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Prep - Year 2 Group news

The end of the year is nearly here! As we come to the end of the year, it's a great time to reflect on your child's growth and development and be proud of all that they have achieved in an ever-changing year, 2020!

The children from Prep through to Year 2 have all been involved in CREATE this term. Each one of them has been a risk-taker by trying something new and giving it a go! This year CREATE was inspired by the Book Week theme: Curious Creatures, Wild Minds. This year it will be created as a movie. The children in Prep to Year 2 already had their week of CREATE and filming in the grounds of Penbank. You may have heard about your child's characters or roles in the performance. There are Mud Creatures, Frogs, Fireflies, and a range of different actors. The plan is to screen the movie at Dromana 3 Drive-in. Please stay tuned for more details to come. 

Prep

It's been wonderful being back in the Prep classroom. The children have loved reconnecting with each other through play, investigative time, and learning! They have all surprised me with how much growth they have shown and the ability to get back into our everyday classroom routines.

We have continued to focus on the role and purpose of stories and how they can be told in many different ways. We have explored other narratives and worked on stories' structure by investigating characters, settings, plots, and story sequencing. There have been lots of character creations and role-play using their characters to tell a story. The children have then been recording their storytelling through illustrations and having a go at independent writing. 


Over the next few weeks, we will continue to explore poetry, plays, folk tales, and storytelling traditions. The children will then have the opportunity to share their favourite stories and talk to you about personal stories from your family or culture.

In literacy this term, we have been introducing more phonograms. We are so close to learning about all 60 phonograms for their Prep year, and we are nearly ready for the king phonogram… it's coming! There has been a big focus on handwriting with the introduction of dotted thirds in our new writing books. Besides story writing and illustrating, the children have had a go at coming up with their adjectives to describe their characters and have a go at descriptive writing. We have got into the routine of bringing our 'Reader Folders' to and from school each day with our take-home reading program. Thank you for spending time each night with your child to read. It is a beautiful time as the children start making daily connections with their reading and writing development. 

In Maths this term, we have been consolidating their understanding of place value and focusing on practical situations to model division using the language of 'sharing' where children are encouraged to think about equal, even, or fair. We have also been relating the concept of 'sharing' to social situations. There has been the exploration of patterns by copying, continuing, and creating designs using nature and collage pieces. We will look at patterns through skip counting and consolidate number concepts in addition, subtraction, and sharing using practical situations for the remainder of the term. 

The end of the year is well and truly in sight, and what a BIG year it has been! It has been a very different looking Prep year, but I couldn't be more proud of every one of them with the resilience and growth they have all shown. From learning, personal, social, and emotional development, we've seen it all this year. It's time to celebrate a year of change, growth, friendship, and learning! Thank you to all our special Prep parents who have helped shape our little people this year in so many ways! Your support has been invaluable and so appreciated! 

BRITT

Year 1

It's been so lovely to see how the children have settled back into face to face learning. The children have loved spending time together, connecting through play, inquiry, and learning! We finished our Unit of Inquiry, 'Where we are in Place and Time,' with a beautiful display of 'artefacts' that the children brought from home.

There was such a varied collection of treasures. The children did a great job labelling and recording what and where their artefact came from, how old it was, and the relevance this had to them. We invited our Prep friends to 'view' our displays, and the children took great pride in talking to their younger peers about their item (some fascinating questions were discussed!). We also had a wonderful celebration during 'Arts Week', including dressing up as our favourite artists. Working on CREATE this year has, like most things, been done differently. The children have enjoyed dressing up in their characters, creating murals, and preparing voice overs. We are all looking forward to seeing how it all comes together at the Dromana 3 Drive – more info to come.

We have moved onto our final Unit of Inquiry for the year, 'How we Express Ourselves.' We will be exploring how light and sound work and how both enable people to express themselves. Our learning intentions will focus on students' understanding of how light and sound work as a form of expression, whether through song, story, or dance. Our inquiry tasks will be centred around developing the learner profile attributes of communication, open-mindedness, reflection, and thinkers. 

In our Literacy sessions, we have been focusing on re-establishing daily routines such as changing over readers each morning and practicing phonograms and our weekly spelling words. We are proud of how much they ALL have come along with reading since the beginning of the CLP – well-done parents, for obviously giving your children your time to read with them. We have explored the elements of poetry, rhyme, and rhythm and how poems tell stories. The rest of the term will see us consolidating all the students' skills during the year and bringing these all together in independent writing activities.

In Maths, we have been focusing on fractions, chance, and probability, and the children have had some great discussions around events that are 'certain, possible, and impossible.' We are now reviewing all aspects of counting and number, and we will finish the term with lots of games and open-ended tasks that allow students to think critically about what skills and strategies they can use to solve problems. 

So for our last Group News, we wanted to say how proud we are of your little people and how grateful we are to all of you for helping us get through this crazy year! While it has had some significant challenges, it has also opened up the opportunity to develop lifelong skills such as patience, resilience, flexibility, and compassion. We did it, team! Thank you, and well done! 

CATH & HEATHER

Year 2

With only five weeks to go, I am grateful for the time that the children and I are having together. Returning to the classroom this term, the children have grown in height, maturity, and awareness in their attitude towards school.

Every morning we focus on a skill they need to be a successful learner for that day. 'Focus' has been a dominant focal point over the last few weeks as we pull apart its meaning. The children were indeed very clear about the physical attributes of being focused, such as listening and looking. Still, when we drilled down into the deeper meaning of focus, the word 'curiosity' arose. One child commented, "When you're curious about something - you're focused." After discussing this in-depth, the children aimed at being curious about their learning and began asking questions. It's lovely to see the children engaged in their learning and developing the maturity needed for the big step for next year.

ur Unit of Inquiry for the term has been all about creative ways in which children can use materials. We've explored many different activities during Inquiry, including making paper, playing with clay, making things out of wire, flipbooks, sewing, box construction, and making potions. The children have shown resilience and persistence when learning new skills and have enjoyed learning from each other and showing more independence. 

As the children are nearing closer to Year 3, the number of friendship fires occurring outside in the playground has grown. Watching this, I felt that it was time to explore the program 'Friendology.' Explicitly teaching children how to develop healthy friendships and positively manage conflict is at the heart of helping them flourish. These essential social skills are the key to bullying prevention, creating safe, caring learning environments, and inspiring kinder, happier children. Through discussions, the children have learned the four friendship facts in class. 

  1. No friendship or relationship is perfect.
  2. Every friendship is different
  3. Trust and respect are the two most essential qualities of a friendship
  4. Friendships change, and that's ok.

In Writers Workshop, the children are busy producing a creative story to be published. They are focusing on picture storybooks' features, and I am challenging their thinking about how to engage their readers with sizzling starts. In Maths, the children are finishing off a unit on Fractions. We are spending the rest of the year reflecting on the knowledge learned over the year. 

Lastly, I'd like to take the time to thank you for your support this year, both in and out of the classroom. It's been a year not to forget, and I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that next year is a year of uninterrupted learning. Have a lovely break over Summer. 

OLIVIA