This will be the final reflection for this year, and what a great year it has been.
This week has seen us totally immersed in Christmas preparations, glue and glitter everywhere, decorations to be made to make our room look festive and beautiful, songs to be learnt, and surprises to be finished and hidden away
The children were also able to do their favourite Kindergarten activities, sometimes you need a break from Christmas!
We had a visit from “Cleo” Mary’s Guinea Pig, which was very exciting. We received a letter from Dougie and his family who have gone to live in England, we were able to read about his new home and his new School. The children enjoyed their last music and dance sessions with Kylie and Karen, who have instilled an appreciation of music and movement in the children, what great experiences they have had.
Drawing has continued to be a favourite activity – the children create wonderful, imaginative, creative, detailed drawings and paintings, which show an awareness of colour, design, and fine muscle control. They are able to draw what they want, able to follow through their ideas.
In building, the children have demonstrated an awareness of space, balance, size and distance, creating detailed and involved structures.
Physically, the children have developed confidence in themselves and their own abilities.
We will measure ourselves again next week, so the children can compare how much they have grown over the year, we have measured them on our Height chart at the end of each term during the year.
The children have developed confidence and independence – an awareness of others and being part of a group – all working towards settling into School and growing up in the World.
As we look back on a great year, thank you to all our families for your help and support, thank you to Sylvia who has helped us during the year and a special thanks to my co-educators Ann and Lisa, who are so important and wonderful.
Have a happy and safe holiday. It’s goodbye from me – I wish you all well – I will miss you all.
Group A Educators – Margot, Ann and Lisa.
Please find below the transcript of the speech given by Anne Beddoe for the 2016 AGM. I don't know about you, but it certainly struck a chord with me. Read on, it's worth it!
Centre Manager’s AGM Report-2016
As the new kid on the block I was as curious as you probably are about this well-established kindergarten which has served the community since 1977; where some of you are leaving from as your children grow to school age and others enter through the kindergarten gate.
Over the last 8 weeks I have felt the pulse of Armadale ELC and it beats strong and steady. The staff are committed and show a true affection and dedication towards children striving to facilitate in the learning journey. Many have worked here a long time and others like myself have joined recently.
The families are genuinely interested not only in their children but in the growth and development of others in the group. They participate in curriculum events and fundraising activities.
The children are the ones that illustrate the success of the programs run here. They bounce through the door full of stories and are eager to engage in the day’s activities.
The program is full of learning initiated by children’s interests, directed by the teacher or opportunities taken through simple questions or observations that turn into teachable moments.
Some of these experiences include nature based activities using our amazing playground with our vegetable garden, 2 sand pits and a wide generous verandah protecting children from harsh sun or rain and allowing them to experience indoor and outdoor education regardless of the weather. Sustainable education has been supported through various incursions such as wildlife exposures, living eggs, silkworms, responsible pet ownership program, the mobile farm and Melbourne museum.
Cultural community experiences are enriched through our much treasured dance and music programs and I would like to take this opportunity to thank both Karen the Dance teacher and Kylie the music teacher for their dedication and energy in presenting their programs this year. David the music man brought instruments from around the world and explained how these instruments worked in a meaningful way to the children. Our own families have been very active in sharing their traditions and cultural celebrations including a special Divali day, and other parents helping children learn well known songs in different languages.
Not only do the children feel connected, they bring this knowledge of culture into an accepting kindergarten environment where, when mixed helps strengthen our kindergarten community.
Self-expression through dance and song, but also through art and craft and problem solving, help with the development of children. These opportunities help children gain meaning of things around them and to communicate their understanding through different mediums such as collage, art and construction.
Set ups in the learning environments are a very powerful tool and in fact in the reggio inspired curriculum, the environment is referred to as the third teacher. Environments and setups provoke and inspire children’s minds setting them on an enquiry journey of learning and understanding. When observed and worked in collaboration with early childhood educators this can lead to intense, developmentally appropriate learning for children.
Staff professional development supports the needs in our kindergarten. This year committee have funded First Aid, Anaphylaxis and Asthma updates and have also encouraged staff to attend teacher meetings. Many teachers in our community both early childhood and primary meet to discuss the needs of children in our care. Naturally the transition statements are a topic of discussion and there is a growing understanding of what information is valuable to communicate between services.
At this point I would like to acknowledge Margot Ewert our much loved teacher of the 4YO program. After 12.5 years and many other years of service teaching generations of children, Margot is retiring. Margot has spread her magic and passion in educating children. We will miss you Margot but now we must let your grandchildren have a little more time with you.
Finally I would like to thank the committee for giving me this opportunity to work in such a nurturing environment. I would like to thank the staff for empowering me to my role and for helping me learn the ropes and finally the children. In the first couple of weeks it was quite lonely in the office, less noise, less interaction than in the classroom. Now not a session goes by without children passing my door with a cheery hello or goodbye. This certainly illustrates a good pulse for Armadale Early Learning Centre."
The weeks seem to be getting and busier.
Christmas is coming and we are caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting ready. The children have been making surprise presents and they are beautiful – if you are at Kindergarten - please try to ignore some of the things that are happening - it’s difficult to hide everything! We are also learning some special songs for our party - so you’ll also have to pretend not to hear as well!!
We are decorating our room to make it look really festive - the children are having fun doing this, and are working very carefully. An army of cheerful Father Christmas figures adorn our wall and make us smile every time we look at them. Each one is individual and has a different personality - the children were given the necessary shapes and necessary bits and pieces and a stapler and black texta – the way they put them together was up to them – the results are wonderful. They also have drawn their own houses for our window – a mural of Father Christmas in the sky is up on the window, so the children drew their own houses and cut them out and we put these underneath so he would be able see where everybody lived. More decorations (and glitter galore) to come.
Our Silkworm cycle is now complete – the children are still checking, and there are a few latecomers still hatching. We have followed this up with some activities to do with insect life cycles. With one of the children’s favourite books – The Very Hungry Caterpillar – the children have been reading the story using the book and some felt pieces to tell the story with. The children do this with a friend, this needs the children to read the book carefully, choose the correct items, and place these onto the felt board in the correct sequence to illustrate the story. This activity also leads to much interaction and discussion and co-operation. Even though the children are not able to read the words of books, "reading" by themselves or with a friend is very valuable and important – the children are able to use their imaginations and reasoning to “tell” the story, and sometimes make up a story – encouraging a love of stories and literature.
Sadly we said goodbye to Ayaan and his family this week as they have gone to India – we will miss him.
Our sessions with Karen for dancing, and Kylie for music, have shown how the children’s understanding and ability to remember and create have developed over the year. The children have become skilled in interpreting the ideas and instructions that Kylie and Karen give them, and their confidence has increased in their own abilities. Their musical knowledge and understanding is exciting to watch – we really enjoy these sessions.
What will happen next week?
Group A Educators – Margot, Ann and Lisa.