Early Learning Group News

We extend a warm welcome to all children and their families and are looking forward to sharing a beautiful year with you all. We have had a fantastic start to our year in The Early Learning Centre! The children have settled into the programs beautifully, with most children happily saying goodbye to their parents and excited and enthusiastic about coming to preschool. It has been fantastic to observe the children beginning to make connections with each other and, in many cases rekindling established friendships from last year.

These Group News updates are part of the school newsletter and are designed to offer you an insight into what is happening in the program, any special events, and the learning in our three and four-year-old Early Learning groups.

Our programs and Units of Inquiry are based on our observations of the children's interests, play, conversations, and skills. The learning in our centre is play-based, hands-on, and continuously evolving. 

For this reason, the reflections are usually retrospective and are designed to offer you a snapshot of the children's interests and our plans for scaffolding and extending their learning.

We value your input with regards to your child and seek to work in partnership with you. Please let your child's teacher know if you would like to make a time to discuss your child's progress or participation in the program. Unlike the school, our interviews occur throughout the year on a needs basis and are timed to give you our full attention rather than having a rushed conversation.

Seesaw Digital Portfolios

This week you will receive an invitation to access your child's Seesaw digital portfolio.

This platform is designed to provide you with an insight into your child's experience in the program and allows you to see photos, videos, and staff observations of your child.

Seesaw is password-protected, and only family members you and your child's educators approve can access your child's digital portfolio.

When you receive the invitation via email, you need to apply for access. Once the teacher has approved you, you will be able to view your child's file via the Seesaw Family App (phone or iPad) or by logging on with your computer.

Many families like to share the portfolio with extended family - please let Lisa know if you would like her to send an invitation to grandparents or caregivers!

In partnership with families 

It was fantastic to see so many excited and happy families as they arrived for their first day in

The Early Learning Centre for 2021! We want to extend a warm welcome to all of our amazing parents and look forward to sharing a great year with you all!

We would also like to thank all the wonderful families who made an effort to come along and join us for this week's information evening. We were blown away by your enthusiasm, warmth, and support of each other as you navigated our play spaces and took a risk to develop and share stories. We are so grateful for your support and participation, and we hope you enjoyed the night as much as we did!

Respect for Self

"Children take increasing responsibility for their health and wellbeing."

(VEYLDF: Wellbeing) 

As the children settle into the routines of The ELC, we have been working on supporting them to develop skills and independence in caring for themselves. In particular, we have been encouraging the children to begin to take responsibility for the following:

  • Putting away their bags, completed artwork and belongings in their locker independently
  • Saying goodbye to their parents
  • Using the toilet and washing hands
  • Carrying their bag
  • Caring for their belongings
  • Pouring their drinks
  • Developing independence in applying sunscreen
  • Changing their clothes if needed
  • Putting on their shoes and socks independently

You can help by 

Working with your child at home and encouraging them to develop these skills. When you are at Penbank, you may like to support them in carrying and putting away their bag and belongings and providing your child with positive feedback when you see them using these skills in your family context!

"Who We Are"

We are learning about ourselves and others as part of a learning community.

An inquiry into:

  • How my emotions impact myself and others
  • Choices I can make for my own and others wellbeing
  • How I can contribute to our learning community

Our first Unit of Inquiry for this year is "Who We Are," and this unit will continue throughout the year as we continue to explore our identity as part of the ELC and wider Woodleigh School communities. Our early explorations in the unit will focus on the following:

  • Supporting the children to develop a sense of connection and belonging to the group
  • Working together to create a group agreement and exploring our responsibility to ourselves, each other, and the environment
  • Learning to play, share and work together – exploring our emotions, 
  • Beginning to explore the idea of "RESPECT" and learning about the perspectives of our friends

Working Time in The Early Learning Centre

We have enjoyed a wide range of activities and routines as we settle into life in The ELC and get to know each other! Our goal is to provide the children with long periods to explore, share their thinking, and become absorbed in play and inquiry during working time. The children's interests and ideas will gradually be developed into more in-depth investigations as the term unfolds. We are all so excited to see the direction the children will take their learning during their first few weeks together!

"The child has a hundred languages ...

 a hundred worlds to discover,

 a hundred worlds to invent, a hundred worlds to dream."

(Loris Malaguzzi, Founder of the Reggio Emila approach)

Early Learning Teachers