Director's Report September 2019

Director’s Report


Anna Hutchings

19 September 2019

 Where did the time go? We are already on the cusp of Term Four and our children are so busy and content as they organise themselves into rich, social play.  We are very proud of how far they come in their confidence, independence, capability and sense of responsibility.

 We also feel incredibly proud of another fabulous Art Show, of the children’s diverse creativity, of our staff’s commitment and flair for display, and for the support shown by our families in a huge turnout and helpfulness in setting up, running the delicious bake stall and packing down.  With our industrious set of volunteers, it took just over an hour to pack down and return the Kindy to normal - amazing!  The Art Show is not just about admiring colourful paintings; it’s about honouring and celebrating children’s exploration, thinking, creativity and expression.  Every year’s show is different because the children are different, and that’s what we love.  We are excited about putting our collaborative junk-art bottle-top mural depicting our Kindy totem, water dragon Magil, on display soon!

 With the Art Show over, we begin our preparations for the end of the year - we have lots to do - write transition statements, have conversations with school leaders and prep teachers, as well as prepare the children for their transition to school.  Schools will run their orientation programs, which are very important in helping children to feel comfortable starting in their new environment. 

It is common to feel anxious about your child starting school - are they ready?  “Readiness” has less to do with academic skills such as number and letter recognition and being able to write their name and count to 20, and much more to do with social and emotional readiness, which, happily, we have been working on with the children all year! 

 The skills and dispositions that Prep teachers perceive as “readiness” include:

•    independence - following instructions and taking care of their belongings, putting on their own shoes

•    positive social skills - taking turns, sharing, communicating their needs and ideas effectively, getting along with others

•    confidence and resilience - having a go, persisting with tasks, trying again, moving on.

It is important to remember that while your child may still have meltdowns for you and may not consistently demonstrate all of these skills at home (which is entirely normal!), at Kindy they mostly rise to expectations and save all that other “lovely” behaviour for you!

In terms of literacy learning prior to school, it is important that children understand that written words represent speech and that letters represent sounds.  If your child is counting naturally by pointing to one object at a time, and using mathematical language such as “more than”, “less than”, “longer” and “slower”, they are demonstrating appropriate numeracy development.

Early next term we will email some information and tips for things you can do to help your child feel ready for school.

Some children will be staying on at Kindy to benefit from another year of play-based learning.  Children develop at different rates and in different ways and we want all our children to head off to school ready to thrive!

Last week we ran our final Bush Kindy by the Creek sessions for the year.  Many of the children were sad to know that we would not be returning there together, but were cheered by the idea that they could always visit with their families!  I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Tracy for producing such a rich and enjoyable outdoor program.  The opportunities that it gave to develop resilience, curiosity, problem solving, creativity, practical skills, emotional regulation, compassion and responsibility in both the children and adults who attended was invaluable.  We are looking forward to next year’s program - what new adventures await us?

And now on to some other fun stuff …

•    The rescue of the Tawny Frogmouth chick on Art Show morning inspired rich imaginative play in the days afterwards.  A child (baby bird) would lie, bereft, on the ground.  Rescuers (children) would administer “worms”, make “medicine” and carefully drag the poor chick into a new nest (cardboard box) where it would lie recuperating until total recovery allowed it to flap around joyously.  Underlying this engaging and lovely play was the consolidation of ideas around compassion and care taking.  Children were sharing their thinking and working together, playing out a scene over and over that had obviously captivated their interest and imagination.

•    The Kindy children are greatly enjoying physical challenges - extending their skills and showing courage on the slippery pole and narrow balancing beam

•    Reading about what Earth and life was like before the dinosaurs - expanding the children’s  perspective

•    Extending the children’s emotional literacy by reading and discussing books that depict a wide range of emotions

•    Blue Group going crazy with box and mixed media creations - working independently and using problem-solving thinking.  Sharing ideas and skills with others

•    Yellow Group have been enjoying singing “Waltzing Matilda” and discussing the complex and mysterious storyline

•    Both groups are learning and applying local indigenous language words in our day to day Kindy life.  You may have noticed some being used at home too!   We are learning new ones each week

•    Interesting items for show and tell coming each week - beautiful books, handmade creations, unusual driftwood, a real dinosaur tooth.

I attended a professional development day to learn about the new online transition statement application developed by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority.  I am looking forward to using the streamlined app and the opportunity to share the statements with parents and your child’s school via the QCAA portal.

Three of our staff will attend a Nature Pedagogy training course next month bringing the number of fully trained staff at our centre to five - a very high proportion!

Thank you

-     Our Dads and Granddads who came to Campfire Day and made it special.  It’s a wonderful Kindy event and we love to look around and see all the dads happily and playing and chatting - best day ever!

-     Our committee and families for Art Show support - we value your help very much - it makes the job much easier

-     Our Art Show bake stall bakers for amazing and delicious treats

-     The working bee team for a great clean up prior to Art Show

-     Families and strangers off the street for donations of priceless “junk”

-     Staff for putting in maximum effort right to the very end

-     The children for surprising us every day and teaching us as much as we teach them.