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Early Learning Centre news by ELC Director Lisa Burgess

The past two weeks have been especially busy around our ELCs as we prepare the children to transition to new rooms or to the Junior school. We also welcomed our 2023 families to Gippsland Grammar and the ELCs at Parent Information Nights at our St Anne’s and the Bairnsdale campuses. It was a joy to meet parents in person and I can honestly say that I hope that I never have to do this event via Zoom again!

There was a happy buzz in the air as everyone enjoyed meeting each other and building new connections. As I pointed out on the night, the sense of community and belonging makes Gippsland Grammar a very special place. A big thanks to our educators who spent time helping families prepare for the beginning of their child’s education. We understand this it is a very big step for first-time families. However with such a great beginning, we are sure that the transition will be enjoyable and seamless.

For this newsletter, I have asked all our teachers to share what has been happening in their groups. For more in-depth educational program details, families should remember to check in with your class VOS page and read the Weekly Reflection.

Bairnsdale Reception teacher Sommer-Lea Collins:

The children were fortunate to have a visit from the local CFA. Firefighters Allan and Nellie were able to role model what happens when they receive a callout to a fire. The children learned about the uniform, the equipment and the material used to help fight the fire, and they were able to use the high-pressure hoses. To celebrate Children’s Week, we had a Teddy Bear’s Picnic. The children decorated invitations to share with their families. At the picnic, the children could introduce their teddy bears to the group, do some craft activities, sing teddy bear-themed songs and have a picnic together. We read some special bear books, such as The Very Cranky Bear and We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.

St Anne’s Reception (Mon/Wed) teacher Tammy Lopardi:

This term the children have been enjoying experiencing a range of physical activities including climbing, kicking and catching balls, carrying, and balancing. We have also loved dancing and games that improve coordination. The children have participated in increasingly challenging activities to develop their skills. Movement helps children work on the big muscles for standing, walking, running, sitting up, drawing, and writing.

St Anne’s Reception (Tue/Thu) teacher Elise Edgar:

The children thoroughly enjoy their weekly music lesson with lots of singing, dancing and playing instruments. The children love to choose their instrument and are doing a fantastic job playing in time to Mrs Germaine’s songs. I love to see their excitement and enthusiasm for music. This week we are very excited to begin our preparations for Christmas. The children have started practising Christmas carols and working hard on Christmas decorations. They take pride in their creativity and are excited to share it with their families.

Bairnsdale Transition teacher Sharon Smith: 

Children love art and the opportunity to be creative. Over the past few weeks, the children have been busy making their Van Gogh-inspired pieces for the Bairnsdale Campus Art Show. The students could look at Van Gogh’s famous paintings and decide which one they liked the best. Surprisingly the children particularly enjoyed the painting Bedroom. We researched the mystery of Van Gogh painting his bedroom several times and changing the image of the painting hanging on the wall. They decided to recreate Van Gogh’s Bedroom and display their works as Van Gogh did all those years ago. A big thank you to all the parents who attended to view the children’s display. We are so proud of their amazing efforts.

St Anne’s Transition teacher Kristy How:

The White Swans have really ‘got their teeth’ into learning about dinosaurs. The children’s curiosity has exploded and led to much rich play and investigation. Following the children’s interest, there were fossils made from salt dough, gooey bogs, dramatic paintings and explosive volcano reactions. The volcanoes were made from lemons but the children wanted a more significant impact so we took science to the sandpit with bicarb soda and vinegar. The children loved predicting which way the lava would flow and loved the excitement of waiting for the eruption. Throughout this exciting unit, the children have made literacy connections, learning about the letter D and making their own dinosaur booklets.

St Anne’s Transition teacher Danielle Carpenter: 

We have been following up on our Museums Victoria visit at the end of the last term. The children have enjoyed listening to both fiction and non-fiction books about dinosaurs. We have continued the question, ‘What happened to the dinosaurs?’. There have been lots of great ideas from the children. We have begun looking at the different types of dinosaurs and learning their names. We have focused on fossils. Our presenters from the museum bought in some fossils for us to examine. To extend this, we used salt dough to make a surface where we could create our very own dinosaur fossils. We also made a dinosaur swamp complete with chia slime to challenge their sense of touch. We had fun making a triceratops headband to wear home.

As you can see, it has been a stimulating and rich few weeks of learning for your children.

Lisa Burgess

ELC Director