This year, NAIDOC week is celebrated between 8th – 15th of November. NAIDOC week encourages all Australian’s to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The theme for this year is ‘Always was, always will be’ – which recognises the fact that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. ‘Always was, always will be’ also acknowledges that hundreds of Nations and our cultures covered this continent. All were managing the land – the biggest estate on earth – to sustainably provide for their future.

For our children this celebration was about providing authentic opportunities for children to develop greater understandings about some of the customs, traditions and stories of the Indigenous peoples of Australia. This included painting using natural materials, creating and recreating aboriginal symbols, as well as making rain makers using dot inspired designs.

Our focus story ‘How the Birds got their Colours’ by Mary Albert also gave children the opportunity to explore the concept of perceptive and how stories can be told in unique, cultural ways. Furthermore, we watched the story recreated through a Plasticine animation with backing didgeridoo track. This prompted some children to share their prior and evolving knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their stories:

An – “I hear that sound. That is the Didgeridoo sound.”

Malika – “Hearing the colours come back.”

Mason – “It’s called yellow, and black and red.”

Lovenne – “That flag is from Australia.”

Imogen – “Aboriginal people.”

Ojasvi – “I think they copied the birds like ours.”

We will continue to embed Indigenous cultures within our day-to-day teaching practices, as well as expanding our evolving knowledge of birds as we care for two zebra finches for the next few weeks.

Taking Part in the Holy Family Assembly

Each Friday over the past fortnight, children from the Kindergarten program have met with Year 1 (R1MR) and Year 3 (3HS) to practice our shared assembly which is scheduled for Friday, next week. The theme is a Christmas Pageant. As such, the children participated in chalk drawing with their buddy classes to decorate the celebratory path into the hall.

Some decorations included:

Olivia H – “I’m making a little love heart.”

Xavier – “I’m making a Christmas Tree and a frog.”

Angel – “Wow, I need a bigger colour. It’s a rainbow.”

Malika – “A flower… It has flowers on it.”

Blaise – “A lollipop. It’s sugar and money.”

Jon – “I’m making a pizza.”


In preparation for the assembly, we will be making instruments and singing the song – ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’. The children who visited the hall for the rehearsal were excited by the prospect of getting their opportunity on the stage. When asked about the Christmas and the Pageant the children shared:

Malika – “Santa. He waves and sees all the kids.”

Aria – “I ask Santa to bring presents.”

Joel – “I see kids, kids, kids.”

Oscar – “You be good and Santa will come.”

Jon – “My Dad talks to me and I am a good boy.”

Angel – “I see it with my family.”

Imogen – “We needs chairs over there.”

Olivia H – “There are clowns at the Pageant. It’s exciting, the clowns are coming.”

We can’t wait to take part in this assembly next week on Friday 13th November 🙂

ELC Book Making

We have been working in collaboration with Holy Family School to promote the Book Making concepts of Pedagogical Consultant, Lisa Burman.

In the Murraya group, the children have focused on the ideas of imagery as well as how pictures help to tell a story. As a result of the group interests, this has extended into the fact the stories typically have a beginning, a middle and an end. They have specifically focused on ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’ to explore the sequence of stories.

In Grevillea group, the children have covered the previous concepts as well as investigating book covers. Due to observed interests, this has included a focus on what an author and illustrator do and how the text and images give the reader clues of what the book may be about. Throughout this learning, the topics have given some children an authentic meaning to write their names. As such, there has been an observed growth in this practice in the classroom.

We have been so proud to see an increase in some children’s ability to create messages and project meaning using multiple modes of written, verbal and visual communication.

Some fascinating book titles have included:

Joel – “The Super Giant Alien Smash Book”

Oscar – “Superhero Joel Savers.”

Ava N – “The flower”

Olivia H – “About me”

We will continue to embed these concepts and ideas into our planning for the rest of the term. During Term 4, we are also developing a book entitled ‘Our Day at ELC’ which is a guide for new children and families about what to expect in the St Anne’s room. It will be great for the children to use language and mark-making for an authentic and meaningful experience which is connected to their lives and lived experiences.

Belonging, Being and Becoming

At Alive ELC, we are committed to the enacting of the Early Years Learning Framework and strive to uphold the vision for children’s learning which is opitimised by the notions of Belonging, Being and Becoming.

We appreciate children’s identities and their experiences of belonging to their family, culture groups, neighbourhoods and the wider community. Recently, we have focused on individual and family portraiture, as well as community and cultural events, such as the mid-autumn festival where children created their own moon lanterns for the Holy Family School celebration. Furthermore, our continual promotion of relationships between children, educators and families are seen as fundamental to who children are and who they can become.

We celebrate the here and now in children’s lives and honour their time to be, to seek and to make meaning of their world. Recently, this has included role-play and imaginative explorations, as well as creating racetracks to explore identity and take on the roles of e.g. track marshal and traffic light attendant. Thus, promoting the collaboration, co-operation and sense of being as part of our early learning community.

In accordance to our Alive vision, we are committed to being a learning environment where futures begin. Our practices therefore, reflect and respond to the significant changes that contribute to who the children are becoming as valued members of society. This includes providing children with opportunities to develop their own unique identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships. We value our connection to Holy Family School and use this partnership to provide meaningful opportunities for children to actively participate in experiences on offer in the school. Recently, this has included Buddy class visits, Dining Hall, Library visits and Whole School assemblies.

Caring for our World – Ecological understandings and choices

This week, something unfortunate occurred when the head of the tap burst off shooting water off into a large puddle in the playground. When this occurred, the children were given the provocation, “I wonder what we can do with the water?”

Mason – “It could go on the plants.”

Ryder – “They (the plants) drink the water.”

Xavier – “It makes them (the plants) grow so we don’t waste water.”

Tavae – “It drinks them (the water) and the sun helps them (the plants) grow too.”

The children made made further ecological connections to the term inquiry and our ongoing focus on spirituality.

Imogen – “The plants are God’s creation. If we don’t look after them they would die and he would be sad.”

Olivia F – “God also created the water so we can’t waste that either. That’s why we use it to water the plants. It makes them grow.”

The children demonstrated their problem-solving abilities whilst suggesting creative and innovative solutions which turned a problem to a success. We are proud of the children and the way they were able to use their own evolving knowledge to care for aspects of our natural world.

Connections to the School

This week the children have continued to develop their connections to the Holy Family School Community. This has included visiting the Log Park, participating in Spanish class as well as joining year 3 for ‘investigate play’ time on Friday morning. We see these visits as valuable opportunities for children to engage with and develop a sense of belonging to the School Community. Thus, providing authentic learning engagements that will help children to build connections and partnerships that support them in feeling confident in their transition to School. The social and varying contextual aspects will contribute to the transitions of all children including those moving on to Holy Family or to a school on a different site.

We look forward to building further connections with Holy Family over the course of this year and beyond.

Caring for our play resources

Over the course of the term, the children have been introduced to a range of new and exciting resources to play with. This week, there was a specific interest in the ‘coloured walking platforms’ which involve children using the plastic base platform, foot bands and ropes to integrate whole body movements.

The ‘coloured walking platforms’ encourage children to develop fundamental movement skills such as balance, control and co-ordination, as well as crossing the midline and maintaining core strength and stability. Throughout the week, the children demonstrated their perseverance and resilience whilst problem-solving how to use the resources. This also enabled children to make connections between past movement experiences and to integrate similar thinking in their engagements.

Furthermore, having ongoing access to the walking platforms seemed to support the children in exploring positive social skills and behaviours. Many children were observed inviting others to use the walking platforms as well as role modelling and instructing their friends on how to use them effectively. This also included embedding themes and ideas from familiar stories into imaginative play opportunities.

Exposure to a variety of resources will continue to promote children’s evolving sense of pride and responsibility towards their environments and the objects within them. We will use this to emphasise the need to care for and respecting our shared resources and possessions so that we can enjoy them together both now and into the future.

I measure and compare my world

As part of our inquiry for term 3, the children have been encouraged to observe and investigate aspects of the world around them. Over the past fortnight, several children have demonstrated their evolving inquisition towards the quantifiable attributes of objects such as their height, length and weight. This has coincided with exposure to our new measurement resources, such as metre rulers, tape measures, 30m winding measure and formal weight scales. The children have extended their theories and meaning making in collaboration with their friends.

Certain investigations have included, exploring the weight of small bears in comparison to counters, working out how many blocks their are in a metre ruler,  finding out how many blocks for fit on a scooterboard, as well as lots of measuring of ourselves.

This has raised some interesting ideas in relation to the concept of measurement:

Xavier – “This is heavier (counters) then those (bears).”

Mason – “That one (ruler) is longer than that (block).”

Jon – “This is very heavy (blocks).”

Tavae – “Mine is even heavier too (blocks).”

We will continue to scaffold children’s learning by embedding relevant language and drawing their attention towards possible comparisons that can be made between objects. This will support them in developing further understandings about measurement as well as the interconnectivity between themselves, their resources, their environments and the world around them.

What is an Inquiry? What is our Inquiry?

This term in St Anne’s, our learning will be guided by the Inquiry topic: How do we care for ourselves, our friends, our resources and our world? An inquiry offers a meaningful opportunity for children to have their evolving curiousities, passions and theories acknowledged and reflected in the learning program. Throughout the inquiry process, educators and the environments play an integral role in the scaffolding and co-constructing of children’s knowledge. Moreover, social interactions and learning relationships are seen as the basis of all learning in early childhood education. Through meaningful collaboration and co-operation children are therefore supported in developing an authentic sense of belonging to their communities and the world around them.

A current passion driving our inquiry is investigations into the abstract portraiture of the visual artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. This has encouraged children to express their knowledge through multiple forms of expression including collage, mark-making and designing 3D model arrangements. Throughout these experiences, the children have experimented with and explored the artistic concepts of colour, shape, symmetry, position and balance. Furthermore, the underlying theme of healthy nutrition has supported children in considering and developing meaningful understandings about healthy nutrition being one way that we can care for ourselves.

We look forward to exploring new ways of expressing our knowledge over the coming weeks.

How do we care for ourselves, our friends, our resources and our world?

Welcome back to term 3,

This term, our learning will be guided by the Inquiry topic: How do we care for ourselves, our friends, our resources and our world?

In week one, the children have been encouraged to explore a range of open-ended play opportunities to express their ideas and knowledge with new and existing learning materials and play resources. The educators have closely observed how the children have interacted and shared their knowledge in collaboration with those around them. This information will be used to inform future planning for our inquiry.

In the classroom, the children have thoroughly enjoyed exploring our new light room resources. They experimented with making shadows, puppets and investigating the scientific concepts of reflection and refraction whilst moving the torches at different angles in front of the transparent, coloured sensory blocks.

Some children were eager to shared their ideas:

Eva – “It can make a crocodile shadow with the lights.”

Lovenne – “When I put the light in my hand it can look like blood because it’s red.”

Joel – “That glows on the wall. Because it’s like see through but glowing.”

The children have also experimented with loose parts materials that Steve collected from ‘It’s not Garbage’. The children used their imagination to create ‘spinning tops’ (Ryan and Kabir), ‘bracelets’ (Jon and Ojasvi) and ‘music strings’ (Xavier) using items such as CD’s, elastic strings, piping rings and pipe cleaners.

In the outdoor classroom, the children have been exposed to new physical activity equipment. They have used the scooter boards to move around the play space using their developing gross motor strength, balance, control and co-ordination. Resources, such as scooter boards are a safe way for children to expand their energy in a safe way, whilst also capitalising on the existing playground design. The children were also intrigued by the new bike which they helped Steve to build. We look forward to using these bikes in the coming weeks.

We would love any feedback on how your child(ren) care for themselves, their friends, their resources and their world to help support our inquiry over the course of this term.

Thank you in advance.