Category Archives: Teachers’ Journals

See what our kids have been up to during the year!

Cultural Celebrations – Anzac Day

Learning about Anzac Day helps young children to understand history as the life and times of people in the past. It also builds an understanding of traditions and facts of Anzac Day.

The book we read in the kinder was called “Anzac Ted”, which had illustrations based on real life and spoke of the sacrifices made by people just like us.

We believe that children learn best when they are highly interested and active in their learning. By learning through and engaging in real-life, hands-on experiences about Anzac Day, young children get an opportunity to understand the importance of this national day and its role in building peace in communities today.

The Educators

Cultural Celebrations – Easter Egg Hunt

The Easter Egg Hunt was a cultural celebration in our kinder and, as the year progresses, we will celebrate and learn about many more celebrations that are important to our families and to the community we live in.

We believe this will help our children:

– be more culturally competent,

– develop positive attitudes towards cultural differences,

– gain knowledge of different cultural practices and world views, and

– develop skills for communication and interaction across cultures.

The Educators

 

 

Family Is Everything

Thanks to all the wonderful families that attend Colchester Park Preschool every year. This year we are very lucky to have such kind and generous families and it has been a pleasure to meet you all at our various events throughout the last 3 months (our Family Night, our first working bee and The Basin Music Festival stall). We have had such a great start to the year!

With the holidays starting next week, we just wanted to send a special thank you to all our wonderful families, volunteers, committee members and our amazing educators. We are very proud that you have chosen our Preschool to be the custodians of your kids and that you have given so generously of your time, creativity and passion. It definitely shows in our kids and our Preschool. Our 3- and 4-yr-olds are growing in confidence, self-expression and are learning so much each and every day at our Preschool and they are a credit both to our Educators and to the families that raise them . Enjoy the holidays and we will see you all again at the start of Term 2!

The Educators (Shobhita, Michelle, Kerrie, Linda) and The Committee.

Science

Learning to Observe is a very important science skill for children.  For pre-schoolers, science is a way of thinking about and understanding the world. It is observing, predicting what might happen, testing those predictions, and making sense of their observations.

From a development perspective, young children learn and understand more effectively when they can see, touch, feel, and manipulate an object. Providing safe readily available materials that children can experiment with is important for hands-on science investigations.

In our planned preschool program, we provide children with science activities that are hands-on, child-driven, authentic, and active. We make drawings of our bearded dragon Stu, trace leaves, and play “sink and float” in a tub of water. Children are asked to observe from different angles many times over. They are encouraged to record their observations. Making drawings of the specimen supports multiple learning areas. Children learn both science and literacy from these activities. They realise that their observations can be recorded on paper and that they can express their visual observations in a written format.

We believe that these experiences lay the foundation for  understanding of more complex scientific concepts later in life.

Our Kinder Pets

In term 2 we welcomed Stu, a bearded dragon, to our kinder. Thank you to Michelle for sharing Stu with us.

We also welcomed to our kinder three chickens, Snow White, Night Wolf and Penny, and three Budgies, Gordon, Apple, and Buddy.

Pets in the kinder are an extension of the children’s learning about being responsible for the environment. Observing and caring for these animal instils a sense of responsibility and respect for life going forward. A kinder pet brings increased sensitivity and awareness of the feelings and needs of others—both animals and humans. Children learn that all living things need more than just food and water for survival. They also learn how their behaviour and actions affect other living beings.

Art and Craft

dot-painting3In the planned programme the children are provided with different art and craft experiences. We believe art and craft art is about experimenting, exploring, and imagining, where children learn by doing, with the emphasis on their participation and not on the end result.

dot-painting2

 

Art and craft experiences in the preschool environment help develop multiple learning areas, including fine motor skills, stimulating imagination, and the understanding that verbal language and feelings can be communicated in symbols. This permanent play space provides opportunities for children to engage in a wide variety of different painting, collage, and drawing media and experiences.

We support the children’s interest in art and craft and encourage them to experiment with still life. The children are asked to draw and paint what they see and not what they think they have to draw. They enjoy the experience of painting something that is real and in front of them instead of from memory alone. The resulting art works are
truly beautiful and much personalised, breaking the stereotypes in preschool-age drawing and painting.

As the year progresses we continue to provide the children with experiences in different media and levels of complexity, where each child is encouraged to participate to the best of their abilities.

Learning About Health and Wellbeing

Learning sun-safety, flexible snack time, and the importance of washing hands encourage children to be responsible for their health and wellbeing. With winter on the way, we talked about how germs spread. We made orange juice for vitamin C to fight colds, and children are reminded to cough into the crook of their elbow, wash hands after blowing their nose, and make sure used tissues are put in the rubbish bin.

We would like to request all parents to keep unwell children home to recover and restrict the spread of germs over this season.

ANZAC Day

Research in education suggests that the children learn best when they are highly interested and active in their learning. Hands-on and engaging real-life experiences about ANZAC Day help children understand our history, as well as the life and times of people in the past.

The book we read, called “ANZAC Ted”, had illustrations based on real life and spoke of the sacrifices made by people just like us. It helped build an understanding of traditions and facts of ANZAC Day. We also played the “Last Post on a Bugle” on YouTube in order for the children to understand the modern day tribute to our past and
present soldiers. This is an opportunity for children to understand the importance of this national day, and its role in building peace in communities today.

Bunnings Incursion

The Bunnings incursion is always a very hand-on experience. In this particular incursion children learn :

  • Interdependence of all living things – we have to care for our plants to get veggies, plants need to be watered and fertilized, and that weeds compete with plants.
  • Reasoning and discovery – Life-cycle of plants, effect of environment on the growth and development of plants.
  • Origin of food – that food is part of nature.
  • Health and wellbeing – children learn to maintain their personal wellbeing as they work outdoors. It is a fun and productive activity in which they work as a team.

A Great Start to the Year

Music-4sWe’ve had a wonderful start to the year, the children have settled in their new kinder and are learning the expectations and routines of the setting. The first few weeks have been about getting to know the children and their families.

As the children explore their kinder environment they have participated in learning experiences of art and craft, puzzles, manipulative toys, social play, sensory play, and imaginary play.

Outdoor play helped practice gross motor skills, sun-safety, and spatial awareness.

Baking healthy cookies helps learn health and hygiene, and the importance of maintaining both two for personal wellbeing.

This term we celebrated Chinese New Year in the kinder. The children made Chinese lanterns and blossom paintings as they learnt the importance of this celebration.

The children are enjoying the music programme run by Linda and look forward to the sessions.

We are also looking forward to getting chickens as kinder pets. The coop has been delivered already.

The children have continued to learn about sustainability. In celebration of Earth Hour, they made book marks to take home with the idea that on Saturday the 19th March between 8.30 – 9.30 all the lights in their home will be switched off.

3-Year-Old Group

The Threes have been learning about colour culminating in our recent Rainbow day celebrations. Now children’s interests are around discovering more about mini-beasts, learning about insects, and about Leafy, our leaf insect (phasmid). We are also enjoying sharing our pet photos, and always thinking about respect for all living things.

We have also been incorporating some learning about celebrations, considering how different families might celebrate different things, and what that might look like. We will recognise Easter as one celebration that many of our families participate in, and offer some experiences that may relate to Easter but that are open ended and encourage children’s creativity as well.

Lots of our Threes are beginning to form friendships and play in small groups, showing a genuine interest in one another and practicing valuable turn taking, sharing, and negotiating skills.