The Cocoon Update

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 Cocoon!

The children have settled into the program beautifully, with most children happily saying goodbye to their parents and showing excitement and enthusiasm 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 updates are part of the school newsletter and are designed to offer you an insight into the learning, special events, and news in our four-year-old group, The Cocoon.

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 Cathy know if you would like to make a time to discuss your child's progress or participation in the program.

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 Childhood 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 all belong in The Cocoon" (Ollie C)

During our initial sessions in The Cocoon, we have begun to explore the concept of belonging to the Woodleigh and ECC communities. Many children have shown interest in their uniforms and have started to explore what is different about being in 4-year-old preschool.

"That's. my Woodleigh Leaf, it's so I know it's mine." (Harriet)

"My name is Lewis." 

"My name is Louis." 

"Hey, there's two Lewis's(Sophie)

"It's 4-year-old kinder, it's The Cocoon. That's the leaf, you choose to come to this school." (Kai G)

"We all belong in The Cocoon." (Ollie C)

Welcome to Country 

We feel so blessed to learn, play and work on beautiful Bunurong, Boon Wurrung Country and Acknowledge the elders from the past and present daily with the children. 

We thank them for sharing their stories and culture with us and promise to show respect for this land and tread lightly on the earth. Embedding First Peoples' Perspectives into our program is essential to our team, and we look for every opportunity to explore and learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. On Thursday, we had a very special visitor from the Bunurong Land council, Uncle Shane. The children and families were invited to join the rest of the school community. We were so thrilled to be welcomed to Bunurong Country by Uncle Shane and participate in a smoking ceremony. This experience was such a moving and joyous introduction to Woodleigh and got our year off to a beautiful start!

We thank Uncle Shane for sharing his time, stories, and culture with us.

Respect for Self

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

(VEYLDF: Wellbeing) 

As the children settle into The Cocoon routines, 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 Minimbah, 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 Cocoon 

We have enjoyed a wide range of activities and routines as we settle into life in The ECC 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)

What went well for you today?

"The puzzle" (Lewis)

"Coming back to kinder." (Kai F)

"I built a house." (William)

"Playing with Kai." (Felix)

"Building letters on the light table." (Fletcher)

"Reading Owl Babies." (Luca)

"Drawing and making a volcano." (Connie)

"Playing" (Riley)

"Playing the Grinch" (Jordyn)

"Playing the Grinch with Jordyn" (Elleni)

"The sandpit" (Penelope)

"All of the things." (Sophie)

"The Pop-Up Pirate game" (Louis)