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How quickly the year flies by! It’s hard to believe we are on the brink of another year being over. I know that many of us are feeling weary as we negotiate our way out of Covid and living in a world that seems to be in flux. When I feel overwhelmed by the non-stop (bad) news cycle or other challenges the past few years have burdened us with, I feel very fortunate to be in the career to which I have devoted most of my adult life. Who couldn’t feel optimistic when your children’s happy and joyous faces surround me every day? Childhood is such a special time of life; through their eyes, we can see the world anew and Christmas time at the ELC is particularly magical; full of fun, glitter, music, concerts … and a tricky elf who keeps doing funny things!

St Anne’s Reception (Mon/Wed) with teachers Tammy Lopardi and Jenny Banwell

It has been a lovely fun-filled year in the Cygnets room. The children have grown, developed their independence and resilience, and have been eager to participate in the learning environment. This week we enjoyed looking at the children’s learning portfolios and reminiscing about our year. We enjoyed sharing our favourite things that we have done at the ELC. Here are some favourite memories from the children:
River: “Playing with Dad for Father’s Day.”
Eloise: “Decorating the Christmas tree.”
Will: “Bringing my teddy bear for the picnic.”
Otis: “Playing in the sandpit with Arlo, Silas and Clay.”
Hannah: “My favourite day was the sports day.”

St Anne’s Reception (Tue/Thu) with teachers Elise Edgar and Katie Whitfield

The Cygnets have had a hectic few weeks preparing for the ‘Christmas Afternoon’ celebration with our families. The children enjoyed learning ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, which they performed for an excited audience of parents on Tuesday. In addition, they have crafted some lovely Christmas decorations to add to the tree. It was a lovely end to the year in Reception. Unfortunately, Mrs Whitfield was absent in the last week as she was ill however, she sent her best wishes to the children over Zoom on the final day.

Bairnsdale Reception with teachers Sommer-Lea Collins and Jan Vercoe

Merry Christmas from Reception. It has been a fantastic year and we asked the children to share their favourite memories from the past 12 months:
Elijah: “My favourite time was when the fire engine came. The truck made a loud noise and had headlights.”
Hannah: “I really liked doing all the science experiments with Mrs Collins. My favourite was making the purple slime together.”
Henry: “My favourite thing was the day Mummy came for Easter, and we ate hot cross buns outside.”
Bonny: “My favourite thing is playing outside. I love it. I like to climb on the climbing frame. I can climb up and over. It is so fun.”
Lara: “Bringing my teddy bear to kinder. It was so fun to play and sing the teddy bear song with him.”

Bairnsdale Transition with teachers Sharon Smith and Maddison Cuttriss

This has been a very busy time in the Transition Group as the children prepared for the end of year festivities and enjoyed their transition visits to the Foundation room. For the past few weeks the children have been busy creating gifts for their families, decorating the room, and practising our musical number. On Friday, we gathered in the hall for the Christmas Fellowship and an opportunity to perform a Christmas song with our Year 5 Buddies. It was very exciting, and we were all a little bit nervous. Jack summed it up best when he said: “At first I was worried, but then I just had fun.” With only a few days to go before we all enjoy the summer holidays, I would like to thank all the families for their continued support and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

St Anne’s Transition with Kristy How, Lisa Burgess and Karen Glenn

It is a bittersweet time in the White Swans room as we prepare to send the children ‘out of the nest’ and off to ‘big school’. For many children, this is the second year I have taught them, which has led to close bonds and two years of seeing them progress. What stands out the most is how the children have grown personally. They have become more confident, developed specific interests and created social connections. The children are also more aware of their well-being, now increasingly independent and able to use regulation skills like rest, breathing and music to create calm in their lives. The recent Christmas concert showed just how far they had come. When I asked them to reflect on what they liked most about the concert, they all mentioned things that some of the other children had contributed.

While Mrs Burgess, Mrs Glenn and I are sad to see them go, it will be lovely to see most of them just next door in our Foundation classrooms in 2023, ready to use their skills to continue their learning. I wish them all the very best on their next big adventure.

St Anne’s Transition with Danielle Carpenter and Jen Jeffrey

As always, the end of the year brings mixed emotions as a teacher … joy at how far our little people have come this year and a little sadness as we say goodbye to them all. There were many highlights from throughout the year with our Black Swans: from our first excursion on a bus to the Knob Reserve with our Year 5 Buddies, watching their faces light up as they saw replica, life-sized dinosaur bones during our Museums Victoria visit, to the hugely successful Christmas Concert presented to our families, Year 5 Buddies and the junior classes of St Anne’s. But it is also the little, everyday discoveries, learning and laughs that stay with me forever. To all our Black Swan families, we hope you have a happy Christmas spent with family and friends and all the best for the New Year!

I want to finish the year by acknowledging the amazing, dedicated and passionate early childhood educators that support the children and families at both ELCs. Thank you for the hard work, professionalism and care you put into ensuring that our children are happy, supported and encouraged to thrive. A special thank you to Jan Vercoe and Elise Edgar, who are leaving us this year. We wish you all the best.

To our families; I wish you all a very happy holiday and safe travels. And may you enjoy the magic of Christmas through your child’s eyes.

Lisa Burgess

ELC Director