- June 1, 2018
Welcome to The Infants Home's weekly news roundup.
Last Wednesday was a day tinged with a little sadness for children and educators at Gorton Preschool, as it marked Uncle Terry’s last day (he will be visiting other houses to enable other children to experience his programs).
On his last day, Uncle Terry helped to repair the humpy/gunya out near the big tree. The children and educators shared stories with Uncle Terry and thanked him for all he did with them. Children began telling Uncle Terry which were their favourite songs and dances and they named every song and dance he taught them.
One child, who had really enjoyed Uncle Terry’s clapsticks commented on this, and soon Uncle Terry helped this child find sticks and explained to him how he could smooth them down on stones and make his own pair. The child was delighted, and soon other children were finding their own sticks and under Uncle Terry’s guidance they sat around the campfire smoothing their clapsticks on stone while chatting to Uncle Terry. They continued long after he left, discussing how smooth some parts of their clapsticks were getting and taking these back to Gorton Preschool to continue smoothing them on the sandstone in the playground (educators have since learnt from families that some children’s homes are now adorned with clapsticks they have made within the program and taken home to enjoy).
Through all of this one subdued child watched from afar. He told educators that he was feeling sad and shy that Uncle Terry was leaving. He found saying goodbye really hard. Gorton Preschool want to thank Uncle Terry and promise to continue to embed and show the value of Aboriginal knowledge, learnings, and culture within their program. They want the children to have the opportunity to know about, value and feel connected to Australia’s Aboriginal heritage and the land on which they live and gather. Uncle Terry, with tears in his eyes shared a conversation a child had with him, the child saying “I love coming to Gorton Preschool, but I love it more when you are here.”
Yumi Wong-Pan is a parent of two children. Caleb is at Robinson House, and Micah is at Rigby House. Caleb has a rare disease called William's syndrome. Recently, Yumi decided to make a generous donation of some posters and books to the integration team of The Infants' Home (consisting of Directors, educators, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and an early childhood nurse) to help raise awareness of William's syndrome and to support the team in their role of providing early education and care for Caleb.
The posters Yumi donated were created by Jeny Lu, an American artist who has Williams syndrome. Yumi loves her whimsical and uplifting artworks and thought they would look great at The Infants' Home. Yumi says "I feel very happy and hopeful looking at Jenny’s artworks. Her works fill me with wonder knowing that despite the difficulties Williams people have with fine motor skills (drawing is usually quite a challenge for them), she has been able to defy the odds and create a business out of her passion for drawing."
The link below tells of Jenny’s story.
The books donated by Yumi are The Boy Who Loved Too Much, by Jennifer Latson. Yumi says "This book was written by a journalist who observed the life of a mother and her 12 year old son who has Williams syndrome over 3 years. It provides a rare glimpse and insight into the world of Williams syndrome. My husband and I could relate to it on many levels and wanted to share this with the educators and staff who know us at The Infants Home."
Thank you Yumi!
The children in Johnson House Preschool and Toddlers participated in National Simultaneous Storytime on Wednesday 23rd May at 11am. The children had the opportunity to gather together to read this book, helping to expand their literacy skills including listening and exploration of images and text.
National Simultaneous Storytime is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association. Its aims is to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books. Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.
Now in its 18th successful year, it is a colourful, vibrant, fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy, using an Australian children's book that explores age-appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas.
The children in Johnson House Toddlers have shown a great interest in exploring The Infants Home’s gardens and often enjoy walks with their educators. While walking around, children demonstrated their interest in looking at the flowers and playing with the dry leaves, twigs and seedpods. Children decided to collect some materials during the walk, leading the educators to provide a collage-making experience, using the natural materials.
A range of photographs of flower gardens was provided to help stimulate the children's creativity. Children shared their ideas with confidence, with some children saying that they were making 'a flower garden for mummy and daddy'. Children also recognised the materials they were using, naming them with support from the educators.
This experience enabled children to use natural materials to learn, develop and refine their existing skills. Manipulation of the materials supported development of sensory skills through the exploration of texture, colour and smell.
Mat time is planned to focus and develop children’s language skills in a small group setting. During mat time, children engage in singing and reading and are encouraged to participate in simple games. A variety of resources are used during mat time including visual cards and sign language to support children to understand meaning.
Murray house children are showing familiarity with the mat time routine as they revisit the area and have many things to share, listen and talk about.
Mat time helps the children to develop language skills, but they are also learning to take turns and develop social skills.
Children at The Secret Garden Family Day Care in Avalon enjoyed going on a Teddy Bear’s Picnic. This beautiful learning environment extended the children’s interest in cooking and feeding the teddy bears by enabling them to explore and engage with social environments through relationships and play.
Are you, or is someone you know looking for childcare? The Infants' Home currently has vacancies across all age groups and is enrolling now. Call today on (02) 9799 4844 to find out more, or see here.
Join us next week for more news from The Infants' Home.
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