Early Learning Group News

What a busy time we are having as we near the end of the year! The 3- and 4-year-old groups are enjoying the company of their peers, making the most of having our whole group together this term.

It has been an industrious term so far as we continued exploring the unit of inquiry, 'Who We Are.' The 3-year-old group spent time considering how people in the community help us and keep us safe. The children were able to celebrate their learning with a ‘People Who Help Us’ dress-up day, which was a fun day for all, especially as we had special visitors from the police force join us.

The 4-year-old group focused on social play skills, building on strategies to successfully share and generate ideas with one another. The children helped to demonstrate to one another ways to be inclusive in play through mini roleplays at group time. A vital aspect of social play skills is self-regulating, which we have focused on using the Zones of Regulation language. We introduced the Zones of Regulation to the whole group at the beginning of this term. It provides a framework for understanding how different emotions affect our ability to learn, play, and have fun successfully. The children learn that there are four different zones, coloured similarly to a traffic light, with green as the optimum zone for learning, whereby they feel calm and happy. Once children can identify an emotion and know which zone it corresponds to, we then support them in learning strategies, they can independently use to help them move between zones. For example, if a child feels very excited, they are in the yellow zone, and to move into the green zone, they might run a lap of the playground, then stop, have a drink of water, and do three rainbow breaths. The Zones of Regulation is used in the Penbank primary school and many other schools, so hopefully, many of our children will continue to benefit from it!

Our unit of inquiry as we end the year focuses on 'How We Express Ourselves,' with the central idea that we explore and make sense of the world through the narratives we create.

Both groups are exploring this unit through movement, materials, and language. We are currently preparing impressive performances that we can share with our families later in the year. It involves planning, rehearsing, prop making, and understanding performance techniques such as projecting our voices and speaking clearly. We are also exploring how we express ourselves through mark-making, symbols, and writing. Recognising letters in our names and those of our peers is a strong interest. The children have expressed interest in writing letters to friends and posting them in mailboxes. Encouraging this interest in writing is a positive way to support school transition, especially for our 4-year-old group.

Some of our 4-year-olds are increasingly adept at more detailed artwork, such as painting.

Our end of year celebrations will go-ahead for the children this year but will be slightly different from previous years. The last day of the term will be a party celebration day for the children during our typical session. Unfortunately, families will not be able to join us on this day. However, we will be creating some special presentations to share with families via Vimeo, and we will provide you with more information in the coming weeks.

We are enjoying every moment that we have with your children who show through play and learn just how much they have matured through the year. We also thank you for your support and understanding of the different ways we have been ‘doing’ Early Learning this year. How different it has been! We miss the usual face-to-face contact with our families, and we miss having you in the classroom!

Prep Transition Statements for 4-year-olds

Thank you to the families who have already completed the section of the Transition Statement emailed to you. Please contact Mel if you have questions or need a hard copy to complete. We appreciate you returning the completed section as soon as possible to be added to the Transition Statement.

Orientation to new groups

As you are aware, orientation for 4 year-olds is different for different children, depending on the school your child is attending. At Penbank, you will have received an email regarding the 'Penbank Orientation Program.' Please read through this letter and note the New Parents Evening on Tuesday 24 November 2020 at 7:00 pm. We hope that you will be able to attend via Zoom. All our Early Learning families are welcome to attend.

Early Learning Teachers