What you need to know

Welcome to Week 7 of the We Connect Blog

We Connect - Family and Children blog

Coronation Kindergarten

Join in as Sarah, a kindergarten teacher from Coronation Kindergarten shares our local Acknowledgement of Country with you. Look out for the special message Bunjil & Waa give at the end.

Sarah also shows us how she collects the worm wee from the worm farm. When the worm wee is collected, it is very strong. If we added it straight to the plants like that, the plants could die. We need to mix this with water- this is called diluting. We can then add the diluted liquid to the garden. This helps to feed the plants with lots of nutrients they need to grow strong.

North Essendon Kindergarten

Last week’s Blog, we shared a video from Cathy at North Essendon Kindergarten, demonstrating what can happen if we don’t put our rubbish in the bin. The rubbish can go down drains and end up in our creeks and waterways. This has a bad effect on the environment and wildlife. Cathy shared that the children have been enjoying ‘Wilam’ a story about a day in the life of the Birrarung – the Yarra River written by Aunty Joy Murphy and Andrew Kelly with Illustrations by Lisa Kennedy. The book explores the native animals and plants that live along the Birrarung.  The book has led to many discussions about the animals that live in and around the river and our local waterways such as the Maribyrnong River and the Moonee Ponds Creek.

To follow on from the story, Cathy did an activity with the children to discuss how our rubbish can impact our native animals (like the ones from the story) if not placed in the correct bin.

Try this at home: Children could be responsible for the rubbish sorting for the family. They would decide which bin to put different types of household rubbish in. Help your child extend their thinking and vocabulary when making decisions about why they chose a particular bin. You could print out the below activity to help with this. The idea is for children to cut out pictures of rubbish and paste it under the correct coloured bin. If you cannot print at home, why not use junk mail catalogues to cut pictures out and decide which bin they would go in.

If you are local (within 5kms) and walk near the Moonee Ponds Creek, here are some links you might find useful.

Some other fun things you can do from home!

Have you met Fix it! yet?

Click here for the enviro-friendly clown.
This is a four-part series. Watch out for the rubbish bins to see what the green waste bin likes to eat.

Incinerator Gallery

MV Libraries

Below you will find the latest storytimes from MV libraries. Once you have clicked the link, you will be able to access other sessions of storytime that the children’s librarians have created.

The Australian Childhood Foundation

This great resource is for you to use with your young child to reassure them about any concerns they are having with people wearing masks. Even if you think your child is not reacting to people with masks on, it is a good way to reinforce the positive message about keeping each other safe from COVID 19.

Transitioning to school – what does this look like?

Given the many challenges COVID-19 has presented, many parents may be feeling a little unsure that their child is prepared to transition to school. A disrupted kindergarten year, remote learning challenges (and successes) and a lack of physical contact with family and friends may be contributing to the worry.

There are some successes that have happened because of restrictions.  The ability to adapt to new ways of learning, connecting with others in a digital format, spending more time in the home but possibly more time outside playing, playing with siblings or spending more time with parents and immediate family.

You will have gained an insight into the strengths your child has shown, the ways they have coped with these challenges, things they have been interested in doing, ways you have noticed they respond to information being shared with them.

As parents, you are the first teachers for your child. You will have the opportunity to share this information with your kindergarten and school teachers.

For those children who have been attending kindergarten and Early Learning onsite, they will have been practicing many transitions between combined groups of children, educators and, in some locations, a different building altogether. As early childhood practitioners, we work hard to ensure children feel safe and connected to the others around them and to the environments we provide.

Perhaps the most important skills when we talk about children transitioning to school are social and emotional skills.

Children’s social and emotional development is vitally important, as they get older you will see;

their growing ability to:

  • separate from a parent
  • build friendships
  • self-regulate their feelings such as frustration, disappointment, anger and sadness, as well as happiness and excitement.

Children should always be:

  • encouraged to have another go
  • think of a different way to do something
  • celebrate the success of others
  • supported to cope if they lose a game or get something wrong.

Opportunities for dramatic play (dressing up, role play, imaginary play) allows children to take on the role of being someone else, this helps children to process skills they see relating to those tasks or roles. They enjoy the opportunity to be the lead, make decisions, assign different roles to others. Mastering self-help skills build their independence to manage themselves both at home and in the school environment. This aligns directly with the Department of Education and Training (DET) reminding us that relationships are at the core of successful transitions to school.

Allowing children many opportunities to think for themselves, predict what might happen next, put things in order of the sequence, (first, next, last) having another go with a different solution are all ways to enhance and support children’s cognitive skills and development. These opportunities also provide ways to practice perseverance, problem – solving and considering ideas and input for others.

It is important to practice this at home:

  • avoid always providing the answer, but stay in the conversation
  • prompt them
  • give them a clue
  • give them the language out loud to help them come to the answer themselves.

Of course, many children will be at varying stages of developing many of these skills. As adults, take a role in supporting your child’s attempts at independence. Encourage your child to have a go, persist if it is challenging and most of all, allow enough time for them to try themselves.  Developing self-help skills really helps your child be able to support themselves at school, and at home.

Schools will have different supports in place next year to support your children due to the adverse effects on the children’s learning and participation. Foundation (prep) teachers will be visiting Kindergarten programs throughout the fourth term to see the programs in action and find out more about the children who will be going to school next year.

Let’s not forget that the purpose of this year is not only to prepare for next year. We are learning every day alongside your children and together we will develop and support the whole child in front of us – right here, right now.

Parents can find more information from the Department of Education and training.

For those of you on school holidays, enjoy the downtime with each other. Take time to read, play a game, laugh and be outside. For those returning to onsite learning, we wish you the best of luck as you and your child settle back into the routine.

If you are looking for other resources to explore during this time, don’t forget to visit our Resources to Support children’s wellbeing and Learning.

Stay Well, Stay safe

MV Early Years Team