Welcome – President

Dear Families,

Welcome back to all our existing families and 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 there are many exciting activities and fundraisers planned for the children and families.

Over the period of the holidays we had some changes to our staff in the Penguin Group due to Cath experiencing some personal family issues during the holiday break. I would like to thank Cath for all her hardwork at St Mary’s pre-school, as a parent, parent volunteer and most recently as co-educator of the Penguin Group. Your passion, support and love for the children has been incredible. We take this opportunity to wish you and your family good health for 2019 and importantly wish you well in your final year of study and your future as you begin your teaching career. As we say goodbye to Cath we welcome two new educators to our staff. Karen Revill and An Xu (Annie). Karen will be looking after our Koala children in the afternoon with Amy and also in charge of the aftercare programme. Karen comes to the kinder with many years of experience working in kindergartens in the area, including relief work last year while Lisa was away. We are delighted to have Karen onboard permanently. Annie will be working with Emma in the Penguin Group. Annie has recently completed her early childhood certificate and is currently studying her Diploma. Annie holds a degree in engineering but has found her passion lies in educating children and giving them the best possible start. Please join me in making Karen & Annie feel welcome.

As I handover the reins to our incoming President (Madeleine Power) I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for a successful 2018. The children, parents and staff, thank you for another fantastic year. So much achieved and watching the children grow over the year, they are all either ready for 4year old kinder or school. I wish the children and you all well in 2019.

Thank you to the committee of management for all your support throughout the year, with many changes made and new areas for the children to play introduced. Finally, a massive thank you to the executive committee of 2018 Kate Blake, Kelly Bates, Lisa Perrett, Carla O’Brien for their continued contribution and the volunteer hours that they have put in. I wish the incoming committee of management, staff, parents and children all the very best for 2019.

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 on to the street. If you have any questions or feel a little lost, then please don’t hesitate in contacting a committee member or asking your child’s teacher. Everyone is more than happy to help.


Penguin Report

Welcome to Penguin group, we have had a wonderful start to the Kinder Year.  The children are settled, and have been very busy exploring their learning environment, making new friends and learning new routines.  

We welcome Annie our new educator.  We have enjoyed learning about and celebrating the Chinese New Year with her.  The children have tested their scissor skills very early on cutting creating their own Chinese lanterns to bring good-luck and happiness to their new year.  Over the next few sessions we will learn about the Chinese Calendar, and find out more about which animal represents each of the children. 2019 is the year of the Pig, I wander what we will all be?  We look forward to learning Mandarin throughout the year.  

Over the past few sessions  the children have been interested in our resident stick insect and whether it can ‘camouflage?’;   a child requested some orange paint, whilst another said we can make orange by ‘mixing’ colours;    the children have been experimenting with the different sounds they can make with instruments; whilst another discovered she could make patterns with water on the decking;  a child used  a chart to practise writing the alphabet;  whilst another got frustrated they couldn’t recognise the number 7.  These are just a few observations that have been taken over the first few days.  It highlights the learning opportunities that can happen every day.  We are able to use these observations to further plan for and extend their learning.  

On the Penguin notice board you will notice our weekly program, it outlines what we hope to achieve each week, linking our intentions to the Early Years Learning Framework.  The above observations are regularly added to the program ,  reflected on,  and activities planned to Inco-operate these interests and extend their learning. Please take time to regularly check the board, and our journals to get a better understanding of what is achieved each week.  Each Monday we will send an email home that will briefly outline what has happened the week before, and what will happen in the coming week.  

There are lots of things for the children to look forward to over the upcoming weeks. They will meet Howie the kinder bear, begin borrowing books from our lending library, and start ‘Show and Tell’ which is always a firm favourite.  We have Holly the Bee lady booked in for an incursion, and we will also be heading to St Finbar’s Primary School on an Out and About excursion.  

We are looking forward to a wonderful first term in Penguin Group.  

Emma & Annie  

Koala Report

Hello Koala family and friends,

Welcome to St Mary’s Kinder. We are looking forward to the exciting year ahead with the Koala group. 

We have lots of fun ideas planned in the coming weeks to encourage your child’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive and language development skills. We will share our learning and photos via email and our notice board.

We have enjoyed celebrating Chinese New Year. We done some Chinese arts and crafts at kinder. A special thank you to Louisa’s Mummy for coming in and making delicious Chinese dumplings with us.

The koalas have been busy creating watercolour masterpieces for the front cover of our portfolio. We use our portfolios to store our art work and photos throughout the year. Feel free to have a look at your child’s portfolio anytime during the year. We send home the portfolio at the end of each term for you to admire!

Rest/recharge time is a time for children to take some time to build up their energy times. It is not a sleep time. We take 15 minutes out of the day and sit with the children through some guided meditation. One example of this is Ben Perry’s Superhero audio. This is a nice introduction to meditation and mindfulness. I will also introduce breathing techniques including rubber yellow baby duckies that “swim” on the child’s belly as they breathe. We take time to stretch our busy bodies out afterwards. We split the relation groups into two groups of children 11 children and 1 staff on each mat. We usually do this prior to rotational group work times where we build on team building, fine motor skills, cognitive development and small group tasks with staff etc.  

Library Bags:

Each child in the Koala group will receive a canvas bag. On Tuesday’s your child will have the opportunity to change their library book. We hope you enjoy reading these new books at home. 

Honey Bear:

Honey bear is the Koala class mascot. Great news – Honey likes to visit everyone’s home! On Thursday’s Honey will pick a name out of a hat and go home will a special Koala. We ask that you document Honey’s adventures in his journal and if possible, include some photos. We love to hear about honey’s adventures at circle time. I will leave last year’s journal in the foyer for some inspiration! 


We are having a little trouble with lunch times where the children do not understand what their lunch is, snack etc. This resulted in some children eating too little/much. We have discussed this as a staff team and have put a plan in place to overcome this. We would appreciate if parents could label four individual reusable lunch boxes 1,2,3,4. This will hopefully be practical and environmentally friendly. 

  1. Morning Tea (10:45)
  2. Lunch (12:45)
  3. Afternoon Snack (2:45)
  4. Aftercare (where applicable)

Dates for your calendar:

– 21st February: Holly the Beekeeper incursion 2:30-3:30

– Face Painting: 19th February

– 5th March: Koala Class photos 


Koala Team 


Amy Higgins, Heather Atkinson and Karen Revill 

Possum Report

Welcome to all of the Possum group children & families starting 3yo kinder. We have experienced a wonderful & positive start to the kinder year for every-one [initial tears have now subsided] & we anticipate this to continue throughout the term.

The children are busy learning new names & becoming familiar with their new playmates.We are getting to know each & every child & attending to each child’s individual needs. We try to encourage independence at all times so we ask that you send fruit snack containers, drink bottles, shoes, bags & clothing that your child can manage on their own [please remember to name all of your child’s belongings].

The activities & interest centres that we plan relate to the children’s interests & current needs & we encourage the children to engage in a wide variety of activities & tasks. The time spent a 3yo kinder is relatively short so our program is not as extensive as the 4 year old program given that the 4yo’s have much more time. Given the short time span I ask that the children just bring a piece of fruit or vegie sticks to eat [as mentioned in the parent information handbook—they do not need a huge snack.]. Please ensure that your child has eaten breakfast or lunch before they attend kinder. I specifically request fruit only [or vegie sticks if your child does not eat fruit] to overcome any risk to any anaphylactic children or children with allergies.

We look forward to parent helpers which will start next term. Due to current low numbers we do not need extra hands at present but as our numbers increase with late starters we will arrange a parent help list for term 2. You can help the children by reading a story, putting smocks on, writing names on art-work, helping the children pack their bags, putting shoes on, swinging the children outdoors & helping to tidy the kinder room in readiness for the next group attending.

Reminders   -Please sign in & out in the correct space & at the correct time in the “attendance” book [your child’s name will correspond to a certain number in the book]. Please sign “IN” on arrival & “OUT” on departure & “NAME” of person picking up remembering that this is a legal document that requires accurate information. Please advise any-one else picking up your child of this procedure.

The children’s portfolios are located on the top shelf of the children’s lockers and can be viewed at any time [we have not yet made any entries though]. Daily/Weekly journal of activities & events, programming & parent notice files (in green “possum” tub) are located in the foyer—please check regularly for news & information. Weekly emails will be sent with reminders/ information & weekly reflection of events. We look forward to the year ahead with the Possum group families.

Team Possum

Leonie & Lisa 


Communication with 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. 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.

In 2019 we have also re-introduced the private Facebook Group. We would ask parents to please be mindful any photos that you post and ensure that you have sought the parents permission of those children in the photos. The facebook group is – https://www.facebook.com/groups/483883068777925

Working with Children Check

In 2019 it is a state-wide recommendation that all adults volunteering with children have a current Working With Children’s Check (WWCC). St Mary’s Pre-school encourages all parents and guardians to have a current WWCC. For volunteers it is FREE and very easy to complete, all you need to do is the following:

  1. Type this link into your browser      http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au

(The St Mary’s secretary will have also sent you an email with the above link)

  1. Go to “Apply for a Check” and follow the prompts
  2. A barcode will be sent to your smartphone to show at a participating Australian Post Office.  This is where you will get your photo taken.
  3. Wait for the card to be posted to you.
  4. A copy will also be sent to St Mary’s Pre-school.  But please feel free to bring it into the kinder to be sighted and copied for our records.

If you already have a WWCC, please add St Mary’s Pre-school as a listed organisation. Note: It is a legal requirement to have a WWCC for anyone other than a parent/legal guardian of a child currently enrolled at St Mary’s Pre-school.

Upcoming Events

Committee Meeting – Monday 18th March @ 7.30pm

Family Picnic Brunch – Sunday 24th March @ 10.00am -11:15am

St Mary’s Open Day – Saturday 30th March @ 10am – 1:00pm

Committee Meeting – Monday 4th April @ 7.30pm

Annual Major Fundraiser – (Date TBC – More information to follow)

Movie Night – Friday 28th June Disco – Friday 23rd August

Comedy Night – Friday 15th November

Class Photos

Penguin – Friday 15th March

Koalas – Tuesday 5th March

Possums – Friday 3rd May

Kinder Enrolments 2019 & Open Day 2020

Our Annual Open Day (Saturday 30th March 2019) is a chance for people not within the St Mary’s community to come in and see how beautiful our kinder is. We currently still have a few spots available in our 3 year-old groups. If you know anyone wanting to start at the kinder in 2020 or someone who may be interested in a position in our 3 year-old group in 2019, please let them know about us and pass on the date of our open day.

New Committee

We would like to introduce to you the committee for 2019. 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 – Madeleine Power (Penguin – Astrid Power)

Vice President – Layal Hamill (Penguin – Lani Hamill)

Secretary – Kate Blake (Penguin – Ryder Blake)

Treasurer – Lisa Perrett (Penguin – Harrison Perrett)

Enrolments – Carla O’Brien (Penguin – Boston O’Brien)

Maintenance – Jim Oliver (Koala – Clementine Oliver)

Fundraising – Lia Nunn (Koala – Matilda Nunn)

Social – Sophie Craig (Penguin – Poppy Craig)

Marketing – Kate Hilton (Penguin – Sadie Hilton)

IT – Karina Brown (Penguin – Zoe Brown)

Possum Class Rep – Kiley Stubbings (Possum – Lewis)

Koala Class Rep – Nicole Hadzisejdic (Koala – Nicole)

Penguin Class Rep – Rachel O’Donnell (Penguin – Amber)

Term Dates

Term 1: 30th January – 5th April

Term 2: 23rd April – 28th June

Term 3: 15th July – 20th September

Term 4: 7th October – 18th December

Public Holidays – Closed

Labour Day – Monday 11th March

ANZAC Day – Thursday 25th April

Queens Birthday – Monday 10th June

Melbourne Cup Day – Tuesday 5th November

Facebook Page and Group

Are you following our St Mary’s FB page?

Please do us a massive favour and jump online and like our page so we can open up to a broader network. https://www.facebook.com/stmarysbrightoneast  

Please also join the 2019 group to receive up to date information about social events happening at St Mary’s. https://www.facebook.com/groups/483883068777925

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt