|Aurora Early Learning Centre|
This week we are participating in the Early Childhood Education Week Program. This program is a great opportunity for Educators to showcase their important role in the Early Childhood Sector and to promote that "play is educational".
So what does it mean? The early years education and care service plays a significant role in the community, educating and caring for our children. Early Childhood Education Week is a wonderful opportunity to continue raising the public profile of the quality service being delivered to children, their families and broader community.
This morning the children sat with Miss Sana and discussed their ideas and suggestions of what kindness mean to them. Miss Sana showed the children some visual scenarios of acts of kindness with their peers. She then wrote down the children's ideas of what it means to them. From here we extended on as a focus group the children where encouraged to say something nice and kind about the person was sitting next to them. This is a great example of the children building upon their confident social and emotional skills as well as fostering sympathy and respect towards each other as peers in the classroom.
The children then extended on their circle time listening to some beautiful dream time stories such as "Wannayarra the rainbow snake" and "The Snake that bit the Sun". The children where very curious about the stories and enjoyed looking at the lovely indigenous illustrations painted by the children from the indigenous community. To extend on this experience Miss Sana set up a snake and boomerang threading and weaving experience for the children to build upon their motor skills and to reflect on their own understanding of the concept of the dream time stories.
On the exploration table the children used glass jars and tongs to pick and choose the coloured small and large pom poms. The children had a great time creating colourful layers inside the jars and sharing and turn taking with the tongs. The preschoolers also used the wooden sorting logs alongside the smooth coloured stones the children enjoyed matching and sorting the colours.
This is a great example of the children fostering their critical thinking skills as well as being investigative and curious learners through their play.
Welcome to our Community Food Pantry.
‘Take what you need... Donate what you can’ is our new Community wide initiative.
This is open to all our centre families, your extended families, your neighbours and anyone in our community.
Whether it be that you’re going through a particularly difficult time at the moment, running late to run to the shops to pick a dinner item up or know of someone in our community who is struggling, please help yourself to our available food items. This will be replenished every few days.
Similarly, if you would like to contribute to this, we would be most thankful 🙏
White Ribbon Australia is a social movement motivating men to walk beside women to build a society free from violence and disrespect towards women. It's a movement focused on men as agents of change.
At Aurora, we support this cause for many reasons but mainly because violence against women has reached crisis levels in Australia. Statistics show that women are three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner. Domestic violence affects one in three women in Australia and is the main cause of homelessness amongst Australian Women and children. We urge you to look into the statistics on the subject.
On Thursday 23rd November 2017 Aurora Early Learning Centre participated in a charity event with a cake stall, a Black and white Disco and a raffle! The children arrived at the centre in their black and white clothes and were ready to have a fun filled day to help raise money and awareness for a good cause!
It is our aim to get people talking about and being aware of domestic violence including children. This will play a part in stopping it from an early age. The way in which we discussed it with the children, as it is a sensitive and controversial topic for young children was that it is not ok ever to hurt anyone!
The white and black that the children were all wearing was a symbol of them not hurting anyone. All day at the centre we had a cake stall running with a huge range of cakes and sweets for the children and families to enjoy. Each cake sold for $1 each and the cake stall alone raised over $100 for the cause.
The week leading up the White ribbon day we sold white ribbons and raffle tickets! After all of the fundraising efforts we raised a phenomenal $305.65, which is the most we have ever raised for a fundraising event at the centre.
Thank you to all our families who took part in, donated and helped us raise the money and awareness!
For further information on White Ribbon Day or Domestic Violence visit www.whiteribbon.org.au
It is with great pleasure and pride that we announce that we have received our final assessment and rating from the Department of Education & Training.
We have been awarded Exceeding National Quality Standard. There are over 15,417 centres in Australia, but only 3,601 have been rated exceeding, 1,004 of those are in NSW. With only 23% of all centres meet the exceeding standard, we are proud to be part of this small group of excellence.
Through a full day detail inspection by NSW Dept of Education in August 2017, we were assessed against the 7 quality areas of the National Quality Standard (NQS) and given an overall rating based on these results.
The 7 quality areas covered by the National Quality Standard are:
The ratings are:
Our next challenge is to be awarded the Excellence in Education and Care which only 10 centres in NSW have been awarded.
Huge thanks goes to our truly amazing team of Educators. Your commitment, hard work and dedication to the early childhood sector and the children in your care has shone through and rewarded accordingly.
We extend a big thank you to our supportive families. It has been a real pleasure working with and looking after your little ones. We endeavour to continue to better ourselves in order to maintain and reach new heights.
Well done team Aurora!
On Thursday 27th July 2017, the children at Aurora were involved in a Sustainability incursion to help the children and educators develop knowledge and understanding of embedding sustainable practices into their daily lives.
We involved Blacktown City Council in getting this project up and running. We had Emma come to the centre to talk about recycling and rubbish and help us start our very own worm farm!
Emma started off by showing us some pictures of different types of garbage trucks and bins. The children spoke about their own experiences with rubbish bins and were able to successfully identify what items were able to go into recycle bins. One child told Emma about how we have our own recycling baskets in the classrooms.
Emma showed the children the worms who will be making Aurora ELC their home which was met with much excitement and squeals from the children. The children were then split up into small groups where they were able to touch and name the worms. The children came up with some great worm names such as Shirm, Wiggles, Jiggles and Boss Baby.
Once the children were finished acquainting themselves with our new worms, Emma showed the children and educators how to set up and maintain the worm farm and how to safely hold and handle the worms.
The visit concluded with Emma reading a short story about the worms and what foods they can and can't eat!
Since the incursion, the children have been eagerly checking on their worms and making sure they have lots of food scraps to eat. Before we place anything into the farm, we always check that it is safe for the worms to eat and won't harm them.
Miss Nadia has been saving her fresh fruit and veggie scraps from the kitchen as well as egg shells in order for us to feed the worms.
So far as a centre, we have already reduced our waste load and the children are doing a fantastic job looking after their new little pets.
Welcome to Aurora worms!
The process of Transitioning to School is an area that often brings a great deal of concern and worry for many families. Parents often express concerns about whether their child 'is ready' for school.
Each child is an a unique individual and should not be compared to the progress of another child.
We have a strong focus on individual development and through observations, conversations with children and conversations with parents, we are able to develop goals for each child to work towards, to help with their progression towards school readiness.
Over the last few years, extensive studies and research has been undertaken in the area of school readiness. The majority of professionals in our sector agree that the most important factors in school readiness include the following areas: -
- Self-help skills and Independence. This includes the child being able to dress and undress themselves, put their own shoes on, look after and put away their own
belongings. It is also very important that children are able to go to the toilet independently.
- Social skills. It is important that children are able to interact well with other children and to play collaboratively and co-operatively with other children. Children should also be able to demonstrate a developing a sense of empathy and care towards others.
- Curiosity and an interest in learning. Children are naturally curious and it is important in early childhood that this curiosity is encouraged and fostered. Children
who are ͚ready͛ for school display an interest in learning new concepts. These are the skills that we are focusing on in our Preschool Program.
In the upcoming months the children will be participating in a variety of experiences to help with their progress towards school readiness.
- Self -Serving at lunch
- Sign -in sheets for the children
- Lunchbox week. This will occur during each month from now until January. Children will select their lunch order and then practice the routine of unwrapping their
sandwich and eating independently.
- School Library Visits
- Role play/ dramatic play school
- School Canteen practice
- Heathy Harold Incursion 'Harold͛s Thankful Heart'
We will continue to help children with self-help skills by encouraging the children to try to put away their own belongings, put their own jackets/jumpers on, toilet independently and help to pack away.
We have also teamed up with a kindergarten school teacher who has many years of experience working in a variety of school setting and is currently working for an independent school who is happy to come out and speak to our families about the practical dos and don'ts when teaching their child before school entrance. This is lined up for the end of October and more information for our preschool families will be available closer to the day.
So keep your eyes out for this informative night.
We are your partners in your child's early development and are happy to answer your queries as we come closer to their start of their formal academic life.
Written by - Lisa Magner
Early Childhood Teacher
Today, the children from the preschool Dragonfly room were very lucky to be a part of the primary school little library visit. The children were encouraged to bring their favorite teddy from home to be a part of the school excursion.
When the children arrived at the primary school library, they were very excited to be visiting the school and engaging in many fun teddy bear picnic themed craft activities.
The preschoolers were gathered on the ground for group time with the deputy principle Kathy Price. Together the children listened to a very funny story called “I need to wee”. This book encouraged the children to put their hands up and let their teachers know when they need to go to the bathroom, as these are vital and fundamental developmental skills needed before starting kindergarten.
The children were then involved in some fun dancing to the theme song “Teddy bears picnic”. After the story was finished the preschool children were able to choose from many fun activities such as collage and colouring in big pictures of teddy bears. The children were also able to create large cardboard roll shapes teddy bears and made beautiful teddy bear masks to wear with the assistance of some lovely and very helpful year 6 students.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the visit. We look forward to arranging another library visit next term sometime in mid-July. Look out for a Pirate theme visit next term to continue our transitioning program.
Huge thanks to Blacktown South Public for your much appreciated collaboration with us.
On the 27th of May, our preschoolers from the Dragonfly room, enjoyed commemorating National Sorry Day. National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26th each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. Stolen generations refer to Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and communities. As this is an important topic and one of which the children will continue to embrace and expand on their knowledge through their schooling years, the teachers of the preschool room where very eager to engage and involve the children in many Indigenous themed activities such as textural hessian painting using natural elements such as leaves, twigs and stones and indigenous themed coloured paints which included red, black and yellow. The black symbolises Australia’s Aboriginal people and the yellow circle represents the Sun. The red represents the Earth and people’s relationship with the land.The children were able to use a visual guide that included many symbols and pictures that represent indigenous meaning and storytelling. The preschoolers also were involved in reading special ‘dream time’ stories for group time and dancing to beautiful cultural indigenous music throughout the day and looking at many beautiful indigenous traditional paintings to assist them in their play dough play.
What a massive year we have had this year and what huge achievements our beautiful preschoolers have made. Today we celebrated those wonderful achievements and these amazing little people who have graced our classroom.
It has been an emotional day as we bid farewell to children we have had in our care for a while.. Whether they've been with us for 2 years or 2 months, we have felt the pangs of bittersweet emotions at seeing them all grown up and ready for big school.
We wish all our Dragonfly children transitioning on to school every success in the many years of formal education to follow. We can only say a small prayer and wish a small wish for the wonder and intrigue they possess to never leave their little hearts and minds.
So as the poem says:
".... So take off now and spread your wings,
soar to new heights, learn new things.
Just remember, as you do,
Someone's very proud of you"..
Congratulations Class of 2015!