Brunswick Kindergarten – Term 4 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to our Term 4 newsletter! 
Below, you will find reports from the Director and Executive Team. Click on the links to read the full reports from your child’s kindergarten group. 

Silver Group discover the magic of Scienceworks
Silver Group discover the magic of Scienceworks

Director’s Report

Term 4 always seems to be one of opposites, or pairs, in some way. It’s a long term (11 weeks) but then again it seems like the year has flown. We are saying farewell to one set of eager four-year-olds who are so, SO ready to start school – and at the same time starting to get to know a new set in preparation for next year.

It has been a crazily busy term too. We moved into the new renovation at the start of term (and are still moving in!). Preparations for the kinder Fete seemed to consume the first few weeks, and what a great day it was. Final tally has seen us make just over $4000 on the day, so a huge thanks to all who organised, volunteered and attended!

I want to thank the members of the 2018 Committee of Management for all the advice and support, and for just plain getting things done! We certainly wouldn’t have the gorgeous new spaces we have now without their tenacious assistance. And big thanks too, to the fantastic team of teachers and educators for another great year. Thanks for making this kinder the amazing place it is. Your summer break is well and truly deserved.

I’ll take this moment to make a special mention of Robin and a personal thank you. Robin was my youngest daughter’s first kinder teacher, and it is through her that I came to know and love the kinder and end up working here! We will miss her, but she has promised to do the odd relief shift, so it is not a final farewell!

Enjoy the summer break everyone. I’m off a week early to spend Christmas with our UK family. Think of me freezing while (hopefully) it warms up here! Have a lovely relaxing safe holiday, and we’ll see our 2020 families in late January!

Activity Group, Lunch Cover and Volunteer Champions!

Special mention must go to the people most families don’t get to see as part of the kinder day – those educators that cover everyone’s lunch breaks and run the Activity Groups at the end of the day.

Thanks to John, Manjit, Sonia and Katrina for all the great work you do!

And another special thank you to our Volunteer Staff member, Marissa. She has worked all year in the Orange Group and has made the staff team the most delicious food on a regular basis. We love your work! Thanks for all the time and care you have given the kinder this year.

 Farewell Robin

It is with sadness that we farewell Robin at the end of this term, as she sets off on the next phase of her life – retirement!

Robin has been an Early Childhood Educator for 16 years and her contribution to our kinder has been immense. We will miss her calm manner and diligence – we will need to be more on our toes ourselves now!

Robin and her husband John are looking forward to a retirement full of travel and relaxation. We hope they have many years of happy journeys!

Sophie- brunswickkinderdirector@gmail.com

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Report from the Executive team

What a year it has been! This time last year we had just accepted grant money to fund the kinder renovations, and now we are celebrating the end of 2019 in our newly refurbished spaces.

So many thanks must go to all those who were involved in pulling it all together – particularly Sophie, Geoff, Ema and Laura. It has been a long time coming and we are thrilled with the results.

But it hasn’t just been the renovations that have kept us busy. A whole calendar of events and fundraising activities have kept the kinder community on the go. Many more thanks need to go to those who generously donated their time and pitched in: Melanie and Jamie, for the wonderful social nights; Rashmi, for the Mother’s Day cake stall; Hydie, for the working bees; Neale, Tinka and Kentia for the winter wine afternoon and fete; to all the committee members, for the hours invested in meetings, grant writing, communications, IT wizardry and policy updates; to all the parents who picked up bread, came on excursions, did laundry and tidied the yard. Our kinder would not exist without your support. 

I am so glad to welcome back Ema as President in 2020. I am also excited to meet new families as well as catching up with those returning from 2019. If your journey with Brunswick Kindergarten ends this year, I wish you all the best and hope that your child has been given the best possible start to the years ahead.

And, lastly, enormous thanks must go to all the kinder staff for their time and dedication in looking after all of the children. Every year they provide a stimulating and engaging curriculum and help to make some amazing memories for our kids. They are just another part of what makes our kinder community so special, and I hope they all get a well-deserved break over this festive season.

See you in 2020!

Bethany Macdonald

2019 committee president and Jack’s Mum (Orange and Green groups)


Blue Group

Hello families,

We are sad and excited that the year is winding up – excited for what comes next for many of the children but sad to see our wonderful 2019 families move on. Thank you for all the different ways you have contributed to the program this year; it has been dynamic, engaging and full of interesting child-led activities. 

Just this term we have visited an art exhibition put on by children before holding our own in the foyer, we have been out and about to bush kinder and to Don Bosco, and we have had a dance incursion through Jungle Shimmy. That was just the major activities. Together we have deepened our knowledge of Indigenous cultures intertwined with sustainable practices through learning to be Wayapa Warriors, practiced mandala making and various forms of meditation, we have engaged in oral storytelling and shared our own Indigenous-inspired journey map.

Again I can only point out that these are only a small part of what the children have been learning this term as the majority of the work happens in the day to day flow of kindergarten life and a lot of interesting learning happens behind us, in secret children’s business!

We wish you all a fantastic and restful break and hope to see the families leaving the kinder at our social events next year.

Cathy and Zareen

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Yellow Group

Hello families,

Well, what a fantastic year – we can’t quite believe it’s nearly over! We have loved getting to know your children and your families. The children have grown so much over the year and have been engaging in some very exciting play. This term the children have continued to love Zareen’s singing circles. They have learnt so many songs, rhymes, games and stories. All perfect literacy and communication learning!

The children have been engaging in lots of projects; from construction, to cooking, making and developing their ideas in the sandpit and loving sensory and water play. They love to use their whole bodies in the way that they learn and engage in the environment. We have seen lots of imaginary play from astronauts to shopkeepers! The Yellow Group loves to pretend play! We were able to extend on this interest through the amazing Jungle Shimmy incursion, where the children danced, sang and pretended to be lots of things.

We had our first excursion last week as we took the children across to the park as part of our policy of regularly practicing evacuations. It was a great opportunity to see how they can stick together as a group and start to learn some of the core rules of excursions. The children (and adults) have loved watching the life cycle of the silkworms and are very excited by the prospect of the moths hatching very soon. To observe and be a part of an animal’s entire life cycle is a very special privilege and the children have taken great care of the silkworms.

We wish you all a fantastic and peaceful break and if you are not able to join us again next year, please keep in touch and come along to the fete in 2020!

Cathy, Zareen and Manjit

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Red Group

Our year is almost over and this term has certainly flown, but the children continue to share some wonderful moments together as their play continues to flow.

Conversations around school transitioning have been popular amongst friends. This led to opening a small school corner in the dramatic play area for children to gravitate, share experiences about their schools and practice pre-literacy skills.

Communication and technology have been a great focus this term. It’s been wonderful receiving emails and photos from children and families travelling around various countries around the world including Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Switzerland. What a great experience it’s been for group to stay in touch and explore different cultures! From this experience some children asked if they could send letters home to their families. They began by creating their own post box to collect their letters for our excursion to Brunswick Post Office. We hope letters arrived safe and sound! In addition children enjoyed a play and an icy treat with friends at our local park across from kinder.

Other highlights this term included our second group visit to Hope Street Nursing Home, where children had a great time with elderly residents by making Christmas craft chains, singing songs and sharing a delicious morning tea. We also enjoy having Heidi from Jungle Shimmy leading the children through an amazing magical cultural adventure through a music and movement experience.

But most of all, our greatest highlight this term would have to be our trip to Don Bosco on Tuesday 10th December, where children spent hours having fun playing on the equipment with their friends, ending with a visit from Santa! It was the best day ever!

Once again we thank all our wonderful families for supporting us this year. We really hope you all have a safe and happy holiday. Wishing you the best of luck for 2020!

Kerry and Maria

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Purple Group

The year has gone so fast and it’s almost time to say goodbye.

This last term has been super busy with the children having lots more opportunities to engage in some wonderful learning experiences such as dramatic play (builders, hospital and then a school), yoga, a variety of construction sets and a visit to Hope Aged Care Facility.

The children have loved watching the silkworms. In particular, they have enjoyed feeding them, following their life cycle and understanding the actual sequence and relevance of each step. These experiences have provided learning skills such as an increased curiosity, respect and knowledge of animals and the natural world.

The real highlight though, was the Taekwondo session with Rohan and Master Will. The children were engaged and interested the entire time. They learned moves such as front kick, palm strike and board breaking.

Taekwondo also teaches children about the principles of respect, self-control and discipline. It provides a very holistic approach, incorporating the development of mind, body and spirit. Thank you again to Rohan and his family for helping to set that experience up for the Purple group.

The excursion to Don Bosco on Tuesday Dec 10 was lots of fun, with the children engaging in all sorts of activities such as trampolining, basketball and air soccer games. Meanwhile, a merry man in a red suit surprised the children.

As most of you are now aware, Robin will be retiring from 2020. After 16 years of dedication and true diligence at Brunswick Kinder, this will be a new beginning for Robin with lots more exciting opportunities. We will miss her greatly and wish her well.

Thankyou to all parents and children for a great year. We wish you a safe and wonderful holiday and all the very best for 2020.

If you are leaving the kinder, please come back to say hello. We would really love to see you.

A big thankyou to Robin and Luisa for all their hard work this year. I look forward to working with Luisa again next year and catching up with Robin when she does some relieving work at the kinder (as she promised).

We also look forward to working with the rest of our dedicated and passionate team with lovely Sophie at the helm. 

Thankyou also to Bethany and the Committee of Management for all their support this year.

Rose Robin and Luisa

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Silver Group

Our year is almost over and this term seems to have flown but the children have had some really wonderful experiences together as the play continues to flow.

This term conversations around school transition are quite popular as many children have almost completed orientation sessions at their new schools. These interests continue to flow in our dramatic play school corner, where children gravitate independently throughout the day working with their friends and extending interests further in areas of pre-literacy. It’s such a special time for everyone.

Regular community excursions continue this term, including visits to Hope Street Nursing Home and trips to Royal Park for bush kinder that created memorable moments for our group. The best highlights were Scienceworks Planetarium and IMAX Theatre’s 3D experience about ‘Superpower dogs’ at the Melbourne Museum! This was such a phenomenal experience for our group.

Children enjoyed Don Bosco on Thursday 5th December, where they spent hours celebrating and playing on the equipment with friends. Finally, we thank all parents and children for such a memorable year. We wish you a safe and wonderful holiday and all the very best for 2020. If you are leaving the kinder, please pop in some time and say hello, as we would really love to see you.

Farewell from everyone in Silver Group!

Kerry, Rose, Frances and K

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Orange Group

What an amazing and wonderful term this has been for the Orange group children, families and educators.

We cannot believe that it has all come to an end. We have had an amazing journey, not only this term but also the whole year. We have enjoyed watching the children grow and develop into independent and courageous individuals ready to take on the next phase of their kinder life.

Katerina and I wish to thank the families for your support of our program over the year and look forward to working with most of you in the Silver Group next year.

This term we have enjoyed some beautiful incursions with the children.

Heidi from Jungle Shimmy danced her way into the room with a wonderful energy and very sparkly costume. The children were mesmerized and enchanted by her story telling ability and her dance moves were outstanding.

The block corner became a builders’ haven. Children were seen measuring and building using negotiation skills when trying to supervise a job under way or working out which block would be the correct one to use for the project at hand.

Story time continued to be a favourite with the children. This has carried on all year at the children’s request. Like clockwork they would remind Katerina that it was story time and often hear them yelling out into the yard “it’s story time”.

The open-ended outdoor activities have enabled the children to follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration. The sand and mud pit have done so on many numerous occasions. They have grasped the ability to apply a wide variety of thinking strategies to engage with situations and solve problems and adapt these strategies to new situations.

The silk worms have given the children the ability to make connections to real life experiences by demonstrating a real life cycle of the life of a silk worm. This experience has generated much discussion with the children as they express wonder and interest in their environment.

We hope you all have a wonderful summer break, creating wonderful memories.

We thank you for allowing us to grow with your children.

We would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to Marisa for all her help and support over the past three terms and look forward to her return next year.

Frances and Katerina

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Green Group

What an amazing Term Four it has been. We have had a wonderful time with the children and the families. You guys have been wonderful and we thank you for supporting our program.

It has been an absolute pleasure watching the children grow, demonstrate trust and confidence, sharing humour, happiness and satisfaction while engaging in both the indoor and outdoor experiences.

The highlight of the Green Group this term has been the enjoyment of cooking with Luisa. These events have brought the kinder group together.

The children have really enjoyed cooking with Luisa (especially licking the bowl). She has taught them counting skills and how mixing all the ingredients together actually takes a team to do it correctly (one mixes while the other holds the bowl).

The silk worms this term have given the children an opportunity to watch a real life cycle of a silk worm and gain valuable knowledge of how it unfolds. This experience has created many discussions within the children and with both Luisa and myself.

The outdoors experience and gardening with John has seen the development of some budding gardeners and environmentally-aware children.

The café has created some very tantalizing dishes (probably sand or tan bark)

No customer would dare to leave without paying – the attendant on duty will keep reminding you of your obligations to pay!!!!

The Italian bilingual program integrated in our program is embedded within our speaking to each other, through songs, stories and while we play. We hope the children continue to sing the songs we have learnt and continue to use the words they have learnt while in Green Group.

We hope you all have a wonderful summer break, creating memories and staying safe.

Ciao

Frances and Luisa.

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Brunswick Kindergarten Fete Review 2019

Despite the predictably Melbourne spring weather of rain, sun and wind, sometimes all within a few minutes, the 2019 Brunswick Kindergarten Fete was a great success. We had a variety of current and past families, as well as local community members through our newly renovated doors.

It was great to see the kids enjoying the flower crowns, wand making, balloon artist, jumping castle, face painting, drumming and clowning as well as sampling the delicious food on offer. The cake stall was an enormous success selling out well before the fete doors closed in the afternoon. A big thank you to all families who spent their time baking and decorating all the delicious treats in preparation for sale.

The online auction was also a great fundraising source, raising almost $2000 from generous donations from over 40 local businesses and members of the Brunswick Kindergarten community. 

A big thank you to all the volunteers who assisted the night before, the fete day itself and the following evening and days of pack up – including parents, friends and kinder staff. We are truly grateful for all this support and are pleased to announce that approximately $4,000 was raised for the kindergarten through these combined efforts.

Personal thankyous and gratitude to:

Fiona Middleton & Roz King for their creative ideas and efforts in organising the Kids Activities – the  flower crowns in particular were hugely popular with kids and parents alike!

Bethany MacDonald, Kentia Boyle, Jo Keeble & Louise Sheehan for their tireless collecting, organising and selling of all things craft, book and plant for the day.

Louise Sheehan for the mind-boggling task of coordinating volunteers for the day.

Ema Vaccaro & Louise Sheehan for all their advice and base knowledge of what worked (and what didn’t) from previous fete years.

Anke Pfeiler and Neale Gunning for getting the online auction off the ground in sourcing and collecting donations and Katinka Drake for setting the online auction up and running it. 

Ema Vaccaro and Jen Grindrod for their organisation of the Lucky Cups, a stall that also sold out quickly.

Steph Hunt for her work on the super passes, and the delivery of a much needed third bbq.

Mark Ooi, Julie Blyth, Jonno Cull & Jamie Mildren for conceptualising, sourcing, preparing, cooking, organising, sweating etc over the amazing food and drink available on the day.

Amanda Baldwin for organising the deliciously successful cake stall.

Director Sophie Stuart for your ongoing support, much needed advice, counting skills, late night texts and emails, level headedness… you are a huge asset to Brunswick Kindergarten and while the fete is outside the scope of your responsibilities, if would not have happened with your huge time and effort.

Stefanie Di Vito for the beautiful creation, packaging and donation of the playdough for sale.

Emma Court for her work on the advertising billboard for the fete.

The 2020 Brunswick Kindergarten Fete has been set for Saturday 24th October, a date to include early in your 2020 diaries and calendars! We are very open to as many people as possible to put up their hands to volunteer for the fete, and the fete sub-committee will start meeting early next year. Please contact Katinka Drake (2020 fundraising coordinator) at katinkadrake@gmail.com if you are interested in joining the team!


Brunswick Kinder Committee of Management 2020

Committee Executive

President                                          Ema Fraser
Vice President (Staff Liaison)     Kentia Boyle
Vice President (Enrolments)       Stephanie Hunt
Treasurer                                          Bethany Macdonald
Secretary                                          Jeremy Loadman


General Committee

Emma Coast (Communications)
Kieran Hurley (Grants)
Wayne Gibbings (IT)
Jenny Hall (MD Cake Stall Coordinator)
Bill Fahey (Policy Coordinator)
Mark Monnone (Social Coordinator)
VACANT (Maintenance)
VACANT (Volunteer Fee Coordinator)

Fete sub-committee

Katinka Drake (Fete Coordinator)
Jen Grindrod
Kyle O’Brien
Neale Gunning (Entertainment)
Karen Wong
Stephanie Hunt

We’re still on the lookout for people to oversee the kinder maintenance (organise Working Bees, minor repairs and upkeep) and people who can assist to keep records of family volunteer hours. If you are interested, please see Sophie, the Kinder Director.

Remember: families who can give 10 hours of their time, or take on a specified role on the Committee, throughout 2020 will be eligible to have their Volunteer Levy rebated from their Term 4 fees! 

Brunswick Kinder Calendar and Key Dates 2020

Tuesday 28 January – Teacher Planning Day (no kinder sessions)
Wednesday 29 January – Information Sessions only (no kinder sessions)
Thursday 30 January – Term 1 commences (Blue & Silver groups)
Monday 3 February – Term 1 commences (Red & Purple groups
Wednesday 5 February – Term 1 commences (3YO groups)
Tuesday 11 February – Committee meeting #1
Tuesday 18 February – Staff meeting #1
Saturday 22 February- Working Bee #1
Tuesday 10 March – Committee meeting #2
Tuesday 17 March – Staff meeting #2
Friday 20 March – Family Social Night #1
Friday 27 March – Term 1 concludes
Tuesday 14 April – Term 2 commences
Tuesday 14 April – Committee meeting #3
Tuesday 21 April – Staff meeting #3
Tuesday 12 May – Committee meeting #4
Saturday 9 May – Mother’s Day Cake Stall
Tuesday 19 May – Staff Meeting #4
Tuesday 9 June – Committee meeting #5
Tuesday 16 June – Staff meeting #5
Wednesday 17 June- School Transition Night
Friday 19 June – Family Social Night #2
Friday 26 June – Term 2 concludes
Monday 13 July – Term 3 commences
Tuesday 14 July – Committee meeting #6
Tuesday 21 July – Staff meeting #6
Tuesday 11 August – Committee meeting #7
Tuesday 18 August – Staff meeting #7
Tuesday 8 September – Committee meeting #8
Saturday 12 September – Orientation Day (2021 enrolments)
Tuesday 15 September – Staff meeting #8
Friday 18 September – Term 3 concludes
Monday 5 October – Term 4 commences
Tuesday 13 October – Committee meeting #9
Tuesday 20 October – Staff meeting #9
Saturday 24 October – Fete
Tuesday 10 November – AGM
Tuesday 17 November – Staff meeting #10
Tuesday 8 December – Handover Committee meeting #11
Wednesday 9 December- Final day 3YO groups
Monday 14 December- Final Day- Red & Purple groups
Thursday 17 December- Final Day- Blue & Silver groups
Friday 18 December – Pack Up day (no kinder sessions) Term 4 concludes

Dates to be confirmed

Staff Professional Development Day- (no kinder sessions)
Term Working Bee dates
End of year events for each group &/or kinder picnic

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