President’s Report

The first few weeks at St Mary’s Preschool has certainly been a busy one. All staff have done a wonderful job of settling the children into their classes and our educators have commented what a great start to the year it has been for both the 3yo and 4yo programs.

The Committee have executed a multi-faceted promotional campaign in order to make our Open Day a success, and we couldn’t have done it without the tremendous efforts and support of our staff and families.

Thank you to all those who volunteered and got involved in the cake stall, open day flyer drop, working bee, early years expo and open day. The interest we have generated within the community and positive responses from prospective (as well as existing and returning) families has been overwhelming.

From the new Committee’s perspective, it has been extremely rewarding to kickstart the year with so much support – a heartfelt thank you to our wonderful St Mary’s Community – keep up the great work.

Our Easter Picnic on Sunday 26 March is the last event for this term, and there is lots more in store after the holidays!

Wishing all families a happy, safe and relaxing time with your children over the Easter Break.

Possum Report

To be provided

Penguin Report

What a fantastic start to the year Penguins have had. Every session we open the door to lots of lovely smiling and enthusiastic faces. They have now all settled into their new kinder routines, and are making new friends within the group.   They actively explore the kinder learning environment, and make the most of every activity on offer.  It is not uncommon to see every child make their way over to a teacher led activity, keen to have a go and participate.

 

Indoors the children have enjoyed exploring and experimenting with the sounds that instruments make. It has been great to see children create bands, and lead each other in making music. We are very fortunate to have Cath whose special interest area is music.   Not only do we start the day with music time, but also have a planned time each week to explore this area further. The children have shown an interest in bugs and creepy crawlies much to my dismay.   We will extend this interest with a visit by the Gould league in a few weeks’ time. They will take us on our very own mini beast hunt in our garden, I wonder what we will find?

 

Encouraging children to use their language plays an important role in every aspect of our program. Over the past week we have been sharing well known nursery rhymes. Working in small groups the children have created puppets that they could use to retell different rhymes in our box theatre. Show and tell is a weekly occurrence, and always popular. The lending library has started and we are enjoying hearing the children tell us about the stories that they have borrowed. We often interview the children about a variety of topics, and this week the children have taken home questions to ask of their families. We hope to use this information to extend our learning about different countries around the world and the roles different people play in our community.

 

With the beautiful weather we have had recently the children have loved outdoor time. Pirate play has been popular all term, and we often find hidden treasure in our play. The children enjoy testing their skills on a variety of obstacle courses, especially ones involving the soft mats and shapes. We have planted seeds, and been amazed at how quickly they have grown.   The imaginative play boxes have proven really popular; and it has been great seeing the children regularly use the contents in their play. The fairy materials are often draped over equipment to make special secret dens. We always end our day with a game, and I love the children enthusiastically telling me they have a new game to share with everyone.

 

We have been talking about sustainable living with the children, and the importance of recycling. We have different coloured bins at kinder, that encourage children to think about what they are throwing away. The Bayside Council have an education program that will be visiting the kinder soon to further support our learning in this area.

Remember to look through our learning journals for a more thorough reflection of what your child experiences in their kindergarten program each session.

 

Shortly you will have the opportunity to make a time to speak with us regarding your child.   Dates and times will be on the notice boards soon.

Dates for Penguin diaries:

Kinder photos – Friday 10th March

Gould league Mini Beast incursion – Friday 17th March

Bayside Council recycling incursion – Friday 24th March

Easter Bonnet Parade & last day of term 1 – Friday 31st March

Emma & Cath

Koala Report

Throughout February we are seeing confident, happy Koala children bounce through our kinder door eagerly ready for the day ahead.

We celebrated Shrove Tuesday with delicious pancakes that we prepared together, decorated with strawberry jam and maple syrup. They were yummy!

Koala’s contribution to St Mary’s cake sale in Church Street was ANZAC biscuits. A thank you to Nina’s mum Martina who helped to prepare our biscuits with us.

We had an amazing visit, it was a big red fire truck and four fire fighters. Such an exciting morning for our Koala children! Ryan’s Dad Stephen a fire fighter shared with us about his role and brought with him a helmet, jacket, gloves and a communication phone. Then it was time to visit the fire truck…how exciting. We sat in the fire truck and used the fire hose. A big thank you to Stephen and Ryan and the other fire fighters! We had so much fun.

Another visitor to our Koala group was Taj’s mum Ramanpreet who is a Doctor. She brought posters, her stethoscope and x-ray pictures to show the children. Ramanpreet spoke about healthy bodies, eating healthy foods and the importance of washing our hands. Thank you Taj and Ramanpreet for sharing time with us.

Over the past few weeks we have been talking about important people in our community that help us. We have had a visit from Annalise a Nurse, Stephen a fire fighter and Ramanpreet a Doctor.

As March continues children will gather together their independence and curiosity helping them to feel comfortable in the St Mary’s community.

We have enjoyed a warm introduction into autumn. In the upcoming weeks we will explore autumn and all its beauty. We will incorporate ‘out and about’ walk’s viewing the changes to trees and plant life with the collection of coloured autumn leaves which will be a part of our program.

We have been learning about pant life, seeds, growth and harvesting from our garden. The children have planted broccoli, lettuce, beans and cauliflower. Watering the vegetable garden daily. Lots of excitement watching the vegetables grow which is happening due to our warm weather.

Another fun visit from Hee Dee ho dance company, Amelia. Amelia sang about a magic carpet ride with actions, dance moves and imagination. It’s so much fun!

Reminders

In the Koala group we continue to talk about the environment and help to keep it clean. We encourage the children to package food in containers or paper bags.

School Noticeboard

Working with Children Checks

We would like to take a moment of your time to inform you about a State-wide policy that all adults volunteering with children have a current Working With Children Check (WWCC). We were lenient on this policy last year but will have to enforce it more thoroughly this year.

If you intend on coming in for parent assistance we urge you to complete your WWCC.

For volunteers this is a free and super simple check, all you have to do is the following;

follow the link below and fill out the questionarre
http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au

A barcobe will be sent to your smartphone to show at a participating Aus Post location where you will get your photo taken
Wait for you card to be posted to you
If you already have a WWCC, you will simply need to add St Mary’s Pre-school as a listed organisation.

Thanks to all and we appreciate your co-operation.

Upcoming Dates

St Mary’s Easter Picnic 11-1pm Sunday 26th March

Come along to St Mary’s Pre-School and enjoy a relaxed family picnic from 11-1pm on Sun 26th March. This is a great opportunity to see what your child has been up to in term one at St Mary’s. Meet & mingle with new friends and re-connect with old ones. Easter Egg Hunt from 12.15. BYO picnic, drinks and picnic rug. Hope to see you there!

Wine Night (Preschool Fundraiser) Saturday 17th June

Venue TBA

URGENT support for the Fundraising Team required!

We are looking for parents to form a fundraising team. We’d love all the help we can get, if you can assist in any way pls email Kate via stmaryskinder@gmail.com

Staff News

Cath Beckingham, our Penguin group co-educator is studying a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with Swinburne University. Swinburne offer an Emerging Leaders program, to recognise skills developed alongside studies, and to encourage students to engage in extra-curricular endeavours to broaden experience.

Cath has recently received the ‘Industry Experience Award‘ which recognises the experience she has obtained through her role at St Mary’s Preschool. On behalf of the St Mary’s Community we would like to congratulate Cath on her achievement.