©2019 by St Catherine's Early Education Centre (Childcare)

Our Upcoming Events

A snapshot of our Term

NURSERY

Spring is here, and a group of up and coming artists gathered in the yard to work on their latest art project. Standing barefooted on the tanbark, the children wasted no time in commencing their work. They grabbed paintbrushes and started spreading colours onto the canvas. After a while, the educator stepped in to introduce other painting combinations such as using fingers and palms. She even pulled out a string (from her magic pocket) and began showing them how they could utilise different materials. With the string, children learnt the cause-and-effect of pulling, how that action created strips of colours on the canvas. During the demonstration, children were also exposed to vocabulary relating to directions. Next, the educator encouraged them to explore the environment and look for other materials. As an example, she picked up a stick from the ground and passed it to Alfie. Intuitively, Alfie started dabbing paint using 

NURSERY

Some things start young, such as… cultivating a love for reading!
Incorporating the ‘animals’ theme into Book Week, the class spent some quality time reading animal stories and playing with animal toys. Before inviting children to play, the educators laid out a table full of animal books and figurines. The aesthetically-pleasing set-up quickly piqued children’s interest and soon we were all sitting around the table, exploring one book at a time. We took turns to read and play. The swapping of books and toys kept children interested for a substantial period as they got to experience something new each time. The children had fun with the tactile books and related animal toys (e.g. reading <That’s Not My Tiger> while playing with the Tiger figurine). They were seen pointing at characters, flipping pages, looking closely at the content, etc. The educators themselves enjoyed reading and showcasing their drama talents too (hahaha!) They were acting, gesturing, using different pitches and intonations to capture their audience’s attention.

the stick. The rest were inspired and began to look for their own sticks – Owen and Frankie even came back with leaves! This activity not only strengthens their social skills, it also empowers children to be imaginative and adventurous. They played independently as they picked their own choice of colours, and even ventured out on their own to search for materials. At the same time, they learnt to play collaboratively as they took turns to pick colours and to use certain materials on the table. The group remained jovial, chatty, and respectful of each other throughout.

When it comes to Book Week, there is only one objective for the Nursery Team and that is… to make reading fun! Throughout the entire week, team Nursery brought different book characters to life as we came dressed in different outfits each day. Children loved the daily surprise! Apart from the teachers, some of the children came donned in their wackiest outfits too! We had Alfie The Very Hungry Caterpillar (by Eric Carle), Alfie the Builder, Billie and All the Places You’ll Go (by Dr. Seuss), Chiara the Pink Bear, and Daisy the Fluffy Fairy! We sat down for storytelling, played with the head gear and accessories, and most importantly, shared tons of giggles and laughter! We even noticed that children are more inclined to exploring books at the library corner during their own playtime – hurray! With so much reading and book-related activities going on, children were exposed to a wider range of vocabulary and that enhanced their verbal communication skills (yes, they have started babbling non-stop!) We learnt primarily about animals but also any other books and topics that were of interest, we even borrowed books from other classes just to add a touch of novelty. Apart from cultivating an interest in reading, the class grew a greater bond. Lots of affection and appreciation was shown towards one another (among the peers and between the educators and children). Truly magical and FUNtastic!

We found some balloons and what else could be more fun and spontaneous then blowing them up and using them for paintings. Although the children were rather disappointed that they couldn’t play with them first, we compromised agreeing to play with them after our paintings. The toddlers used their imaginations and curiosity bopping them onto their paper with the paint. Much to the children’s surprise, the balloons worked perfectly and they created some fantastic artwork. Annie clapped copying Aurora, together displaying their happiness and acknowledging of their achievements. Well done toddlers!

Another science experiment occurred the next day this time we used a bottle of Coke and some Mentos. Coke and Mentos, you might think, how odd. Well yes, surprisingly these two work insanely well together and the children were so thrilled by all the fizzing. Each child had a turn at placing a Mentos in the bottle, their educator quickly placing the lid back on so the fizz stayed put. The children admired the fizz in the bottle closely expressing wonder and curiosity within their environment and with their peers.

We thought it would be so much fun to jump on the bus and go to the zoo! Although the children began to put jackets on and headed towards the door, we kindly explained we were going on an imagination trip and they still couldn’t have jumped on board any quicker! The children helped their educators gather the chairs and place them in a row much like a bus. First off, seat belts on, the toddlers stared in awe as their educator at

the front demonstrated what to do. Then we were off, looking left and right and watching out for those sneaky wombats walking across the road. Finally, we arrived at the zoo! LOOK shouted their educator, the children staring in wonder and curiosity. A lion…….. a big lion came roaring over to the side of the bus (Kate pretending to be our animals). Next off we saw a beautiful butterfly, a snake, a turtle and then lastly we saw a crocodile. The children screamed and began jumping off their chairs, turning to each other and laughing. Well, safe to say we did make it back to school okay and the toddlers had a lot of fun! Thank you for joining us on our experience to the zoo. 

TODDLERS

Playdough! Who doesn’t love playdough? Because our toddlers definitely do. We gave the toddlers some plastic knives, rollers and shape cutters to explore, express wonder and create. Playdough is always great for strengthening muscle tone in little hands - by squishing, squashing, rolling and flattening. 

Today during our small intentional teaching groups, the educator engaged the children in the pin square blocks. Noel and Ming were the first to begin, placing their pins in the squares with ease. While Ming at first was unsure of the activity but once given direction from his educator he quickly caught on and completed the activity. Kate engaged in verbal discussions with the children about the colours of the pins. Noel being able to verbalise each colour independently and Ming using his educator’s guidance to say them.

Soon after, Enzo, Reed, Vikram and Ziad wanted to join in the fun. They all proceeded to grab a handful of pins from Kate, using their good fine-motor skills and patience when placing their small pins into the holes on the square. Kate proceeded to ask the other children about the colours of the pins, most of the children identified them on their own. Well done toddlers!

We are working to increase the children’s concentration from 5 minutes to 7 minutes during these group experiences.

JUNIORS

Today we walked to Woolworths to get the ingredients for our pizzas, the children were so excited. Whilst on our walk, we had discussions about road safety practicing this during the walk. We were stopping near each crossing and looking both ways and making sure their were no cars before we crossed the road. 

The children were adamant in using the shopping baskets with Lucas and Gaokai volunteering to wheel them around the store. There was discussion about what yummy ingredients we could put on our pizzas with the children collecting and placing them in the baskets. Being so  happy and excited, they wanted to grab everything they saw (but of course they couldn’t).  When it came time to pay, the children were such great helpers in putting the ingredients onto the conveyor belt at checkout.

Our children love to sing and dance  to the “hokey pokey”  song .  Hokey Pokey is a perfect song for the juniors.  In this group activity,  Our children learn to listen and follow directions. The song also teaches body parts, as well as left/ right discrimination. To extend on the song, we invited the children to suggest other body parts, such as 'put your elbow in, put your head in'. Encouraging them to come up with some funny ideas!
As a structured circle game, Hokey Pokey has many developmental benefits, in particular, the development of social confidence and other important skills such as to work collaboratively with peers. When our children are there, there are positive interactions, which help to develop the concept of teamwork.
In addition, there is evidence that these activities encourage strong brain-body connections support the growth of brain structure that underpin self-regulation.  Singing and dancing, stimulates coordination and balance and challenges fitness. Also good for developing self-regulation. Active group music activities provide a rich environment to coordinate movement to music, and practise attention, inhibition of impulses, and flexibility. 

Red Nose Day is a major fundraising campaign for SIDS and Kids, a very important organisation that focuses on sudden and unexpected deaths in babies and children. The colour to commemorate this, is red. Some of us wore red and donated to the cause. (Red clothes, red ribbons). The children immersed themselves in playdough play this morning, our playdough was also red( surprise). In the afternoon we headed upstairs for our annual Red Nose Disco where the whole centre comes together to get active and have a party! There was bunting, balloons, stamps and plenty of dancing! Our Juniors were eager to be apart of the disco as they exploded with excitement entering the hall engrossing themselves in the disco. We danced and sung along to all our favourite children’s songs with our St Catherine’s community. This was significant as the juniors mingled with the babies and older children, and of course their peers. We extended on our hand eye coordination, gross motor movements and balance skills just to name a few.

What a week full of  great stories and fun characters we had!  Pre-kinder were full of spirit celebrating the 2019 Book Week.  Our children were eager to share their books that they’d brought in from home.  They loved telling the story of their books.  Little Elliot brought in some really interesting books that spell bound his friends while he went through each page full of scary (but cute) monsters.  Evelyn was happy to share her special pop-up book, Red Riding Hood.  Evangeline couldn’t wait to share her PJ mask story with her friends, especially Ivan because they both dressed up as a PJ Mask character. Elsa and Anna didn’t miss our Book Week either as Mia Rose and Anna came in with a beautiful princes dress to add more fun to their Frozen book. Guess what?  Superheros wouldn’t miss this chance either.  Gabriel turned himself into a Spider Boy, Big Elliott as Bat Boy, Sarvam as Cat Boy, Kaitlyn as Super Girl and Khai as a Karate Kid.  Zoe wagged her tail as Chase in  Patrol having  fun with her friends.  Oliver disguised himself as Wally who kept searching for himself in Where’s Wally books.  Benjamin came in with his car costume that he helped his mum and dad make from a cardboard box. 

Everyday for the whole week, our children showed their book to their friends during group times.  They got to enjoy listening to some great children books, for example, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Three Little Pigs, Elmer, Room on the Broom, and many many more throughout the week. We even had a special guest, Robin, Iris’s teacher from New Zealand, to read a story for us. Robin introduced a native New Zealand bird to the children through a story which will remain in their memory for many weeks to come.

The Book Week is not about dressing up as a character for nothing, but it is a platform to motivate the children to develop their literacy skill through reading and listening to stories.  In addition, it also helps the children to develop their verbal communication along with their creativity and imagination.  Pre-kinder children transferred their knowledge about the stories they’ve listened to and read with their family, friends and educators to role-play situations.  With the experiences we set up on the tables, the children pretended to be a character and verbally engaged themselves in a meaningful dialogue.  They also learned to take turns to be each character.  Furthermore, the children even made art work relating to the stories that they connected with throughout book week.

What a fun celebration and  many experiences we had together.

PRE KINDER

Jigger jigger jigger, up and down, up and down… The Pre-Kinder children sang along when learning about brushing teeth. It’s July now and we have implemented the oral health education and practice with our children.   Many thanks to our mum's and dad's for collaboratively helping our children to come prepared with their tooth brushes.We engaged the children in various activities prior to the implementation of the program.  They listened to different stories relating to dental health.  They discussed about their experiences; visiting the dentists,  their practice at home, healthy food for good dental health, and why we need to look after our teeth.  During our morning group time, Iris demonstrated how to brush teeth and clean the brush thoroughly and dry it with a hand-paper towel before putting it in a container.  Then she let the children practice with their own brush.

The excitement came after lunch as the children got to brush their teeth in the bathroom with their friends.  How about showing off their brushes a little bit before brushing?  Of course, they could be heard talking about their brushes.  The children were proud of their little toothbrush and their new skills of brushing teeth whilst at childcare.It is amazing to see the children developing their sense of well-being. At home, we don’t know how they do when it comes the time to brush their teeth.  But with us, they are excitedly, voluntarily and cooperatively looking after their teeth and toothbrush amazingly well. Well done Pre Kinder!

Over the last 7 months the kinder children have been introduced to sustainable  practices. We slowly introduced this concept to them. First we started with looking after our garden and our vegetables, then revived our worm farm. From there we moved into reducing, reusing , recycling and the kinder children created amazing masterpieces with recycled materials. Also, they were introduced to the concept of respecting and looking after our belongings such as markers, and other resources, as a way to help them take ownership of their environment.

On earth day, the children gained knowledge in different types of rubbish such as plastic, glass,

KINDER

metal, paper, and general waste. Later, on Tree day the educators and children discussed trees and how paper is made. This was such a positive experience as the children were able to recall previous information.  Lena pointed out that it takes 400 years for plastic to decompose and the others agreed, demonstrating that they also remember this fact which was taught to them during one of their previous experiences.

When discussing about trees the Kinder demonstrated that they are continuously building their understanding of the impact of humans on the natural environment as well as their respect for the environment . “If there are no more trees, animals will have no where to live and they will die” the educator explained. “Then the human will die too” Mackenzie concluded, and all of the other children voiced their agreement. 

 To further extend the Kinder’s knowledge of what we discussed on the tree day the Kinder’s made their own recycled paper by using a splatter frame. They first picked up some unwanted papers from our recycling paper bin, tearing them to small pieces and putted the paper in a food processor with some water.  Putting the paper paste onto the splatter frame they pressed the paper paste on the frame and drained out the water. This has assisted the Kinders to understand that recycling is very important as it reduces the need for raw materials so that the rainforests can be preserved. Huge amounts of energy is used when making products from raw materials. Recycling requires much less energy and therefore helps to preserve natural resources.

On Tuesday the 18th of June, Our Kinder’s along with the Pre Kinder group has the opportunity to learn the basics of First aid. Tash, came from the “Cool Kids First Aid. She was very kind to teach us all these important things we might face in everyday life.

We started by listening to a story about Lexi and Levi who were in a situation  at home, finding their father unconsciously laying on the floor. The story taught children the steps of what to do if this situation was to occur. For example calling  000(she also taught them how to do it without having to put the pass code to enter the phone), checking if the person is breathing, what information to give on the phone  to the operator and removing anything that might be in danger next to the person that is unconscious. The children were so focused and keen on learn more about this topic. 

Our kinder’s were also taught about their body parts, different body parts names and that every part is important in our body. Children were also taught the importance to look after their own body and most importantly to say “NO” when someone tries and touches their private parts.

After this short introduction, children were taught step by step how to put a person into recovery position, how to check if a person is unconscious or conscious and putting bandages on. This was so much fun for them and our children are still role-playing and practising a month after we has this visit! We were so proud to see our children fully engaged in this learning activity and now we can say we have qualified “Cool First Aid Kids” :) Well done Kinders and Pre-Kinders you are so clever and helpful! 

Our kinder’s were also taught about their body parts, different body parts names and that every part is important in our body. Children were also taught the importance to look after their own body and most importantly to say “NO” when someone tries and touches their private parts.

After this short introduction, children were taught step by step how to put a person into recovery position, how to check if a person is unconscious or conscious and putting bandages on. This was so much fun for them and our children are still role-playing and practising a month after we has this visit! We were so proud to see our children fully engaged in this learning activity and now we can say we have qualified “Cool First Aid Kids” :) Well done Kinders and Pre-Kinders you are so clever and helpful!

Kalin mentioned he went bowling, and he loved it. Later in the week, one afternoon Kalin very excited shared found a bowling ball in our outdoor area. “Is this for bowling?” He asked. His educator answered and suggested “Yes, let’s play bowling, but we need to find some bowling pins first.” Kalin and his educator found some disposable cups, setting them up just like in an arena and then they were ready to go.

The Kinder’s were able to co-operate with each other as they waited for their turns patiently. Kalin was very kind as he helped other children picking up the pins while waiting for his turn. The Kinder group continued developing their gross motor and hand-eye coordination skills while sharing happiness and satisfaction.

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