- December 8, 2017
Welcome to the weekly news round up of happenings at The Infants' Home.
Members of our allied health team participated in the Inner West Council's '16 Day of Action' campaign for White Ribbon Day. The campaign will have activations accross suburbs of the Inner West. On Friday December 1st, Council's Magic Yellow Bus visited Johnston Park in Dulwich Hill, an our social worker Samantha ran a pre-school activity with toddlers based on the books “Hands are Not for Hitting” and “Words are Not for Hurting”. Following the book reading, children made a pledge to uphold the sentiments of the book by painting their handprints on a giant drop sheet. All children took home a copy of the 'My Safety Network' hand model to discuss their 5 safe people with their parents or carers. The NSW police department also spoke to parents and children and participated in the hand painting activity at McNeilly Park. The other photos show Samantha Fields from the Infants Home, Ashfield reading special stories to the children: “Hands are not for Hitting and Words are not for Hurting”. Magic yellow bus
It was an eventful week of Christmas parties, Christmas craft and graduations at The Infants' Home's Community Playgroups, in their last week for 2017.The rain did not stop Santa and Elsa visiting Red Bug Playgroup on Monday, and Wangal Playgroup enjoyed a fun graduation ceremony for the children moving on to 'big school' in 2018. Fiona and Rebecca wish all their playgroup children and families a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas and look forward to seeing returning families in 2018.
A Family Day Care Sydney Wide educator in Hurstville recently had a surprise visit from a blue tongue lizard and thought it a great learning opportunity for the children in her care. The children watched, fascinated, as the reptile moved accross their play area and into the garden. The educator worked with children to research information about blue tongue lizards, and to create a learning provocation area about snakes and lizards by collecting things they believed the reptiles would like in their environment. From this experience the educator went on to do an emergency evacuation / lock down practice, based on the scenario of a poisonous snake in the yard. She found information on snake safety from WIRES here, a great resource just in time for summer: https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife…/wildlife-education/snakes
Rigby Toddlers are demonstrating how much they have grown in the development of more sophisticated play skills. When playing their ‘riding on the bus’ game this week, they negotiated with each other, took turns at being the ‘driver’, and made decisions about where the bus was taking them. A popular destination was ‘going to the shops’ and ‘going home’. The children would alight from the bus, collect their ‘shopping’ and then board the bus again to ‘go home’. They also enjoyed singing one of their favourite songs, “The wheels on the bus”. The children’s dramatic play is becoming more complex and creative. They are playing with each other and demonstrating greater ability to collaborate, share ideas and solve problems. Our Rigby toddlers are becoming young pre-schoolers!
The Gorton House Christmas Party was held last Friday, right before Carols by Twilight. It was fantastic to see such an amazing turn out of families, which made the experience really special and gratifying for staff. It is a time where everybody is happy, jovial and expressing their thanks to all the hard working educators, who take a big sigh and realise that all the hard work and passion they put in to their work is really worth it. Educators organised a fun photo booth with a number of Christmas props which children and parents enjoyed wearing to create memorable 'happy snaps'. A huge thank you to all the families who contributed an amazing array of food, and all the dedicated educators who stayed back to spend time with our families and help with organising, cleaning and packing up. Mel, Gorton House Director reflected, "I feel very lucky to be working with such inspirational and dedicated educators! Merry Christmas everyone!"
As the year progresses the foundation of children's learning becomes more grounded and obvious. As educators, we work within the aspects of the Early Years Learning Framework to guide and support children to consolidate some of these dispositions of learning. Children are naturally inquisitive, they are problem solvers and work collaboratively for design and create play opportunities. As facilitators of this, educators take on the role of observer and use our expertise and training to interpret what we are seeing to plan a course of action that extends, supports and challenges children.
Two simple spaces have taken shape over the last week, stemming from observation of the children interests as well as their skill sets. The train table is a simple yet complex space; eliciting skill of cooperation, planning and negotiation, and over time the educators have empowered children to work together to build it alone. The second space evolved into a small shop front. The children needed active participation with the educators in this space, to help them determine their role playing, the script of play and the discussions of basic consumerism. How do we buy things? Where can we get money from?
Both spaces provide children with different concrete concepts, and must most importantly, place the child at the centre of the planning and thought process.
On behalf of herself and her team, Murray House Director Vin thanks all the families who attended and helped make their end of year celebration very special this week.
Whilst Vin and educators are sad to say goodbye to children and families who are moving to the preschool program, as well to those who are moving houses and leaving Sydney's Inner West, they are also excited about the new chapter in children and families' lives and have high hopes that children will continue to grow and thrive in their new care environment.
2017 has been a fantastic year. We truly appreciate your feedback and continue to strive in improving our practice.
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