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Early Learning Group News

It has been a lovely few weeks with both Early Learning groups settling in very well. The children have become familiar with the preschool environment, and they have also had some incredible adventures and explorations in the wider school community. The 3-year-old children have enjoyed visiting the Penbank Springs Farm to see the cows and chickens, while the 4-year-olds have had visits to Bush Kinder and our Ngargi area. They have also spent time in the gym for some ball games and more challenging physical activities.

Visiting the different spaces has allowed us to discuss the beauty of the environment and to explore ways in which we need to respect and care for the land. The responses from the children have been very positive and thoughtful, leading to a meaningful Acknowledgement of Country, which we will embed into our program each session; thanking the Bunurong/Boon Wurrung peoples for the land on which we are so lucky to learn and play. 

Cooking in the ECC

Both groups of children have enjoyed some beautiful cooking experiences and loved baking apple pies to take home and share. Using apples from Lacey and Deborah’s home was a lovely way to engage the children in conversation about their home lives and what they might cook or grow with their own families. The 4-year-old children also used our campfire at the Ngargi area to cook damper, reflecting on how simple ingredients and fire can make a wonderful meal wherever you are. Cooking at Penbank also involves harvesting ingredients from our vegetable patch and collecting eggs and herbs from other parts of our school. The Year 6 children provided us with eggs they had collected from the chickens they nurture, and the 4-year-old children were able to thank them by baking a batch of cookies. It was beautiful to observe these lovely acts of kindness from both groups of children. 

'Who we are'

As part of our PYP unit of inquiry, we have been discussing ‘Who We Are’. We have asked the children to share stories and photos from home, as well as continually offering both groups opportunities to deepen this understanding. The children in the 4-year-old group have created beautiful self-portraits reflecting how they see themselves. The 3-year-old’s have been reading books together that spark conversations about families; a lovely introduction to thinking about differences and similarities between each other. A variety of songs and games have given the children the opportunity to share their names and interests with each other. This has been a great way to get to know others and discover what makes us all unique. 

An inquiry into how my emotions impact on myself and others

The children have been engaging in some powerful conversations regarding emotions and behaviour. Throughout our program and during intentional teaching sessions, we can explore how we feel and how others may feel (empathy). While this may look quite different for both groups, the goal is the same; for the children to understand that our actions have an impact on ourselves and others. As we progress through the year this will become a familiar topic with the children and something that we strive to continue as a positive part of your child’s experience at Penbank.

Housekeeping

  • Please make a time with Tracy or Lacey if there is anything you wish to discuss further.
  • Don’t forget it is ESSENTIAL to provide your child with a pair of gumboots and a waterproof jacket for bush kinder, these items must be clearly named and may remain at Penbank (4-year-olds)
  • Please ensure there are spare clothes in your child’s bag for each session.
  • Please place a named bag for library borrowing in your child’s school bag for each session.

We thank you for your involvement in our Early Learning Space. 

TRACY, LACEY, MEL, SALLY, DEBORAH, CADY & LISA