Building connections with Community

By Amanda Bertschinger,

  Filed under: Uncategorised

As children move into early childhood settings they broaden their experiences as participants in different relationships and communities.

Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world

Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia

Over the Term, you may have noticed a wide range of visitors coming to the Early Learning Centre. We embrace the wider community, exploring information and experiences for your children while also supporting the wider community.

This year, St John’s Grammar started offering a Certificate III course in Education Support, through Tabor College, to Senior School students. Initially we hosted a visit by Tabor College staff along with approximately 15 students who chatted with the ELC children and mapped out the ELC garden space for a study project. Other students visiting this year are from Mercedes College Community Service and St John’s Grammar Work Experience Program. Mrs Jo Zhang, who is the International Student Coordinator on the Secondary Campus, has been providing support for Mandarin speaking ELC students, and she has been assisted by several of the International Students. We have also been fortunate to enjoy the assistance of some very experienced volunteers who are interested in supporting the ELC and our students. In addition, the parent of a one of our 4 year-old students recently came in to teach us traditional dances from Russia – another exciting opportunity!

This Term, small groups of the students in the Program for 4 year-olds have been attending the weekly Chapel Service with Junior Primary classes. They return to the ELC happily singing new songs. This week, the Palm Parade walked through the Rectory car park on the way to a special service at the Church of Holy Innocents. The ELC students and staff enthusiastically waved branches and cheered as the Junior School walked past us all seated on the veranda.

Over recent weeks, a group of 4 year old students have enjoyed lessons in Indonesian and Music. Over the first few weeks, Clare O’Reilly and Jenny Chapman visited the ELC, but more recently the ELC children have visited the Junior School to continue lessons.  Next term we embark on a new group of Specialist lessons, STEM, PE and Art. There will also be a series of three organised transition visits for the children starting Mid-year Reception in Semester 2.

Buddy classes for both 3 and 4 year old children start soon. The older students love to come back for a visit to work with ELC students. Over recent years this has proven to be exciting and fruitful for both ELC and Junior School students.

Our understanding of each child is enhanced as we endeavour to know each child as an individual. This week, teachers have been learning more about the children in their care by meeting for parent-teacher interviews for parents of new students to establish a shared understanding for each child’s learning.

If you have any great ideas or skills that you would like to share please speak to a staff member. All your ideas, thoughts and feedback are always welcome.

Director:    (Gay Illingworth)

ELC4:        (Kate Burns and Bettina Abram)

ELC3:        (Sue Cullen and Penny Kerr)