Brunswick Kindergarten – Term 2 2019 Newsletter

Yellow Group have a snack
Yellow Group have a snack

Director’s Report

Hello all!

Term 2 is the time of year we gear up in the kinder groups – everyone knows each other by now and all groups seem to have settled into the rhythm of kinder life. I see lots of activity from my little cubby-hole office! It’s been wonderful to see all the kids really enjoying the kinder space and each other.

It’s been a pretty busy excursion term too it seems – each week one 4YO group is heading out the door, whether it be to our old favourite Bush Kinder, or to exciting sessions at the Botanical Gardens or local library. We have even had groups visit too – Flying Bookworm theatre, Living with Dogs – to name just a few. I’m sure you’ve heard all about them at the end of the day!

The loudest hammering sounds of late have been from the kids’ woodworking table to be honest, but that all changes with the return of the build team to finish the renovation in coming weeks. We will be treated to yet another new space when we all return from holidays in July. This is the business-end of it now, where we are deciding on colours and finishes – my head is spinning with samples…

Next term also sees our plans for the Fete commence, with the big event this year set for Saturday 28th October. This is our principal fundraising event and one of the highlights of the year- we cram a whole lot of activity and energy into our kinder space- anything from delicious food, amazing craft, our famous cake stall and fantastic entertainment. I can say from personal experience over the past 5 years both as Director and as a parent at the kinder that participation in the fete and on the coordinating team is a load of fun- granted there’s a bit of hard work thrown in, but overall a great way to be a part of the community! Revenue from the Fete is generally spent on capital improvements to the kinder, and we are planning our next big project now that we have our building renovation (almost) sorted!

A big thank you also to Frances for organising all the information available at our recent School Readiness Information Night. We had some fantastic speakers from Brunswick North Primary School, and a past kinder parent who related her experiences with both her children. Feedback from parents who attended has been really positive. If you missed the night and would like a copy of the information pack, please feel free to email me at brunswick.free.kin@kindergarten.vic.gov.au

Stay safe over the term break – keep warm and I hope you get to relax with family and friends. See you in two weeks!

Sophie


Red Group enjoy an excursion to the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Red Group enjoy an excursion to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

From the Executive Team

As we head towards the halfway mark of the kinder year, it is wonderful to see how much the children have settled into their groups and made some beautiful friendships. The pile of box constructions at my house is steadily growing (until I can work out how to sneak some of the boxes back again to be repurposed!) and I wonder if the kids are getting inspiration from the ongoing renovation works.

After a lull in construction, as we waited for some extra paperwork to be completed, the building works are back on track and we aim for internal works to be completed in Term 3. Our sincere thanks go out to all staff, children and families who have been so patient with this ongoing project. We would love to officially open the new-look building at the annual October fete, and will be planning and installing a community sensory garden after the internal works have finished up. If anyone has a green thumb and would like to help out with this project, feel free to get in touch.

We will also be asking children and families to contribute to the strategic planning the committee is undertaking this year. I know that it can be difficult to think about longer term planning for a community you may only be part of for one or two years, but we would love to have your input to help us know where we can make improvements – and what you love about the kinder that you would never want to change!

Wishing you all the best for the winter break, and we look forward to welcoming you back for Term 3.

Bethany Macdonald
President
Brunswick Kindergarten Committee
& Jack’s Mum (Orange and Green groups)


Blue Group

We have had a very busy and productive term. Some of the different themes and ideas being explored by the blue group this term include concepts of STEM through an interest in architecture, we have seen this through the children’s block building both indoors and outdoors but also through their drawing and box construction. We have seen a number of volcanos being built and exploded in the sand pit and we extended on the children’s interest in science by having a ‘science day’ with a real biologist (Freddy’s dad Kynan) spending the day with us doing lots of experiments, activities and having a great discussion about what science is and what scientists do. The children’s interest in art has continued and this term we have been exploring print making process and they also made their own lantern for the Winter Solstice evening.

As winter has arrived we have been finding ways to keep warm and try and ward off any sickness; we continue to spend time outside both at kinder and at bush kinder, strengthening our immune systems and having lots of fresh air. We have been having warm cups tea, exploring taste, temperature and smells and we had a movie and pjs day to snuggle down in the depths of the cold weather. We loved seeing the children in their pjs and we had lots of rabbits in the group!

We have learnt about dog and pet safety through our responsible pet incursion. Listening to parent feedback, it is clear that the children took on board what was talked about and gained in confidence with some practical strategies if they feel unsafe around a pet. This has been great knowledge to have when we are at bush kinder and led to the children feeling safe to really explore our bush kinder site in depth. We love taking the children away from all the toys and materials at kinder and watching them really engage with nature and feel connected to country. We also had our first campfire in the lead up to the Winter Solstice evening. The children loved sitting around the fire and we even had some spooky stories being told and created on the spot.

Have a great break and see you in term 3!

Cathy and Zareen


Yellow Group

Yellow group have really settled into their kindergarten program. We are starting to see new friendships form and a lot more collaborative play within the group. The highlight for the yellow group has to be singing circle, the children just love it! They are gaining in confidence and have learnt many of the words and actions of the songs. They often request to have singing circle and choose which songs to sing or not sing during the session.

The group’s self-help skills have grown a lot too this term. They are managing the toilet more independently along with eating food froml their lunch box and putting their things away in their lockers. Well, we are getting better at putting things away ……!

We have explored some interesting themes and activities this term from exploring autumn, lots and lots of play dough (cooking and animals), sensory play with slime and finger painting, roller painting to lots of making on the craft table. We can see their skills building as we observe them making pictures, sculptures and inventing creative things.  Puzzles have also proven very popular – developing their eye hand coordination, working collaboratively with other children and problem solving.

Outside the children continue to develop their gross motor skills along with their spatial awareness. They move with their whole bodies exploring their environment. They love the challenging activities, jumping from the balancing beam, swinging from the monkey bars and climbing the trees.

Have a great break,

Cathy and Zareen


Red Group

It’s been quite a busy term, as children continued enjoying taking part in various art and craft experiences across the program. It’s inspiring watching children take a moment to capture their imaginations to create, explore ideas and practice skills readily and freely at their own level and pace. Small group projects using natural materials led to generating a unique Autumn painting for our room, fostering interests in learning about seasons.  Now as winter’s creeping closer, children are preparing lanterns for our upcoming Winter Solstice evening on Friday 21st June. We hope to see you there!

Also through art, Monica from Cultural Infusion taught children about her Aboriginal culture using language and symbols used for dreamtime stories and Aboriginal art. Monica’s visit stimulated further curiosity about storytelling, so similar experiences throughout Reconciliation Week empowered many children to create their own stories about family and culture, which we have displayed in our room.

Our community excursions this term allowed children to learn more about places in our local area, beginning with our first Bush Kinder experience at Royal Park on 6th May.  There was such excitement all round as children just simply couldn’t resist the temptation to explore and connect with the parkland environment in search for tadpoles around the pond, climb trees or look for different varieties of mini beasts around the park. We can’t wait to see what our next experience brings next term. 

On a brighter note, we went to Royal Botanic Gardens on the 3rd June as a way for connecting children to country. Our presenter Vicky spoke about Aboriginal culture and their traditions, beginning with a song in local Boon Wurrung Aboriginal language. Children then created their own belonging handprint using natural stone called ochre. After a small nature walk, we then sat in a circle discovering various aboriginal artefacts used for many purposes such as music, cooking and art.  What a great experience this was for connecting children to gain more understandings about Indigenous culture and land.

Other highlights this term included our Responsible Pet program incursion, which helped increase children’s confidence and skills in ways of knowing how to stay safe around dogs. Our first Intergenerational visit to Hope Aged Care on 28th May was a delightful opportunity for building connections between two generations within our local community. We had an incursion with the ‘Flying bookworm show’ on 18th June, which was awesome! The actors engaged children interactively, using props and costumes to perform to well-known stories including ‘How the Kangaroo got its pouch’, ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and ‘Caps for Sale’. What a wonderful experience this was for all!

Our last day for Red Group will be Tuesday 28th June, which will be celebrated with a small party for the children.  That is all from us! We hope you all have a great term break, see you all again on Monday 15th July.

Kerry and Maria


Purple Group

Term 2 proved to be a busy term. We ventured off to the Botanic Gardens in early June. Once we arrived, we had a bite to eat and soon we were ready to begin the Indigenous program. The first activity provided was a story time where the children heard the book ‘You me Murrawee.’ Afterwards the guide (Kim) spoke about different Aboriginal artefacts of which the children got to hold and feel. Kim also discussed Aboriginal painting using ochre. The children grinded the stone, added water and soon applied the paint onto some cloth.

We had a great day connecting to land and history. The children gained a greater understanding and respect for Indigenous culture.

The week after, we recalled this painting technique and the children had an opportunity to create their own paints using ochre powder.

Aboriginal presenter, Monica from Queensland, came to our centre to talk to the children about the meaning behind some Aboriginal symbols. She spoke about the significance of these and when they were used. The children learned and drew symbols for woman, man, children, water, tree, lizard and kangaroo footprints. Children also performed the Aboriginal lullaby ‘Inanay.’  This was another opportunity for the children to explore aspects of another culture and through discussions, become aware of connections, similarities and differences between people.

The Intergenerational Program began this term. The staff at the Aged Care facility were friendly and planned some fun activities for the residents and the children to share. There were smiles all round. Once again it was a great opportunity to get to know the residents and make new connections. We will take the next group of children in term 3.

The space corner has provided lots of opportunities to extend language skills as the children discuss and learn about planets and the solar system. Role play was also very popular as the children acted out being astronauts and travelling through space. Dressing up was also a big highlight.

Preps are underway for the dramatic play area to be transformed into a shop (as requested by the children). We are excited to see how the children’s play will evolve.

Sue brought her gentle giant Zena, the long-haired German Shepherd, to help with the Responsible Pet Program. Throughout the incursion the children learnt about dog safety, what to do if confronted by an angry dog, how to approach a dog with their owner, the correct way to ask the owner for a pat and how to introduce oneself to a new dog. We also learnt about the importance of not touching dogs while they are eating, sleeping or when they are sick.

We had a lovely Afternoon Tea in May. It was wonderful to be able to catch up with families. Donations towards The Breast Cancer Foundation from Purple group totaled around $50.

Thank you all so much.

A big thank-you also to all those parents who volunteered time to assist on our outings. We appreciate how busy you all are and value your efforts immensely.

Look forward to seeing you all at our Winter Solstice Night on Friday June 21. Interested children have already started making their lanterns. Hope you have a great break and see you all back in term 3 (Monday July 15).

Rose Robin and Luisa


Silver Group

This term, space, planets and dressing up as astronauts captured our group’s ideas and imagination on many levels, as children helped transform our dramatic play space into a discovery space corner. Interactive experiences for building planets, jet packs and rockets created a dramatic experience for role play and for children to discover more information about space, planets and their universe.

During Autumn, craft experience using leaves and natural materials led to generating lovely works of art, fostering further interests in learning about seasons. Now winter has arrived, children are busily preparing lanterns for our upcoming family Winter Solstice evening on Friday 21st June. We hope to see you there!

A community excursion connected children with people and places within the local neighbourhood this term. This included the first intergenerational visit to Hope Aged Care on 10th May. It was rewarding for children to develop relationships with the elderly generation in our local community. Coordinators, residents and staff were extremely welcoming as always, inviting children to join in a few games and share delicious morning treat with the residents.

Another highlight this term was our excursion to the Royal Botanic Gardens on 6th June, as a way for connecting children to country. We began our visit inside the ‘Children’s garden’ where our presenter began passing around various Aboriginal artefacts used for cooking, music or art. Children used ochre to create a belonging handprint on a piece of calico cloth. We also went on a small nature walk where children enjoyed climbing on, and exploring through, a grand red gum tree trunk. It was such a wonderful day, especially for the children to connect to land and history. It was a day where the children gained a greater understanding and respect for Indigenous culture.

Finally, an incursion with the ‘Flying bookworm show’ on 20th June, was yet another great highlight for sparking lots of laughter and joy. The actors engaged children interactively, using props and costumes to perform to stories about ‘How the Kangaroo got its pouch’, ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and ‘Caps for Sale’. These experiences certainly opened up further opportunities for children to explore storytelling using language and imaginative play using props and puppets to sharing ideas with peers through play.

Our last day for Silver Group will be Friday 28th June, which will be celebrated with a small inhouse party for the group.  That is all from us! We hope you all have a wonderful break, see you all again on Thursday 18th July.

From Silver team

Kerry, Rose, Frances and Katerina


Orange Group

As Term Two draws to a close we reflect on our amazing journey in Orange group thus far. The children have engaged in all aspects of the program. The play dough has seen the children engage in many role-play situations. The extension of this has led to many wonderful cooking experiences for the children. Mixing, measuring and combining ingredients are all learning opportunities, supporting growth and wellbeing. Our program allows the children to grow by combining learning opportunities from ideas created by them. The children learn from one another and eagerly share what they know or understand.

The outdoors program has allowed the children to explore what could be gained from an indoor experience to be fostered outdoors. The dress ups on the stage area and the kitchen with babies in the cubby house has enabled the children to role-play various scenarios and take turns playing different characters. The children are able to initiate and contribute to play experiences emerging from their own ideas.

Katerina engages the children with song and movement at different times of the day. The children are becoming much more confident in participating, hence the group time is growing each week.

The Space area in our dramatic play space has given the children an opportunity to explore and learn about space. They were able to man the space station and dress up as astronauts, learn about planets and stars in a fun and interactive way. We were able to add an Aboriginal perspective to this experience by re telling the story of “ the emu in the sky” where the Aboriginal people look out into the night sky for the stars which align and resemble an emu. When the emu is evident then this is when the aboriginal people know it’s the right time to go out hunting for emu eggs.

The block corner has been home to superheroes, trains and cars. Building and making as the ideas emerge into realities.

Many of the Orange group children can now confidently climb one of the trees outdoors, build volcanoes and then watch them erupt into colorful lava. A place where dinosaurs come to life and the balance beam is a safe place to practice jumping to the tunes of “Cheeky Monkey”.

 Our winter solstice night will take place on Friday 21st June. We hope many of our families will join us for a wonderful night of coming together to celebrate winter. The fire pit will keep us warm, while we wait for the marshmallows to cook. The smell of the mulled wine filters the crisp night air while the children entertain us with the song “This little light of mine” with the lanterns made by them.

In term three we look forward to an incursion by Drama Tool Box and planting in our planter boxes.

Have an amazing term break and we look forward to seeing you all back next term.

Cheers

Frances and Katerina.


Green Group

We have all had an exciting time in Green group this term. We have made new friends and are enjoying getting to know them; we welcome them and their families to Brunswick Kindergarten.

The Italian immersion is presented to the children through songs and books. They can participate in conversations with Luisa and myself if they wish. Few of the children can respond in very little sentences and can follow instructions given to them in Italian. We look forward to extending this through term three.

We have enjoyed the many cooking experiences conducted by Luisa. It’s always a real treat when Luisa charges into the room with a tub full of treats with children in tow, ready to mix, add, beat and bake. She has the Italian music playing in the background and the feeling is very nostalgic.

The block corner has been home to many wonderful experiences, building high and very tall cities to connecting racetracks for the cars. Luisa and I have enjoyed watching the children participate in sharing their ideas and bring them to life.

The outdoors, particularly in the afternoon with John at the helm, has the children looking after our garden with watering, weeding and pruning. Can I just say that by Wednesday afternoon our garden looks amazing.  Well done to John and his little band of helpers.

The children have been interested in hearing about our first people, sharing stories and being respectful to our land, the people and the animals too. We all painted our hands in the Aboriginal colours to make a hand print collage, which we proudly display in our kinder room.

Our Winter Solstice night will take place on Friday 21st June. We hope many of our families will join us for a wonderful night of coming together to celebrate winter. The fire pit will keep us warm, while we wait for the marshmallows to cook. The smell of the mulled wine filters the crisp night air while the children entertain us with the song “This little light of mine” with the lanterns made by them.

We wish to thank all the families in Green group for their continued support of our program and the children who continue to grow each week.

Have a wonderful term holiday and we will see you all back in term three,

Ciao

Frances and Luisa.

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Mother’s Day Fundraising

A tremendously big thank you to Neale and Rashmi who are the dream fundraising team, and between them coordinated the Mother’s Day Cake Stall and Raffle. Thanks to their efforts (and the efforts of all who baked, wrapped, transported, purchased goods and sold raffle tickets) we raised an amazing $2400!

This money has been allocated to the purchase of long-overdue IT equipment for the teachers to use in the rooms and to complete their group reporting and planning. We can’t wait for the Committee to go shopping!


Kinder Staff team-building Workshop

Each year we dedicate a day for the staff team as a whole to attend a training course, conference or workshop as part of our commitment to professional development, and as a team-building exercise. This year, the team PD day has been set for Wednesday 14th August 2019. The 3-year-old groups and Activity Group will not run on this day.

Families whose children participate in the afternoon Activity Group with Manjit and John will have their session fees credited to their accounts. Fees for Orange, Yellow and Green groups are exempt from this account credit as fees are charged per term.

If you have any questions regarding this closure, please contact Sophie on brunswickkinderdirector@gmail.com .


End of day procedures

Thank you to all families for your patience with the renovations, and the changes to door entries and collection procedures. The end of the day is an important time for the children to come together to reflect on their activity during the day, share a song and/or story, and hear of plans for the following session.

We understand that family members sometimes need to collect children early, or like to observe this ‘quiet time’ at the end of the session. The session is still in progress, and it is often a time when children are likely to be talking to the group, so we try to keep distractions to a minimum.

We ask that if you do come into the kinder at this time, you be mindful of the following:

  • Speaking quietly
  • Being mindful of the behaviour and volume of siblings who may accompany you 
  • Quickly collecting your child and packing up belongings
  • Ensuring that your child/ren exit the building under your supervision

Spare Clothing

If you have any outgrown Size 4, 5 & 6 clothing hiding in your kid’s cupboards, our stocks of spare clothing are getting low again. This season we are in desperate need of long pants- leggings & trackies are best, and long-sleeved tops. If you have any to spare, please hand them to your group teachers, and thank you!


Donations

We are in need of the following items if you can add one or two to your shopping lists…

  • Tissues
  • Hand wash (eco friendly)
  • Detergent (eco friendly)
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Paper towel
  • Baby wipes
  • Powder free gloves

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