Update from The Cocoon Week 6, Term 1
The Cocoon has quickly become a happy little learning community and the children are already demonstrating a strong sense of belonging and connection to each other. Most are now separating happily from their families and start the day with enthusiasm.
With the support of a visual schedule, they are quickly learning to manage the routine and transitions for the day. This is displayed on our white board the children are able to refer to and engage with visual cue cards which are organised in a “list’ of the plan for the day. This has been of great assistance in allowing children to know what is happening for the day, yet still allow for agency and choice about where they would like to work and play. Some children developing the confidence in navigating the environment and how to manage the vast range of choices offered, both indoors and outside, requiring treasure maps or a list of activities to provide direction. As a class we have used similar techniques to help children choose their activities for “busy working time.”
Specialist Classes in The Cocoon
We have now introduced all specialist classes to our program and the children have been excited to explore the wider school community and make connections with our specialist teachers. Our timetable for specialist classes is as follows:
- Monday: Music with Miss Ester Holt and Dance with Ms Serena Wong
- Tuesday: PMP with Mr Roden and Art with Miss Anita Harris (children may wear sports uniform on this day)
- Wednesday: No specialists – Cooking day
- Thursday: Creek program
With so much happening, we want to remind you that the children are taking in lots of new information. They are possibly emotional and tired, please consider this at home and be mindful of adequate sleep and opportunities for relaxation or “down time.”
Who We Are
We are learning about ourselves and others as part of a learning community. We have been focussing on supporting the children to develop relationships with each other and celebrating who we are in relation to our learning community. This has included singing songs and playing games with the children’s names, developing our communication skills both in small groups and during morning meetings and sharing our ideas about what it means to belong in The ECC and the wider Woodleigh Community.
ECC Nature Program
Connecting with Country and being in nature are integral parts of our ECC program. Each Thursday we have been venturing outside and heading to the creek for a day of exploration, discovery, imaginative play, storytelling, risky play and yoga.
The children have thoroughly enjoyed beginning to explore our beautiful creek and are quickly developing their resilience and stamina in this more challenging environment.
Acknowledging the beautiful Bunurong/Boon Wurrung Country that we learn and play on is embedded into the beginning of our nature sessions. The children are enjoying participating in Acknowledgements, singing songs in language and creating their own stories about Bunjil and Waa.
At the beginning of each session, we gather to practice our safety drill, which is in the form of a “hide and seek” game. The children practice running to hide and returning to our evacuation site beside the stairs…
1, 2, 3… Run and hide
1, 2, 3… Where are you?
We’re here! (children)
1, 2, 3… Come to the tree!
Our initial sessions have focused on safety at the Creek and this has afforded many learning opportunities…
How can we keep ourselves and others safe whilst in the creek environment?
- Self-management skills including learning to organise what we need for a day out in nature, dressing ourselves, managing lunchboxes, recognising when we are too hot or cold and adjusting clothing appropriately and
- Responsibility for belongings including remembering our hat and drink bottle, packing up our clothing and looking after our lunch boxes
- Self-regulation – learning to slow down and manage our play for the safety of ourselves and others, resting when we feel tired and eating/drinking regularly to sustain our energy throughout the day
- Following directions – practising our hide and seek safety drill, managing routines, listening to instructions regarding safety and boundaries
- Being mindful of our safety, respecting the land, respecting the animals that live there and supporting each other when needed.