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As always, Term 3 has been jam-packed with learning, fun and excitement at our ELCs. The children have developed so much by the second half of their kindergarten year, which allows us to do extra incursions and excursions to enrich their experience. We have also relished engaging with our families and the wider community and one notable example of how we have done that this term has been the development of our first ELC Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Reconciliation Australia is currently approving the plan, but we look forward to launching it to the Gippsland Grammar community next term. We are excited by the direction it will take us in the future.

In the ELC, we take children's dental health and nutrition seriously and work to support our children and families to make good, healthy choices by participating in the Smiles for Miles Program. During Dental Health Week (August 7-13), the children participated in various activities to help them learn how to brush and care for their teeth. The children at the St Anne's campus were fortunate to have a visit from Anna a health promotions officer at Central Gippsland Health Service. Anna and her puppet explored the key themes of eating and brushing well. At both campuses, there were stories, books, a role play dental surgery and other fun ways for the children to learn about oral health. The children have also been learning more about the necessity to eat widely from the 'rainbow' of coloured food groups. Recently, our Bairnsdale Campus Reception children enjoyed a special morning tea with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables they had peeled and sliced together. Seeing them trying things they had not eaten before was especially pleasing. Our Transition groups have been cooking a variety of healthy meals, including sushi, six-vegetable pasta and vegetarian pizza, among other things. As one of our favourite picture book characters Jasper McFlea learns – you don't have to eat it; you just need to try it! Some children must try a new food up to 10 times before accepting an unknown taste.

We have been actively rolling out our Need to Read program this term. This program was designed especially for our ELC children and their families. The three-year-olds at both campuses enjoyed taking home their class mascot (Cyrus the Swan or Curtis the Caterpillar) for the 'book in the bag' activity. They now borrow books with literacy prompts for families to use at home. Our Transition children have just completed a five-week literacy boost program that heightens their awareness of the connections between letters and sounds. This was in the lead-up to our Book Week celebrations, which saw us celebrating with various literacy-rich activities.

Father's and Special Friends Day was celebrated with breakfasts for the Transition groups and their visitors. Our younger Reception children hosted a special 'stay and play' session, which allowed the Dads and special visitors to join in with various activities. Regardless of the event, the children had time to think about how grateful they were for the love and support of their particular family. I know that those lovingly pasted cards and handmade gifts will remind you of their love in years to come.

The Transition and Year 5 buddies program remains active and is the children's highlight of the week. Our Bairnsdale ELC children joined their Year 5 mentor for Book Week celebrations and there is a trip to Raymond Island planned in Term 4. At St Anne's, this term has seen a 'STEM buddies' focus with weekly joint activities where the children have made catapults, designed bridges and built boats. The children have also been busy exploring the topic space, and many investigations have been guided by their interest and curiosity.

In Term 3, we have provided many opportunities to engage with the broader community by offering portfolio viewing evenings, special visitors such as the CFA and Police and playing in the giant aeroplane that one of our talented St Anne's fathers made. We finished the term on a high with Footy Day at the Bairnsdale campus and a visit to Latrobe Traffic School by our St Anne's Transition groups.

It has been a marvellous term, and I am sure the children will enjoy their holidays before our final term together.

St Anne's campus
Thu Nov 2, from 5.45pm: 2024 ELC/Foundation parent information night
Fri Nov 24: 2024 Orientation Day (student-free day for 2023 students)
Fri Nov 17, from 9-10am: Transition Christmas Concert

Bairnsdale campus
Thu Nov 9, from 5.45pm: 2024 parent information night
Fri Nov 24: 2024 Orientation Day (student-free day for 2023 students)
Thu Nov 23: Transition Christmas Concert

Lisa Burgess

ELC Director