the twenty best children’s books of all time. It is just right for reading at bedtime. The rhyming text accompanied by soft watercolour illustrations shows animal parents sharing precious moments and giving gentle encouragement to their babies before they go to sleep.

NurseryWaddlersPre-Kindy 1Pre-Kindy 2KindyELC

Over the past month in nursery have been focusing on the children’s practical life skills and have been busy teaching the children to wash hands before and after all meals, as well as encouraging the children to feed themselves. With the older children in the nursery environment we have been encouraging them to start scraping their bowls and plates after each meal. Implementing these practical life experiences within the environment allow children to observe and gain knowledge through real life experiences of how to accomplish life skills in a purposeful way.  

We have also been working on our gross and fine motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination skills through arts and crafts by using thick crayons to allow children to explore and to be creative through drawing and as well as painting. The children have also shown interest in stacking cups and rings, which really encourages their hand and eye coordination skills. 

On physical side the children are using the soft fall obstacle course crawling through the tunnel, engaging in ball games by rolling and inserting the small balls through the tube. The children are also having fun exploring in the great outdoors. 

We have also been learning some new songs to support numeracy and literacy skills and introduced the children to nursery rhymes such as, “Five little ducks” and “One, two, three, four, five once l caught a fish alive.” These songs are all about repetition and learning basic number and words.

Over the last few months we have been practicing our practical life experiences for the children from using water glasses during meal times, to practicing using tongs, and even juicing oranges. These experiences help build on children’s self-help skills as well as building on their independence. 

We have brought our outdoor environment into the children’s world as they learn to compost and feed the worms with our left overs as well as our chickens and rabbits. These experiences gives the children the opportunity to learn about the world they live in, gain knowledge and an appreciation for the Earth and life cycles and also having respect towards their environment and animals. 

We have also extended our learning into animals of different types as the children are becoming really interested in the centre animals as well as platypus. Sam has encouraged this through creating books about animals the children have seen or are interested in. These books are loved by the children who often sit in groups on their own and flip through the pages together talking about the different animals. 

In the next couple months we hope to further the animal experiences with habitats, and we will be continuing to go over the practical life experiences in the room. 

Throughout Pre-Kindy One we have been using our visual and tactile senses, to complete different sensorial activities. This ties in with primary colours a current interest in our room. We have been using the colour tablets to expand our knowledge and language further before we move to secondary colours. We also participated in different colour mixing experiments, using paint, coloured ice and coloured water. This gave us a clear understanding of how secondary colours are created. 


Shapes have become a spontaneous interest throughout our room too and we have had lots of fun matching, identifying and naming different shapes and using our tactical sense to gain more of an understanding about the different shapes.

We have continued to develop our language skills further as we sing the phonics song and focus on different phonic sounds each week, using sand paper letters and phonic sound bags.



The past month in Pre-Kindy one we have also been focusing on silk worms. We were lucky enough to look after our very own worms and watch them transform into moths.
This caused an enthusiastic discussion each week about the silk worm’s life cycle as we were excited to see what would happen next.We have continued to develop our practical life skills too as we show care for the environment, looking after our vegetable garden on our balcony and learning our plants life cycles.

We have been very busy Pre-kindies and look forward to the coming months.

For the past month we have been focusing on the silkworms. The children have been watching the silk worms since they have been hatched, to producing silk to becoming adult moths. This experience has helped the children develop an understanding and knowledge of the life cycle of a silk worms. 

As we are leading up to Christmas time, children have been discussing with educators about how they have put their Christmas trees up at their homes and decorating them. To extend on the children’s interests in this area children have made their own ornaments to take home. 

The topic of Christmas has also enable the educators to have a further discussion with children in regards to how everyone celebrates Christmas within their homes. This is a great culture experience for the children to understand gain knowledge about the different cultures within their classrooms. Orel has also spoken to the children about Hanukkah or also known as Chanukah, which is a Jewish festival also known as the light festival which goes for eight days. Orel discuss this with the children as she celebrates Hanukkah with her family. Orel spoke about the different foods they eat and that they light a main candle and a candle for each day within the eight day celebration.

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In the Kindy room our main focus for the past month has been on the lifecycle of silkworms, from the egg stage, to silkworms that go through four molts before they start spinning a cocoon, to the pupa stage where they go through metamorphosis to transform into silk moths, then the mating stage and how the cycle begins again. We had the silkworms in the classroom from eggs, and the children were able to see the silkworms hatch and then watch them grow as they ate on an abundance of mulberry leaves. We were also able to witness them spinning their cocoon and within the last week we saw some of the silk moths emerge from their cocoons, mate, and start laying eggs.

We also had a few Grace and Courtesy lessons on the appropriate way of picking up a job from the shelves, how to place it on the table quietly, how to pick up the chairs to pull them out from the table to sit on, and then how to pick up the chair to push it in when the children had finished their job, and then returning the job to the shelf. Not only was this demonstrated, but each child was given time to practice doing the role-play.

Early in December late November the children have been transitioning into the ELC room, as we will be merging both classrooms together. We have been focusing to be making sure that the transitioning has been as smooth as possible for the children and educators. 

Over the month ELC children have been exploring different cultures and their celebrations within our classroom environment.  We have celebrated Diwali, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Children developed an understanding of the meaning behind each of these and how some families have different holidays that are important to them.

Through learning about different cultures and their celebrations children are developing a respect for diversity. The Montessori environment remains an excellent place for children of all backgrounds to find inspiration, respect and support.  We are also providing them with experiences with a range of cultural studies such as having cooking experiences, through arts and crafts, books and group discussions where children naturally absorb a sense of community from being in a diverse multi age classroom. 

Early in December late November the Kinder children have been transitioning into the ELC room, as we will be merging both classrooms together. We have been focusing to be making sure that the transitioning has been as smooth as possible for all the children and educators.