March Family Newsletter 2019

From the Director,

April already and sadly daylight ends soon and the cold weather will be here. What a busy start to the year we have had at the Centre with many new families commencing their Precious Cargo journey and we said goodbye to several excited children starting the next chapter in their lives with Kindy or School.

Staffing Notes
This term has been busy with a few staffing changes. For those of you who didn’t get my previous email a couple of months ago Terese, previous Director has left Precious Cargo Collinswood to go back and live in the N.T. We are still looking for the right person to put in the role so I am helping at the centre for now.

We recently had a resignation from Natalie, Nursery Team Leader; she has decided to take a break after many years working in childcare. We have replaced Natalie with two Team Leaders in our Nursery and they begin on the 8th of April, their names are Rosa and Aristea.

We have also had a resignation from Sweta, ELC educator, who has decided she needed some family time. We are still deciding on a replacement.

Elvie has also left from Kindy as she has injured her back and doctor recommendation was not to continue working in childcare due to the movement required. Chelsea who has regularly worked in the Kindy 1 room as a casual has taken Elvie’s place. We wish Elvie well in her recovery.

Danielle, one of our ELC teachers, has gone on maternity leave and we have welcomed Daisy to this role.

Precious Cargo also has a new centre opening in May in Marion so unfortunately we may lose educators to this centre as we have several educators that live down south.

Children’s Photos
Please remember that we have centre photos on Monday 8th April between 8am-10am, Wednesday 10th April between 2pm – 3pm, and Thursday 11th April between 8am – 10am

If your child does not attend on these days, please feel free to bring them in during one of those times.

Playgroup
In the next few weeks, we will commence a playgroup at the centre on a Wednesday morning at 10am in the music room. Tracy our Early Childhood Teacher and Montessori mentor will run the playgroup.

Admin
If you require casual days, please email cwdirector@preciouscargoeducation.com.au to see if they are available.

If you require additional days or a change of days, then log in to the Precious Cargo website and go onto my family lounge to request the change. When the Centre receives this change they will make you an offer, this will come to you by email and needs to be accepted or declined. It is a government requirement that all changes are now made in writing.

Please note Precious Cargo have a four week policy for anyone reducing days or leaving the centre. If you are leaving the Centre, please ask for the appropriate form from reception as this needs to be writing.

Immunisation Record
Please ensure you have provided copies of your child’s immunisation records to the centre.
Records can either be downloaded from Medicare and emailed to cwdirector@preciouscargoeducation.com.au or photocopied from your child’s blue book.

Grow Free Cart
Please keep a lookout for our Grow Free Cart that will be in reception soon. For those of you that are not familiar with Grow Free Carts, they are for everyone to share and swap produce.
We will be putting vegies or herbs from the centre gardens, if you have any excess fruit, vegies or herbs in your garden feel free to swap it for something on the cart or leave it for someone else who might want it.

Acquaintance Evening
We are looking at doing an acquaintance night before the weather starts to get cold so it will be in April or the beginning of May, keep an eye out for further details.
You will then be asked to make an appointment with your child’s focus teacher so you can discuss your child’s development and you also have an opportunity to provide feedback for further programming for your child.

Donna
Operations Manager

 

 

 

Hello to all of our Nursery families,

As we enter into a new season, we welcome some new children and their families into the room and are excited to welcome two new educators named Rosa and Aristea who will be co-team leaders as we have recently said goodbye and best wishes to Natalie.

Over the past season, the children have engaged in a variety of planned and spontaneous experiences such as creating structures using the wet sand outside, using imaginative play as they used the food and baby dolls. In addition to this, they have practiced fine and gross motor movements as they engaged in climbing experiences and craft.

This season we are excited to be focusing on creating environments of beauty and order. Order is one of the key principles of Montessori. The beauty, order and accessibility in the room entices the child. Children crave order and routine, which then creates a sense of predictability, safety and then confidence to explore and engage in their environment independently.

We also invite all families to contribute and provide us with any input about your child’s interests, routines and community involvement so that we can incorporate it into our fortnightly programme and provide experiences to extend on their interests and learning.

We look forward to the next season ahead and are excited to be a part of each child’s individual journey in our Nursery room.

Rosa, Aristea, Hannah, Tiarna, Bipana, Shivani, Sonia and Tania- the Nursery team.

Dear Waddler 1 Families,

We would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome you and your children to the Waddler 1 room! This is such an exciting time for all families, as your children transition from the Nursery into a brand new, stimulating learning environment.

You may have heard of the saying that the first 1000 days of a child’s life is the most important, particularly in terms of their cognitive, emotional, social and physical growth. Therefore it is crucial that children are exposed to a variety of learning experiences and opportunities contributing to their development. We aim to foster this growth in the Waddler 1 room by:

Facilitating exploration through planning and implementing experiences surrounding: practical life skills, sensorial investigation, language, mathematics and culture. Examples of these experiences include:
Transferring and pouring pasta, rice or grains with the use of jugs, tongs and spoons (practical life)
Cooking lessons (practical life)
Sensory messy play with shaving foam, gloop, paint, sand and water (sensorial)
Dramatic play and group activities encouraging social interactions (language)
Identification and matching/sorting of colours and shapes (mathematics)
Celebration of Diwali, Christmas, Holi, Easter etc (culture)

Assisting children to build their independence and self-help skills by encouraging them to:
Feed themselves (with the use of a spoon or a fork)
Wash their own hands and faces
Help the educators to clean tables in preparation for meal times
Scrape their bowls at meal times and put their drink bottles away
Place their comforters in their own bags/lockers after sleep, and
Pack away their toys and activity trays correctly after use

You may notice your child beginning to complete these activities themselves at home. It is important to remember that children do not master independence and self-help skills instantly, however we believe that by slowly building these skills, the children will benefit greatly in later years.

ROOM ENVIRONMENT

The layout of our room has recently been changed, accommodating some of our new resources. We all LOVE our new set up. We have also recently added various baskets on top of our shelves. We would like to draw your attention particularly to the baskets labelled ‘Milk Bottles,’ ‘Comforters’ and ‘Lost & Found’. If you would like to bring your own milk bottle from home, we ask that you please place it in the ‘Milk Bottles’ basket when you drop your child off in the morning. As we have many different milk bottles to prepare at lunch time, the use of this basket will be a big time saver during this very busy time of day, as well as create more organisation in the room. Quite often we also come across unlabelled comforters, dummies and pieces of clothing. If you are missing anything, please look in these baskets as we may have placed these items here.

STAFFING

For those of you who may not be aware, Tatum (Team Leader) is currently in her final year of studying Early Childhood Education at university. Along with university classes, Tatum is required to undertake a full time, 6 week placement from the 29th of April until the 7th of June. Because of this Tatum will be not be working at Precious Cargo during this time. Tatum will be replaced with another educator who will be informed about, and introduced to her primary care children prior to the commencement of her placement. If you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss with Tatum, please ensure you do so prior to the 22nd of April.

Celeste will also be making a transition over to the Waddler 2 room as the new team leader. Because of this, we will be welcoming Suzie into Waddler 1 as a permanent core educator. Suzie will be taking over Celeste’s primary care children.

Furthermore, Waddler 1 educators and their days of work include:

  • Tatum (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • Khatija (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • Suzie (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
  • Kate (Monday, Tuesday)
  • Casey (Thursday, Friday)

We look forward to spending more time with your children as they continue to grow, learn and develop new skills and interests in the Waddler 1 room.

Thanks,
Waddler 1 Team – Tatum, Suzie, Kate, Casey and Khatija

Dear Waddler 2 Families,

Transitions & staffing:
Since the children’s transitions into the Waddler 2 room we have been focusing on making sure all children are settling in and that they are getting to know our routine and the new experiences/activities available in the room. This has so far been successful and we notice that the children are starting to get familiar with the room, staff and each other and are more comfortable as the weeks go by. Cynthia, Trupal and Naziya are currently the permanent staff in the room but we will be welcoming Celeste from Waddler 1 who will be swapping rooms with Suzie and will be taking over Suzie’s primary care group.

Our program:
The focus in the room has been teaching the children independence, We let the children serve their own foods into their bowls and pour their own drinks whenever this is possible, they are also encouraged to use face washer after meals to clean their own hands and face. The few topics we have focused on since transitions is fine motor skills through doing lots of scooping and transferring activities, also a lot of matching activities ( colours, animals, transport). A recent experience we have added is cooking lessons in the kitchen with Roxanne the chef once a month which the children have been enjoying. The main area we have been working on is teaching the children about all the different colours, every fortnight we choose a colour and do a different activity each day with that colour to make sure the children get confident with it before moving on to the next one. This will stay the primary focus until we have covered all the colours and we will then start focusing on body parts and physical activities (gross motor skills). If you have any feedback or have any ideas we can incorporate into our future program please feel free to have a conversation to any of our staff about it.

Yours sincerely,
The waddler 2 team

Dear Pre-Kindy Families,

We hope that you had a wonderful time with your loved ones through the Christmas/New Year’s break and enjoyed the warm weather as we did! Now that we have moved into the colder season, we have changed back to the winter routines. Pre-Kindy children will be downstairs until 9:00am when they shall make our way upstairs for morning tea and to start their work cycle. In the Afternoon once the children have finished dinner, at 5:00 we all head downstairs to join the other rooms for the remainder of the evening. Even though we have moved into Autumn children still require their sun hats, also if you could always please pack extra clothes in case their original outfit gets dirty, wet or if they have an accident.

The start of the new year is always a busy one and Pre-Kindy has had a lot of changes! Transitions begun and we said goodbye to some of our children and welcomed some new faces to the room. January – The start of term we have been focussing on introducing our new children to the room, helping them learn the new routine, rules and experiences they get to enjoy and enhance their learning from. Our first room project, was “Sustainability”. If you had a chance to look on our board in the room you would have noticed our collage of the world and pictures to show what activities the children did. We began talking about plants and how they start as seed, turn into sprouts and then become a plant.

Australia Day- During January we also celebrated Australia day, focussing on learning our Australian animals, had discussions of how we celebrate with our families, recognised the Sydney Harbour Bridge and did some Aboriginal artwork.

February- In February we continued with “Sustainability” and moved onto the next step of Planting. The children got the chance to plant their own seeds and watch them grow in both Pre-Kindy 1 & 2! Also, Devansh’s dad brought in a pot and some Coriander seeds that the children got to plant and water, THANK YOU! We moved onto “Recycling”, the children learnt about the different bins; recycle, rubbish and compost and what kind of objects go into which bin. Children also brought bottles and cardboard boxes that we could put into our special bins at work! Thank you for that!

Towards the end of the month we begun to learn about how to look after ourselves and stay healthy. We chose the topic of “Hygiene”. The children first learnt about dental hygiene and how to look after our mouths, by brushing our teeth. The children got the chance to try on a dentist’s uniform and practice brushing our pretend teeth. They also learnt the correct sequence of hand washing.March- March is all about healthy eating! The children learnt what is a fruit and what is a vegetable, the names of them and what colour they are. We learnt about how we make vegetable gardens, the children went with the educators to look at the centre’s own vegetable garden. We also had cooking lessons with our chef Roxanne and made fruit smoothies that we had for afternoon tea YUM!

Holi Day- The centre recognised Holi Day which is a Hindu festival celebrating colours! The children made their own colourful artwork to go up on our board in the room.

We will now moving on to the next stage of learning. We love to receive input and feedback from our families. If you have any ideas for topics, that you would like to tell us, what interests your child has been having at home, or have any questions we warmly welcome you to come and have a chat with one of the Pre-Kindy staff members.

We are still collecting any recyclable items to go in our special boxes so any contributions from home are appreciated!

Thank you!

Pre-Kindy xx

Sustainability & Australia Day

Planting, Recycling & Hygiene

Healthy Eating

Well it’s been a very busy few months in our Kindy 1 room. We said goodbye to Elvie and welcome Chelsea back into our room. Chelsea has already made very good relationships with the children and is a very caring and enthusiastic Educator.

We have had a lot of great feedback from families on how the children are really enjoying their new Kindy 1 room which is fantastic to hear. At any time we welcome positive feedback from families as well as any concerns you may have and will always be available to have any discussions.

We have just started our next group project ‘Healthy bodies.’ At the moment we are focusing on healthy eating and looking at a different colour fruit and vegetable each week. Last week was the
colour orange. The children promoted their practical life skills as they squeezed oranges to make orange juice and peeled carrots. We have done a lot of healthy eating experiences

The children really enjoyed having a cooking lesson with Roxanne our chef. The children made a healthy snack, banana protein balls which tasted delicious. We welcome families to come in
and have a look at our project board and group learning journey book which is full of photos of the children participating in different activities from our group projects.

We have also introduced the children to the Montessori Method of writing and learning letter sound using sandpaper letter and numbers. When the children touch and trace the slightly rough surface
with their finger they are learning and comprehending exactly how the letter is formed. The children have also had the opportunity to participate in a sensorial activity using their finger to practice
writing the letter sounds in a tray of different textures such as salt, coloured sand or lentils…

We would appreciate if the children could bring in a family photo that we can display in our room. It is shown that it boosts children’s self-image and gives children greater confidence, a sense of
belonging, they feel valued and have a rich understanding of where they come from.

Please ensure that your child has a wide brim sun hat with their name written inside and that they are wearing it when you bring them outside in the morning. Also we find when the weather starts to get a bit cooler the children have more toileting accidents, so please supply more underwear and pants in their bags.

Jodie, Renisha, Chelsea and Pinkur

Hello!
We welcomed 2019 with a great group of children and families! We saw many of our previous group of children leaving for school or preschool and had a big group transitioning from kindy 1 during January. We are pleased to see how well all our children, current and new adapted to the changes, made new friendships and built great relationships with educators.

Routine and Environment
Our routines continue to foster our childrens independence, respond to their needs and extend on their interest. We adapted our morning work cycle having an earlier lunch, and allowing the children to stay outside and enjoy the outdoors before our rest time. We have seen great response from the children, who are participating in more investigative play in the sandpit, as well as more physical activity, riding bikes, playing games, climbing, running and engaging in cooperative play.

Our indoor environment has been also changed, improving our home corner area, giving more room for the children to engage in tray activities and promoting independence in the creative area. Children seem to interact more with the role play area, as well as the creative space, engaging in scissor work, gluing and pasting, collaging and “making”.

Curriculum
During the first few weeks of this year, we have concentrated on providing our children the tools and information they need for a rich learning environment, emphasising on classroom rules and routines, demonstrating resources and procedures, having grace and courtesy lessons and observing their main interests. We have planned accordingly, offering a variety of experiences. We have observed our children increasingly improving on self-control and self- agency, effectively taking turns during play, looking after the resources in the room, accessing all areas in the room independently, self- serving during meals, “using their words” in times of distress and conflict and being able to confidently establish relationships with peers and educators. In the coming weeks we will continue our work on social and emotional skills and communication, however, we will focus on 3 main areas: First, fine motor skills, as foundation for writing and creative work, then on numeracy, by providing opportunities to interact with sensorial and maths and science equipment and experiences, and finally on; literacy, taking inspiration from the jolly phonics method, to learn the foundations of letters, sounds and words

Show and tell
This is a favourite activity in our room and everybody participates in one way or another. The children find a sense of confidence and achievement when given the opportunity to speak to the group and other children, less interested in the spotlight enjoy listening to the stories and presentations. We have been sending information to families every few weeks about the upcoming show and tell topics. We really appreciated the family involvement helping their children understand the topic and prepare their participation! We will continue this activity for it is a great platform to learn about many aspects of the world around us.

Group Learning Journal
The Kindy 2 “floor book” is displayed on the literacy and cultural shelf in our Room. We encourage families to have a look at it, as it tells our story. You will see and read about our learning adventures, interest and discoveries. As educators, we put a lot of effort on documenting and reflecting the childrens learning as a group. We really appreciate your feedback, we will endeavour to answer all questions and discuss any topics coming from our families to enrich our learning experiences.

We welcome our new and returning children to the ELC room. In this first block (Feb-Apr) we focus on being responsive to each child’s needs and support them through the transition period and establishing relationships with new and old faces. We are enjoying the informal chats with families to become more familiar with children’s needs; rest, allergies, emotional and interests at home.

A big thank you to Parents supporting more awareness around healthy lunchboxes as we explore the “Eat A Rainbow” educational programme. In this first block (Feb-Apr) PreSchoolers have been excited to smell, touch and taste new foods, make juices/smoothies, engage with ‘being healthy’ fiction&non-fiction books. This line of inquiry has inspired still life drawings of real lemons, pumpkin and other fresh produce. We have expanded our vocabulary by using food cards from all the colours in the rainbow. Children have amazed us with their desire for new words.

We have explored other ways to stay healthy with morning fitness and every afternoon we take a half an hour to slow down our breath and our body in a short guided visualisation.

Thank you to Parents who are being mindful of Circle Time and are ensuring minimal disruption when dropping children into the room after 9:00am. Circle Time is a very special part of our daily routine in the ELC. It is used to introduce new faces, discuss the two day programme and chat about any impromptu topics that the children would like to share. Educators are able to have short discussions with parents regarding pressing matters at drop off, however we now have an allocated time at 3:45pm on Tuesday and Friday for extended chats. Look out for the Precious Cargo Acquaintance Evening in the middle of the year where parents can book in for a 10min appointment time with their child’s Focus Teacher.

We have just recommenced our Community Link with the Year6 students at St. Monica’s Primary School and some Preschoolers will have the opportunity to ‘buddy’ up with these school aged children. We are proud of our beautiful Autumn Harmony Tree where children worked together to make one tree that holds many unique leaves.

This we have revisited our “Around the Sun” song which is part of a very special ritual at Precious Cargo that is sung for a child on their birthday. Preschoolers have loved too, our “slippery fish” song that has signing gestures throughout. A magic moment this week, was the children in ELC ‘teaching’ this song to the Year6’s from St. Monica’s.

ELC children love ‘Show&Tell’ and you a note on your child’s bag will appear just before Block Two begins in May.

As Winter approaches we still like to explore and enjoy our outdoor environment so children are not indoors all day. Even when raining we like to play hopscotch, obstacle course and other activities. Could parents please pack a named jacket and raincoat. If these items have a zip or button-up it aids your child’s practice toward independence. Your child will need a sunsafe hat all year round please (beanie’s can be packed as well as sunhat).

We are constantly seeking parent input to help guide our Programme – so please feel free to talk directly to any of the Educators in your ELC team .