Welcome – President

Welcome back to all children and families. What an exciting term we have in store with many things happening.

Firstly, I would like to thank Trish Bull for all her hard work in Term 1 in helping us settle the Koala group. We have now found a wonderful permanent Koala Group Leader, Amy Higgins. We would like you all to welcome Amy to St Marys.

Amy is from Ireland and comes to the kinder with over 10 years of experience working in the childcare profession. She has a demonstrable record of designing and implementing some excellent educational and fun activities for the children, and has a good background in working with children with varying levels of abilities. We are very excited to have Amy on board and look forward to working with her. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate in contacting me.

A big personal thank you, to all the families that helped out on Maintenance Day at the end of February. We have managed to transform the entrance area into a fantastic learning space for the children, with the teachers being able to work with the children outside exposing them to “Bush Kinder” practices. The vegetable patch has been well utilized and the children are enjoying watching their seedlings grow into vegetables. Soon they will participate in picking, cooking, and eating the fruits of their labors.

The kinder children and their families enjoyed the family Easter picnic at the end of Term 1.  It was a wonderful atmosphere, lots of happy children hunting and eating eggs (and some parents too) utilizing our new front garden area. It was great to see so many families and the children all went home with a great Easter egg stash.

In Term 2 we have the Disco, which is always a fun amusing evening, and we also have our major fundraiser for the year, a drinks and auction evening at The Deck on Bay Street Brighton. The date is set for the 19 th May. It is vital we raise as much money as possible for the kinder at this event as the funds provide the kinder with the much needed funding to purchase materials and learning aides for the children. Last year we were able to upgrade the front area and replenish our stock of books, this year we hope to fix the Dendy street play area and enhance the sensory play activities. We ask as many families as possible to join the fun evening, there will be both loud and silent auctions conducted on the night. Tickets are currently on sale and we have a number of items being auctioned both through a silent and loud auction.

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. Letting other unaccompanied children out on to the busy streets could result in a terrible disaster. Please pass this message on to anyone who picks up your children, including careers and grandparents.

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

Fundraiser

As you know our annual fundraiser is in full swing, we have been gathering the most exciting auction items for you guys. All we need to do now is get you guys to come! It’s always a fun night and our only adults catch up throughout the year so we’d love to see you there and welcome to bring friends.

To book please go to: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=348485&

Kinder Enrolments – 2019

Our Annual Open Day was a chance for people not within the St Mary’s community to come in and see how beautiful our kinder is. We had a great response from the wider community and a big thank you to Carla O’Brien (Enrolments) & Kate Blake (Secretary) for ensuring the morning ran smoothly.

Enrolments for St Mary’s Preschool open with Bayside City council on May 1st 2018. For all those wanting to enrol in 2019 please ensure you complete your registration with the council to secure your place in 2019.

Details can be found at the following link: https://www.bayside.vic.gov.au/kindergarten

If you know anyone wanting to start at the kinder in 2019, please let them know about us and pass on the link above to register.

Communication

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.

Penguin Report

Throughout first term we regularly used the front garden as part of our program. It has been wonderful watching the children explore and work out how to use this space. Our very own little onsite bush kinder experience. One term on: children have munched on snow peas; learnt about nocturnal possums that have sneakily eaten our carrot tops; discovered that twigs and leaves make great  aintbrushes; that autumn leaves are vivid colours of red, yellow and orange; that moths lay eggs that develop into caterpillars that munch on our cabbages; that natural environments are great places to play hide and seek with our friends. It has quickly become one of our favourite places to play. It is also lovely seeing families enjoy this space before and after their kinder sessions. We are so  thankful to all the parents involved in making this area such a wonderful place for the children to play.

The children have been really interested about learning different languages spoken around the world. Keen to add different ways of saying ‘Hello’ and ‘Good-bye’ to our end of day song. Previously as home learning they had researched where their families came from, and we now look forward to using this information to begin our ‘Travels around the World’.  Where we hope and plan to learn something new about each country we visit.

Show and Tell is such a wonderful communication tool. Developing skills in confidence, listening, questioning, and Articulation. I only have to mention the word ‘Show and Tell’ and the children move quickly to the mat . This term we introduce our ‘Alphabet’ show and tell. Encouraging children to think about our letter of the week and the sound that letter makes when choosing what item to bring into share.

The lending library has once again been very popular. We are continually updating our books as children are rapidly reading through them all. Cath and I enjoy asking children about the books they have read, and listening to their enthusiastic responses. It is great
seeing this ‘love’ of reading developing – such an important step in their journey to becoming readers.

We are currently confirming some dates for our incursions and excursions for this term.  Dates will include a visit from: the Bayside Council to speak with us about recycling; the Drama Toolbox to take us into the world of circus performers; and a visit to Toby Haenen Swim Centre for a water safety session.

We are looking forward to a wonderful term. 

Emma and Cath.

Important Dates:
9th May – Mothers Day High Tea 11:30 – 1:30

Koala Report

Hello Everybody,

Welcome back to Term two! We hope you enjoyed the Easter holidays.  The Koala group have done some exciting Easter activities before the break. Have a look at the photos below…

– We bought dough from the local bakers and made yummy hot cross buns for afternoon tea

– We read some Eater stories and sang some song about Bunnies

– Did you know that the Easter Bunny called into St Mary’s kinder and hid lots of chocolate eggs? Don’t worry – we found them all.

– We had an Easter themed fine motor skills box that we really enjoyed.

– We made Easter baskets to use on our hunt!

– We decorated our Eater Bonnets.

And of course we had our Easter parade, thanks to everyone who was able to come.

The Koalas are very excited to welcome two new friends to the group. Welcome Mia and Maggie we know you are going to make lots of new pals and hopefully enjoy your time at St Mary’s Kindergarten!

On Tuesday afternoons the Koala group will have sports class with Heather Foster. The group is split into two sessions and the children really enjoy this active time. Please remember to wear runners on Tuesday.

Autumn leaves are falling and the Koalas are exploring the theme of nature and autumn. We have been busy taking care of our vegetable patch and doing some leaf art this week! Please feel free to bring in any natural items you may find while you are out and about! We are busily working towards our Cocktail Night art masterpiece. At the moment it is a vision in disguise but it is going to be amazing!

We will be continuing to do ‘Show and Tell’ on Thursdays for this term. We had some really great ideas this week including a map of the stars and a real plane ticket! We love these unusual and interesting items. Honey Bear is enjoying spending time with different families and thanks to everybody for taking such great care of him.

A special Happy Birthday to Shun and Ryan who both recently celebrated their birthdays – We hope you had lots of fun!

We hope you have a great term.

Amy & Heather

Possum Report

Welcome back to kinder to all Possum Group families, we hope you enjoyed Easter & the holiday break. It was great to see lots of smiling faces arrive at the front door for the start of Term 2 & the children were very talkative with each other and were pleased to be back playing & interacting with their kinder peers. We have had a busy start to the term with artwork centred around picture plates, auction artwork for the major fundraising night in May, & Mother’s day gifts to complete.

Mums—you are invited to kinder on Monday, May, 14th at 10:15 am for a “picnic in the playground” (fruit will be provided).  This term we also welcome Sue to do fortnightly yoga sessions with the children.

The professional photographer will take photos of the children & you can chose to purchase these photos if you wish.

Jack & Molly will present a musical/drama incursion themed around “how green grows my garden & sustainability” & this will enhance our planting of seedlings in the vegie patch.

During the cooler months at kinder we still play outdoors and the children need a warm jacket as the outdoor playground becomes quite cold.  Sunhats do not need to be worn.

If you have a sick child please keep them at home as germs spread to both the other children in the group as well as the adults. If a sick child arrives at kinder we will not hesitate to send them home as kinder is not a happy place to be if you are feeling unwell. Please ring the kinder to let us know if your child is ill.

The children really enjoy eating fruit together at fruit time & it becomes quite an event as the children sit & talk about the different fruits they are eating. To add variety you may send vegie sticks but please no processed “snack” foods as we try to maintain “healthy” foods for the children to eat. I request fruit/ vegie only to avoid any mishap with any children who have allergies & for the short time the children are at 3yo kinder I think fruit /vegie should be sufficient. Please provide drink & food containers that your child can manage as this adds to their independent skill level that we encourage in the 3yo group.

Mid-year parent interviews/conversations will take place during June/July (details to come later).

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me or arrange a time to chat after a session.

We look forward to an eventful Term 2.

Leonie & Lisa ( Possum group educators)

Events

Registrations open for Enrolments in 2019 – 1st May (Bayside City Council)

Committee Meeting – 14th May

Possum Group Photos – Friday 18th May and Monday 21st May

Cocktail Night – 19/05/2018 @ 7.30pm (The Deck, Bay St, Brighton)

Committee Meeting – 4th June

Disco – 22nd June (5pm – 7pm)

Preschool Holiday Programme – 2-6th July (9am-2pm)

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.

Term Dates

Term 1: 30th January – 29th March

Term 2: 16th April – 29th June

Term 3: 16th July21st April

Term 4: 8th October – 21st December

Public Holidays – Kinder Closed

June 11th – Queen’s Birthday (Penguin & Possum Group A & B)

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