President’s Report

We are in December already and fast approaching year-end !! Before the festive season sets in and we get caught up with Christmas and holiday plans I would like to acknowledge the hard work of all the Committee members who have contributed to and helped shape the St Mary’s Community this year; Emma Stanford (Vice-President), Kate Blake (Secretary), Tayissa Georgas (Treasurer), Carla O’Brien (Enrolments), Kim Spirdinoff (Fees Officer), Shai Bynon (Newsletter), Ali Hearne (IT), Selena Webb (Fundraising), Vince Colubriale (Maintenance), Kelly Bates (Grants), Rachel Gomes (Social), Katrina Brown (Social), Anita Lasocki (Social), Natalia Ellaway (Compliance & HR) and Marina Stevenson (Accountant) – along with the dedicated efforts of our team of Staff who provide our children with a quality kinder programme year in and year-out, the collective input of each of our committee members this year has resulted in a productive and rewarding year. Please refer to our AGM Report for full detail of our year’s work.

In reccent events a large number of families enjoyed a warm friday evening at kinder earlier this term featuring a fabulous magic show by ‘The Amazing Ashley’ and sausage sizzle – thank you Social Team for organising! Our working bee was also very successful and we are thrilled to have completed our lush childrens garden – landscaped and laboured with love by our very own families – thanks to all who got involved! We look forward to seeing the Term through with Christmas Nativity at St Andrews Church and Class Concerts which are a huge highlight of Term 4 and a lovely way to conclude the year.

Our parental survey has once again demonstrated a high level of satisfaction with St Mary’s teaching staff and committee alike. It is a credit to all staff and committee members involved that parents and children have such positive experiences at St Mary’s Preschool.

I would personally like to thank my Executive Emma Stanford (Vice President), Kate Blake (Secretary) and Tayissa Georgas (Treasurer) for being an incredibly pro-active, committed and supportive team to work with.

Oh behalf of the Executive Committee I would like to thank all Committee Members, Staff and Families who have contributed their time, donations, expertise and involvement throughout the year. The 2018 Committee of Management, lead passionately by our incoming President Louise Scales will continue to enhance and improve on all aspects of our outstanding kindergarten and I am inspired by and excited for the great achievements to come.

Wishing all St Mary’s Children, Staff and Families a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and best wishes to 2018 preppies and families for a seamless transition next year as they embark on their new chapter as School children!

Key Dates:
Sunday 10 December – Christmas Nativity at St Andrews Church
Wednesday 20 December – Last Day of Kinder (Penguins & Possums)
Thursday 21 December – Last Day of Kinder (Koalas – please note earlier finish time)

Olivia Collins

Possum Report

The Possum group children have enjoyed a wonderful year together & it is hard to believe that the end of the year has arrived & all too quickly

It has been a pleasure to see the Possums grow & mature during the year & we wish all children & families success for the coming year

Many friendships have been made & hopefully these will continue as the children move into their new kinder groups in 2018

Term 4 has been a busy time & the children are very excited as Christmas approaches.

Your kinder child has grown immensely during the year—physically, emotionally & socially & I am sure they will all move through the coming year with great confidence & self-esteem

Thank-you to all parent helpers throughout the year, thank-you to all Committee members , thank-you to all kinder families & thank-you to all the children who have been part of the Possum group. We have all had some fun times together

As we prepare for summer holidays we also look forward to welcoming new families to our 2018 possum group

Party/Concert Day is on Monday Dec 18th from 9:15am until 11:00am when all children & grown-ups are invited to attend

Wednesday Dec 20th is the last day of kinder when we will be doing lots & lots of cleaning up chores

Christmas greetings & good cheer to all St. Mary’s families

Thank-you for a wonderful year at kinder

Leonie & Lisa [3yo possum group]

Penguin Report

We have had another busy month at kinder.   Thankyou to everyone that came to our Design exhibition. The children were all very excited to be sharing their amazing creations with you all. Their projects showcasing many of the wonderful skills they had developed throughout the year.

The drama toolbox came to visit with their ‘Earth Hero’s’ show. Immersing the children into a drama where they set out around the world to save endangered animals. As Earth hero’s the children were able to; stop trees being cut down in Sumatra; stop rubbish being put in the Great Barrier Reef; Stop fires being lit in Tasmanian forests, and make sure their was enough fish left in the Antarctic waters.   With their fantastic use of props and costumes the children’s interest and enthusiasm were captured for the entire show.

Last week we were meant to be visiting the Melbourne Zoo but with the extreme weather conditions we were very lucky to make a late change to the Melbourne Museum.   We were all very grateful to be indoors on such a hot day.   There is so much to see and do at the museum; exploring the living forest; taking the dinosaur walk; learning about what lives in the ocean; seeing the many different animals that live around the world and finally my favourite area the Bugs Alive exhibition. I hadn’t realised that they were living exhibits. The children were amazed at all the different bugs, spiders and insects they were able to see in action.   Thankyou to everyone that came to support this excursion, having a ration of 1:2 meant that they children were able to get so much more out of this visit.

We had an artist in residence teaching the children how to Mosaic. The children all worked with Ange to create a paver for our outdoor fairy garden, and our now using the skills they learnt to create a Christmas surprise for you.

Over the past few weeks the children have been rehearsing for their Christmas concert. They have enjoyed performing all year, so it is very fitting that they have created a Christmas story based around one of our favourite authors Lynley Dodd.   We look forward to performing it for you all.

We thank Heather and Sue for teaching the children sport and Yoga throughout the year.   We are very lucky to have them both, and they have taught the children so many important skills that they will be able to continue using.

It has been an absolute pleasure to teach all of your children this year, and we have had a lot of fun. Thankyou to everyone that has supported our program, your help is always appreciated and allows us to do so much more in our sessions. We wish you all a wonderful Christmas, and a smooth transition into school. It is always sad to see them all graduate from kinder, but it is great to see them all so excited to be starting their new adventure. They are all more than ready.

If you are ever calling past, please pop in. We love to see the children and hear about all the wonderful things they have been learning.

Merry Christmas

Emma and Cath

Koala Report

It’s hard to believe we have only two weeks left together in the Koala group. I wish I had a few more months with the children, but in two weeks I must say goodbye and wish them luck as they become Preps. With the end of the year fast approaching, this is an ideal time for the children to reflect on their time at St Mary’s, the friendships they have made, the events and experiences they have participated in and their own growth, learning and development over the year. This week the children have been enjoying looking through their portfolios, which is an ideal tool for reflection and conversation. The discussions provide insights into the children’s ways of thinking, attitudes and views of themselves as individuals and as members of a community of learners.

Conservation has been a focus of the curriculum this term, with our visit to the zoo which saw our children becoming Wild Explorers, developing their interest and excitement about wildlife and learning about local species that are at risk of extinction. This week we extended on this learning with a drama workshop entitled “Habitat Heroes”. Our woodworking workshop also supported learning about conservation and the natural environment, as the children learned about the value and importance of trees in our world, before enthusiastically creating their own wooden masterpiece.

This term the children have also enjoyed music and movement workshops, cooking and gardening experiences, lots of creative expression and problem solving through their art, craft and construction, sports, yoga and integrated STEM and literacy learning through group time stories and extension activities. The development of scientific inquiry skills through hands-on experiences and experimentation has been observed and I think there are quite a few budding engineers or scientists amongst our group.

To celebrate the year, the Koala group will have a class party on Thursday 21st December at 11:30am and families are welcome to attend.

I would like to say a very big thank you to all of the children and families of the 2017 Koala group for making the last few months an absolute joy. It truly is a privilege to teach a group of children who have such an eagerness for learning, and care and empathy for each other and the world around them. As the children’s first and most important teachers, Koala group parents should feel very proud of their children.

Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe and relaxing Christmas, and all the very best for the new year ahead,

– Daniella, Heather and Heather.

School Noticeboard

Sunday 10 December – Christmas Nativity at St Andrews Church
Wednesday 20 December – Last Day of Kinder (Penguins & Possums)
Thursday 21 December – Last Day of Kinder (Koalas – please note earlier finish time)

Thank You

Once again, many thanks to all the wonderful teachers that have provided such an enriched environment for a our children to learn in 2017.

Many thanks also to St Andrew’s Church and congregation for welcoming our families and providing the lovely nativity service held Sunday 10th December.

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