Story by Centre Director Amy
During the week, the children in Johnson House have been celebrating Diwali. They have been learning a lot about a range of traditions which occur during this time, and have had the opportunity to create Rangoli (a traditional Indian art in which colourful patterns are made on the floor), make candle holders called Diyas and prepare an Indian sweet, called ‘laddoo’ (or ‘laduu’). Educators and children have also been able to share with each other how their families have been celebrating.
Acknowledging different cultures is an important aspect of the Johnson House’s preschool program. This is reinforced in the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia where it recognises ‘Diversity contributes to the richness of our society and provides a valid evidence base about ways of knowing… When early childhood educators respect the diversity of families and communities, and the aspirations they hold for children, they are able to foster children’s motivation to learn and reinforce their sense of themselves as competent learners’ (p.14).
We are proud to have a diverse program in Johnson House, and celebrations such as Diwali are a great way to help the children acknowledge and learn about the wonderfully diverse society we live in.
Story by Educator Jung
During the rainy days in the week of 9–13 November the children in Murray House infants were interested to see the raindrops and the dark clouds in the sky. After seeing the children showing lots of excitement about the rainfall, educator Dalia decided to extend their interest this by reading the book Big Rain Coming by Katrina Germein. It’s a lovely story about the people in an Australian outback community who are waiting for the rain to come. The beautiful Aboriginal art illustrations helped the children understand to the story and the children also spoke about how they responded to these. One child said “Cloud is scary”, while another child said “Sun is hot”. When the rain finally came in the book, the children all cheered excitedly, saying “It’s raining!”
Reading Big Rain Coming was a great start for celebrating NAIDOC Week in Murray House infants’ room. The children’s exploration of rain continued throughout the week, and educators were pleased to see the children showing great interest throughout the journey. It has been a meaningful learning experience for the children, and has enable educators to extend the children’s learning using resources that reflect Aboriginal culture.
Story by Centre Director Isa
Celebrating NAIDOC Week
During NAIDOC Week last week (8-15 November) the educators in Rigby House spoke to the children about the Aboriginal flag, which is displayed in our environment.
To support our young children’s understanding of this important symbol of our First Peoples, the children participated in an art experience where they learnt about the colours of the flag and then painted sheets of paper with the colours. Once the paint had dried, our educators cut the red and black sheets into rectangles, and the yellow sheet into a circle. The children then helped the educators to put the shapes together to create the Aboriginal flag.
As the children worked on this art experience, the educators talked with them about the meaning of the colours: “Black for the people, red for the earth and yellow for the sun”.
It was so lovely to hear our young children express their understanding as they point to the flag and name the colours and what they represent
Learning through art
As we prepared to celebrate NAIDOC Week, the educators in Rigby House showed the children a variety of Aboriginal paintngs. The educators and children talked about what they could see, the colours and shapes, and then discussed how some of these artworks were created.
The children seemed most interested in the dot paintings, and they expressed interest in creating their own art.
It was lovely to hear the chlidren talk about the shapes they were creating. They displayed high levels of focus and concentration as they carefully placed dots of paint on their paper to make circles and other shapes and patterns, creating their own interpretation of the beautiful Aboriginal art work.
Story by Educator Miriam
In the last few weeks children at Robinson House have been very excited to welcome our new fire pit to the learning environment! In the months leading up to getting our own fire pit there had been a lot of camping role play, and the children were still discussing the big bushfires of last summer. Having our own fire pit is a way for children to develop a safe and healthy relationship with fire, and to become more knowledgeable about its uses across time and cultures.
Since getting the fire pit the children have learnt how to collect firewood, and to build a fire with kindling, then bigger sticks, then finally logs. They have learnt the three ingredients needed to make fire —fuel, oxygen and heat—and they have also learnt about Indigenous fire management practices that help to care for Country. We will try to fit a few more fires in before the summer season is upon us!
Robinson House children have been doing lots of cooking over 2020, so preparing food to cook on the fire will be our next project.
Red Bug Playgroup
by Playgroup Assistant Rebecca
At Red Bug playgroup this week we had a lot of fun playing with sea animals and shells in water. We learnt the names of the animals and talked about their different shapes and colours. Playing with our friends helped us to learn to share with each other, take turns and be patient while we wait for our turn. Water play also helped us to stay cool on this very hot day.