Welcome – President

Dear Families,

Welcome back to all our existing families and also a warm welcome to all our new families.  We hope you have all had a great Christmas break and you are settling well into the start of the year.

We are all looking forward to the year ahead and have many exciting activities and fundraisers planned for the children and families.

Over the period of the holidays we have made some improvements to St Mary’s kinder, with the most obvious being the new ramp at the entrance to make access safer, easier and inclusive. We also have a new vegetable patch at the back of the garden, which we will continue to develop over the year with your help. This will give the children great experiences in growing and eating their own produce.

We would like to continue tidying the garden area up and we would like to ask for your help in doing so, by supporting our kinder maintenance day on Sunday 18 th February at 9.00am. The more people we have the quicker it will be completed for us to all enjoy.

We also welcome our new Koala teacher Trish Bull to the St Mary’s team. Trish comes to the kinder with many years of experience working in kindergartens in the area, including St Mary’s, and we are delighted to have her back. Please join me in making Trish feel welcome.

The holidays saw the executive committee get together a number of times and I would like to thank Kate Blake, Kelly Bates, Lisa Perrett, Carla O’Brien and the Staff for their continued contribution and the hours that they have put in to make sure we were up and running on Tuesday 30 th January.

One final request. As Committee Members and parents, we ask that upon entering and leaving the kinder that you only escort your child in and out of the gate, in particular please do not let other unaccompanied children out onto Hughes street.

If you have any questions or feel a little lost, then please don’t hesitate in contacting myself or asking your child’s teacher. We are all more than happy to help.

Louise

Important information for Parents

St Mary’s will use two main ways to communicate with parents, regular emails from the Committee and Staff, and more important direct notifications using the Konnective application.

The Konnective app will be used primarily to notify parents of any emergencies, providing you important information and instructions whilst the emergency is managed. We will also use Konnective for status updates about outside excursions, any upcoming incursions, events, and other general information about the kinder.

For any emergencies or “out and about” programs (4yo groups only) you will receive a “push” notification from the kinder via the Konnective app to your phone. It is important you have the Konnective app, and your notifications turned on, as this may be the only way we are able to communicate with you during an emergency.

For all other types of information and events you will not receive push notifications. To view these you will need to open Konnective to see updates.

Important events will be listed, and you are able to save these directly to your calendar. If you need help accessing and using Konnective please let us know and we will assist you.

Any other correspondence will come from your teacher or the St Mary’s Secretary – Kate Blake.

Penguin Report

Welcome to Penguin group for 2018.

The first few weeks at kinder is all about settling in, making new friends, becoming familiar with the kinder routines, and most importantly having lots of FUN.

It is also a time for Cath and I to get to know your child, their interests and capabilities.  From our observation’s, and the information you all provided us in your child questionnaires, we are able to plan our program, and make goals as to how we can further extend your child. We always welcome ideas, suggestions and feedback.

The first few sessions have been very busy and productive. The children have really enjoyed exploring their new kinder learning environment and making the most of all the activities on offer. It has been wonderful to watch the children already working together to build elaborate train tracks; make cookies out of play-dough; play games outdoors; and share resources at the making table. The sand pit has been very popular, and the beautiful weather makes it a fun place to be with lots of water. As a group we have started discussing our kinder rules, and will continue developing these.

Over the next few weeks;
 We will be exploring the topic of ‘ME’, exploring how unique and individual we all are.
 Howie our kinder bear will start visiting families
 Children will start lending books from our lending library
 We will be celebrating the Chinese New Year.
 and also getting to know each other through bringing in special items for ‘show and tell’

Over the holiday the committee have made some wonderful improvements to our building and surrounding gardens. Not only do we now have ramp access, but we also have a wonderful new vegetable garden. It has a few final touches to be made before the children
can start planting. We are really looking forward to developing this space.

So much learning takes place everyday. We endeavour to record this as much as possible in our planning journals, and also your child’s portfolios. The weekly program is displayed on our Penguin board in the foyer, and outlines the interests of the children and our weekly activities. We will also keep you up to date through regular emails. Shortly you will notice pages being added to your child’s portfolios. These are located above your child’s lockers and are there for you to enjoy.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year in the Penguin Group, and at St Mary’s. Any queries please let us know.

Emma & Cath

Koala Report

Welcome to all the children and families! We are so excited to get to know everyone and are looking forward to a wonderful year ahead.  During our first weeks together, our focus is on ensuring that each child feels safe, secure and supported in their new environment.  Forming trusting relationships with the children and families is so very important for developing a sense of belonging, confidence and a positive learning environment.

In saying this we feel that the children have started the year in a very positive and happy way. They have been actively involved with lots of open-ended activities such as painting, playdough, collage and sand play, music, stories  and discussions. These types of activities allow us to support, connect and spend time really getting to know each individual child. One child expressed that she “was feeling a bit nervous “which then sparked lots of rich discussions about our feelings. I’m sure we can all identify with how it feels when we begin a new adventure!

It is already emerging just what wonderfully kind and friendly community of learners the Koalas are. They are showing us just how enthusiastic they are to help a friend, play with a friend and show kindness towards a friend. Throughout the year we will encourage, promote and support friendships and respectful relationships. We discussed ‘rules’ with the children and why we need to have them at kinder. We asked the children what they thought some fair rules would be. They had lots of valuable contributions and were very knowledgeable on the subject. The list was long!

We are currently establishing a routine for our long day, one which works best for the needs of the children in the group. Children like to know whats coming up next during their day and having that predictable structure can help them feel secure. Late afternoon we do have a relaxation time where we incorporate some mindfulness to help our bodies and minds rest and recharge.

Our program is inspired by our creative and curious children and their emerging interests. We embrace the cultures of our families and are currently learning a fun Hello song in English and in Russian.

Just to let Families know we are placing a ‘stay and play ‘roster next to the sign in book if you would like to join us for a session or part of one. Everyone is always welcome to join us, have fun and share an interest.

Thank you
Trish, Heather and Heather

Possum Report

A great big welcome to all Possum group families and the start of the new school year. Possum children have started 3 y o kinder showing much enthusiasm & keenness to complete activities & tasks presented to them.

The first term is usually a term of exploration where the children are becoming familiar with both the new adults and new kinder children in Possum group whilst exploring their new learning environment as well. Both the indoor and outdoor play areas offer different skills to master and each individual child will practise new skills and progress at very different levels.  Children arrive at kinder with many different skills and will choose activities and tasks that are of interest to them so we ensure that there is a variety of activities for the children to explore. Activities and tasks are planned around the children’s interests and abilities and the 3yo program differs greatly from the 4yo program. Possum group friendships usually begin to emerge during term 2 and sometimes friendships at this age are not consolidated until mid-year.

Possum children only have a very short session time. Our routine starts on the carpet to talk about the day. We then engage in indoor play followed by outdoor play. During the session we explore story, music, dance, yoga (2 nd and 3 rd terms), chat time and fruit time together and incursions are planned throughout the year. We invite live reptiles, farm animals and music and drama groups to kinder. If you have a special skill you would like to share with us please let us know as we would love to include you in our program (cooking, gardening, music, story-telling, science…..the list is endless)

During term 1 our calendar of events will include –a parent play-date at kinder when you will have an opportunity to see your child at play and meet with other Possum group parents, a teddy bear’s picnic, a family social day, Easter celebrations and maybe an Olympics day. We will also make a “photo book” of kinder friends which we use to identify and recall the names of all the children in Possum group. We have full enrolments this year so at the moment there are no extra sessions available.

Parent help days will start once the children are well settled into their new kinder routine but to be able to add your name to the parent help roster you will need to obtain a “working with children” check which you do online.

Each term we complete an emergency evacuation procedure and in 3 yo kinder we keep this routine very simple. You will be advised when we do this so that further discussion can take place at home if needed. Each week you will receive an email outlining the week’s activities and events so please read as this informs you of what is happening at kinder. If you have any questions or concerns please approach staff after a session or telephone either before or after a session time. We look forward to a busy and fulfilling first term.

Leonie &  Lisa

Important Dates

– Maintenance Day (Sunday 18 th February @ 9.00am)
– Vision Family Portraits (Sunday 4 th March)
– Committee Meeting (Monday 5 th March @ 7.30pm)
– Family Picnic – 25/03/18 @ 10.30-12.30
– Cocktail Night – 19/05/2018 @ 7.30pm (The Deck, Bay St, Brighton)

Kinder Photos

Penguin class photos – Friday 2nd March
Koala class photos – Tuesday 6th March
Possum class photos – Friday 18th May and Monday 21st May

Current Committee:

We would like to introduce to you the committee for 2018. Should you have any questions, please feel free to approach one of the people below. If you would like to be involved please reach out as it is a fun community to be a part of and very satisfying giving back.

President – Louise Scales (Penguin – Ben Scales)
Vice President – Kelly Bates (Possum – Sophia Miglic)
Secretary – Kate Blake (Possum – Ryder Blake)
Treasurer – Lisa Perrett (Penguin – Charlie Perrett, Possum – Harrison Perrett)
Enrolments – Carla O’Brien (Possum – Boston O’Brien)
Maintenance – Vince Colubriale (Penguin – Biance Colubriale)
Fundraising – Jodie Ashworth (Koala – Indiana Ormando)
Social – Shruti Goyal (Koala – Ira Goyal)
Marketing – Kate Hilton (Possum – Sadie Hilton)
IT – Karina Brown (Possum – Zoe Brown)
Possum Class Rep – Rachel Gomes (Possum – Richard Gomes)
Koala Class Rep – Beth Henry (Koala – Hope Henry)
Penguin Class Rep – Zoka Bokan (Penguin – Anna Bokan)

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