• 117 Blackwood Street, Mitchelton, QLD 4053
  • 07 3354 1244
  • info@blackwoodstreetchildcentre.com.au
Education News

Positive Parenting in Challenging Times

The end of year is in sight, but it isn’t quite close enough! At this time of year it is common for our educators to be hearing more parent concerns about their children not listening or displaying some challenging behaviours. There is a multitude of reasons for such changes in child behaviour, and identifying these reasons can often be like finding a needle in a haystack. It is a valuable time to check in and reflect on how your family is managing these challenges. Sometimes, we find that parents simply do not know where to turn, which can make the whole situation more overwhelming and stressful.

At Blackwood Street Child Centre, we have recently started advocating and referring families to the State Government endorsed program, “Triple P: Positive Parenting Program”. The Program is founded on the following 5 steps to Positive Parenting:

1. Create a Safe, Interesting Environment
Bored kids are likely to misbehave. Bored teenagers may find trouble. So create an environment that allows kids to explore safely and develop their skills.

2. Have a positive learning environment
If a child or teenager comes to you for help or a chat, they’re ready to learn. Give them positive attention, even if only for a minute or so. Encourage their ideas and opinions.

3. Use assertive discipline
Set clear rules and boundaries and follow through with fair consequences. You can negotiate some of these with older kids and decide on the rules and consequences together. Praise little and big kids to encourage the behaviour you like.

4. Have realistic expectations
Nobody’s perfect – kids, teenagers or adults – so don’t expect your child to do more (or less) than they’re capable of. And remember, we all make mistakes sometimes.

5. Take care of yourself as a parent
It’s all about balance. You’ve got to look after your own needs too, so make sure you’re getting some support, time with friends, and maybe even a little time to yourself!

The Queensland Government offers this training free to parents and families in Queensland, and there is a range of programs including face-to-face group workshops, individual sessions and online training to suit your family’s needs. The program is a wonderful initiative and we would encourage all families to engage with a format of Triple P to provide you as parents with an extensive skill set in supporting your children now and into the future. Furthermore, if you are feeling overwhelmed for any reason, please feel free to speak with any educators or management as there in an extensive network of support in our community. Also, remember that your family GP is always a great point of contact as they have a strong understanding of your individual child’s growth and development and will typically be able to point you in the right direction in getting any additional support that you may need.

Further information can be found on the Triple-P Parenting website http://www.triplep-parenting.net.au/qld-uken/triple-p/?cdsid=f9924789870983511a4f60c587137f34

Sonya M & Sally

August 2017

Hi everyone
There has been much talk about children’s transitions in the Centre at the moment because there are children moving up to new rooms and families getting ready for school next year.

I hope we can help you with information that may help make this process easier. Firstly, let’s look at what transitions are:

Transitions are times when children move between and adapt to different spaces or places and with different people, experiences, expectations and routines. The term encompasses regular transitions across a day and those that occur at significant times in children’s lives such as starting in an education and care service or starting full time school (EYLF, p. 16).

To help make transitions from room to room easier for families children participate in their new room gradually. Firstly for orientation visits, meals and then sleep routines until they are ready to participate fully into the new room.

When looking at transitioning to school and school readiness consideration is taken to how prepared your child is to start and succeed at school. Often an emphasis is put on the academic preparation instead of the more widely accepted social, behavioural and emotional competencies that are better indicators.

Click here for some questions to consider when considering whether your child is ready to start school. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Sally, Sonya M or your room teachers (Sonya W, Sharon and Leonie).

Thank you!

Sonya M & Sally

July 2017

Hello to all families

We have had a busy few days settling children into new rooms and watching the excitement of children going up for visits and learning new routines. Educators have made the transition easy for the children by firstly starting with small visits and gradually increasing to longer stays while settling.

Educators have also completed the second quarterly report on your child’s learning and development. You should have had access to this report on Storypark. Please see your room educators if you have not been able to find it.

At the end of the next quarter there will be another report on your child’s learning and development. Around this time the kindergarten room will receive their transition statements in preparation for school next year. Parents/carers need to take a copy of this statement to the school your child will attend so they are able to prepare the best possible start to your child’s school life.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for a chat.

Thank you!

Sonya M & Sally

May 2017

As we progress through the year, we reflect on the journey travelled so far – changes in educators, transitioning between rooms and welcoming new peers are just some of the myriad of changes that can occur in the dynamic environment of a Long Day Care setting. These transitions can be difficult for children and families alike, and it is at these times of change that we rely on our sense of community and partnerships for support. It is therefore a valuable practice for us as a community to pause and reflect on how we are committing to the continual strengthening of these relationships.

Strong partnerships are based on trust, open and respectful communication, shared information about the child, shared understanding of perspectives and expectations, involvements in children’s learning and development, and shared decision making. To achieve these partnerships, we encourage families to share – whether verbally, or through story park – information about recent experiences, family events and any other significant happenings. The information gathered by educators informs their planning by intentionally creating a link between the child’s home life and the Early Childhood setting. We encourage families to become involved in the educational program as well – if you observe that the children have been exploring creativity with recyclables, bring them in! Perhaps they are focusing on multicultural perspectives – share your culture with us! These forms of family input are instrumental in the development of an authentic and meaningful curriculum for your children to engage in.

Please do not hesitate to contribute anything that is important and meaningful to your child and family – family input allows Educators to enhance each individual’s sense of belonging and understand their unique backgrounds, skills and interests.

When educators respect the unique strengths of each family, collaborative partnerships are strengthened and the continuity of learning between homes and educational settings is enhanced.

Sonya M & Sally

February 2017

Welcome to all families to 2017 at Blackwood Street Child Centre. We have some wonderful projects planned for the year ahead, however our priority in the early months of the year is settling children into their new environments. This is an imperative time for the children to create strong, mutually respectful relationships with their educators. This foundation is important for the success of our learning environments for the year ahead.

As these relationships strengthen, educators gain clarity in each individual child’s strengths and needs, which forms the basis of our educational program. This year, we have initiated a networking project with our greater community of early childhood educators in the region. The project will focus on the use of Overhead Projectors to support children’s exploration of light;
“Overhead projectors are much-loved by children for their beauty, their evocative and scenographic powers. How do children approach phenomena produced by this instrument and what explanations do they develop for how it works?” – The Wonder of Learning; The Hundred Languages of Children. Reggio Children.

The project is an exciting opportunity to build community relationships and increase the quality of educational programs through wonder, curiosity and authentic experiences. Each room is now in the planning stages of their respective projects and will soon be implemented into the learning environments.

Thank you for joining us in 2017, we are anticipating a fantastic year of growth and opportunity.

Sonya M & Sally

September / October News

We have had a big month with our environment consultant Caroline Fewster. She has visited us for the second time to present us with a professional learning workshop in the evening. Caroline presents this information all around the country and overseas to many other early childhood services.

The focus of the visit was to highlight practices that are aligned with the Frameworks EYLF and NQF in each room and to explore possibilities for the physical environment. In each area Caroline was able to give educators examples of practices that have been thoughtfully planned with the elements of the NQF in mind. Educators had the opportunity to examine their current practices within the physical environment and posed questions for critical reflection for the timeframe in between the visits.

Caroline was very excited that educators here at Blackwood Street have some of the best staffing conditions in the country. She was also able to offer information on how to improve our physical environments.

In the National Quality Standard, Quality Area 3 Physical Environment focuses on environments in early childhood settings being safe, suitable and providing a rich and diverse range of experiences that promote children’s learning and development. We have been doing this by changing our learning environments and making them more child focused so that our learning environments reflect interests, provide choice and ownership for children.

We look forward to continuing our sessions with Caroline to improve our quality at the centre.

Sonya Mortimore
Educational Leader
(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

August News

Resources

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Active Learning
• When children are able to use materials in their own way they develop more complex and higher order skills, like predicting, hypothesizing and analyzing. It really engages scientific thinking. (Active Learning)

Pretending
• Using abstract materials instead of play objects that look overly realistic, increase children’s abstract thinking and lay a broad neural foundation.

Communication
• We need open ended materials with no prescribed use, to really develop creativity. These open ended materials offer many possibilities to the child to communicate their ideas, show imagination and represent their thinking.
• As children arrange, classify, categorize, pattern and count, they are internalizing Maths and Numeracy foundation skills

Wellbeing
• These materials offer many opportunities we want for children to reach learning outcomes like developing physical competence.

Connecting
• Many of these materials help children make connections, between built and natural worlds. They also connect to each other, sharing materials and negotiating.

Identity
• There is often no wrong way of using these parts, so it supports taking risks -having an identity of someone that has a go.

Connecting to larger ideas in the Early Years Learning Framework and the Kindergarten Guidelines

• Promote sustained shared thinking as materials create opportunities for extending ideas.
• Support children agency as they can use materials in their own way and they can access these materials themselves.
• If using Natural materials we can connect to Aboriginal ways of being and knowing about the world.
• Connect children to Nature through observation and exploration.
• Connect children to sustainability as we repurpose many materials and find new uses for them.

Sonya Mortimore
Educational Leader
(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

June News

Ed Leader 2 smlI hope you are all staying warm as the weeks grow colder. We have had some days inside to escape the cold and rain and some nice days outside in the winter sun. We have been spending time evaluating our curriculum and resetting our goals for next semester.

On Saturday, 9 July we had our Centre Open Day in the Kookaburras room. It was great to see families come and look at the room and ask questions about the pre prep program for next year. For those families who couldn’t attend but would like to access the information please click here to view the Open Day flyer.

During the Open Day we were also showcasing some of the samples of our furnishings that we have ordered with our gambling community benefit fund grant.

Sonya Mortimore
Educational Leader
(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

May News

Online Curriculum

Many families will now have knowledge of our online curriculum called Storypark. Storypark will enable families to have access to your child’s curriculum including observations and planning once you have accepted your invitation. The Centre is in the process of gradually inviting each family so don’t panic if you have not received your invite yet.

Educators have also been discussing the types of stories that will be included on Storypark and what they might look like. Families will also be able to add comments to curriculum posts and share home life with your group when you want to. Also, you will only be able to see items about your child and group.

Your usual admin queries regarding your child’s days, etc will still be dealt with at the front office.

We will keep you up to date with information as it arises. Please ask your room educators, Julie or myself if you have any queries about Storypark and its implementation.

Sonya Mortimore
Educational Leader
(Monday, Tuesday)

April News

Assessing Learning

How do educators assess children’s learning?  What is included and what do they look for?

The Early Years Learning Framework defines assessment as ‘the process of gathering and analyzing information as evidence about what children know, can do and understand’ (DEEWR, 2009, p.17).  Educators assess children as they go about their work, paying attention to what is happening and reflecting on what children are learning.  Some of this learning is recorded with an analysis and reflections and the records are used as a basis for planning.  Educators use a variety of ways of recording learning and developing ways that work for them.

Questions that are addressed are what happened? And what is important about the context that will help me and others make sense of this observation?  Good practice also requires educators to take advantage of the wonderful learning possibilities in everyday, ordinary experiences and routines.

Children’s assessment items are shared with parents in the child’s portfolio and children and families are encouraged to add items and have input into the curriculum.  Also, each educator has time each week to prepare the curriculum and write up their observations and planning.

In work and in life we tend to see what is familiar and expected.  When educators bring deep knowledge about children’s learning to their work, they can see amazing learning every day.

Sonya Mortimore
Educational Leader
(Monday, Tuesday)

References:

Bower, L (2010) Everyday learning about play and learning, ECA, ACT
Margetts, K & Raban, B (2011) Principles and Practice for Driving the EYLF, Teaching Solutions, Albert Park, AustraliaBower, L (2010) Everyday learning about play and learning, ECA, ACT
Stonehouse, A (2011) The more you know, the more you see, Babies’ and toddlers’ learning and the EYLF, ECA, Canberra

February News

The Value of Play
One of the questions that we are asked as teachers frequently by parents is along the lines of ‘how can my child learn if they play all day?’ This is a legitimate question and I will give you some insight into the importance of play and play based learning.

Play is important for children to develop their physical, social, emotional and cognitive (thinking) skills. Play helps children learn how to communicate with each other, solve problems and build on existing skills and knowledge. Also, play builds a strong foundation for all future learning.

Play develops:
• Imagination and creativity
• Literacy and numeracy skills
• Problem-solving skills
• Social skills including learning to get along with others
• Physical skills including coordination, balance, flexibility
• Talking and listening
• Relationships and emotional security
• Confidence and reduces fear, anxiety and stress
• An understanding of themselves and their place in the world

‘To take play away from the child and you take away their very soul/ being, their creativity, their ability to learn and their future’. (Everyday learning about play and learning, p3-6)

All children should have the opportunity to play. During play educators and teachers observe children and implement the curriculum according to the age of the children in their care. Educators and teachers also use the Early Years Learning Framework, National Quality Standard, Queensland Kindy Guidelines and their own knowledge and experience to inform their curriculum.

Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child acknowledges that play is a right for children. The Convention also links play with opportunities for children to engage in ‘cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity (Principles and practice for driving the EYLF, p48).

Sonya Mortimore
Educational Leader
(Monday, Tuesday)

References:
Bower, L (2010) Everyday learning about play and learning, ECA, ACT
Margetts, K & Raban, B (2011) Principles and Practice for Driving the EYLF, Teaching Solutions, Albert Park, Australia

January News

It so good to see the children settling into the Centre and welcome to the new families to an exciting year for 2016.

January has been spent settling into our new rooms and getting to know all the children and families. We have also been laying the foundations by developing our curriculum for the year and ensuring our curriculum meets the National Quality Standard as well as other legislative requirements.

We will be spending the next few weeks developing our curriculum further as we extend on children’s interests and develop and implement our programs.

If anyone wishes to discuss your child’s curriculum please see the lead educator in your room. I am also happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Sonya Mortimore
(Monday, Tuesday)

December News

Educators have been supporting children transitioning to new rooms through discussions and via opportunities to explore different outside play spaces and become familiar with differences in new rooms.

To all the children moving onto Prep enjoy your school days. For all those children and families having a holiday break and returning we would love to know what you have been up to over this time. If you would like to, please share what you have been doing with us on your return. This can help children settle back in by enabling educators to have shared discussions about holidays and recent events. It can also provide information for educators to assist them in planning for children and their current interests. Forms are available in each room if you would like to write down some of these things or share some photos on your return.

Have a happy holiday season.

Shiobhan Kelly
Educational Leader

November News

We understand that all children have different sleep patterns and needs, and try as best as possible to cater to this within a Centre environment. The National Quality Standard Framework states that “routines and environments should be flexible enough to support children who do not require a sleep, and those who seek rest and relaxation throughout the day”.

Children’s sleep patterns can change quickly, can be dependent on a range of factors, and may also differ between home and Centre environments.

We would like ongoing communication to be happening between the child’s parents and educators as things change, including sleep and rest needs. Please talk to your child’s educators whenever your child’s requirements for sleep or rest change (including when they no longer require these), so that we can work with your child as best as possible to assist in supporting their all-round wellbeing.

To help ensure information is up to date, a form has gone out to all the parents of the Brumbies and Busy Bees rooms seeking information about your child’s current needs around sleep and rest, and to let us know alternatively if they no longer require this through the day.

If you have not already received this form please check your parent file in your child’s room.

As the end of the year approaches we will be looking for ways children can be supported as they transition to other rooms including becoming familiar with new environments, room routines, and educators.

Shiobhan Kelly
Educational Leader

 

October News

Research shows that strong parent-teacher/educator partnerships enhance learning outcomes for children and this is what we are seeking to promote at Blackwood Street. With a view to supporting this, parent input forms have gone out to all parents seeking information about their child/ren to assist us in planning for them. Information such as your child’s current interests, strengths, and challenges, as you see them, form some of the information that is helpful in this planning. If you have not already received this form please check your parent files.
This does not replace all the important verbal information sharing that happens at the start and end of the day or week with your educators, but is simply another vehicle for ensuring this valuable exchange is happening.
After a year of maternity leave I am settling back into my role at Blackwood Street, working Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and look forward to seeing many familiar faces over the next few weeks.

Shiobhan Kelly

September News

We have been researching our curriculum and have been discussing how our curriculum might look by the end of the year. Educators have been doing some training on an electronic version of the curriculum so that we can put our observations and children’s learning online for you to view.

Over the next few weeks all educators will have an opportunity to participate in the training and we will be able to come up with a curriculum model that will suit our Centre. Also, parents will have access to the curriculum online at any time, so this will be a change how you can access your child’s curriculum records. We will let you know what is happening and when you will be able to view your child’s learning online.

Sonya Mortimore
(Monday, Tuesday)

July News

Educational Leader

I have been busy making changes to some of our policies. One in particular is our Centre Philosophy which is currently being reviewed.
It is a requirement as part of the National Quality Standard that our philosophy is reviewed and that families contribute to the review. Part of this process is to have parent’s comments on the philosophy so that we can make changes that best reflect the nature of our Centre.
There is a copy of our current philosophy in the foyer for you to make comments. I have also attached a copy of our current philosophy for you to read in case you are short of time during arrivals and departures. Please add comments to the copy in the foyer so that we can make the necessary changes to our philosophy.
Sonya Mortimore
(Monday, Tuesday)

June News

Educational Leader

Educators are continuing to attend workshops on various topics including guiding children’s behaviour, additional needs, environments and curriculum. Also, our second order of teaching resources has arrived and is currently being catalogued. This will allow our educators and teachers to access more information about implementing the daily curriculum.

Educators are excited at the professional development prospects for the year and using the information to improve their environments and programs for children.

Sonya Mortimore

(Monday, Tuesday)

June News

Educational Leader

Educators are continuing to attend workshops on various topics including guiding children’s behaviour, additional needs, environments and curriculum. Also, our second order of teaching resources has arrived and is currently being catalogued. This will allow our educators and teachers to access more information about implementing the daily curriculum.

Educators are excited at the professional development prospects for the year and using the information to improve their environments and programs for children.

Sonya Mortimore

(Monday, Tuesday)

 

April News

Education Leader

At the end of last year we applied and have now received some funding for our educators professional development. I have been organising some events, conferences and workshops for staff to attend, as well as purchasing much needed resources including teacher resource books.

So far educators have visited Samford Pines Early Childhood Centre to see how a different early childhood environment and curriculum can work. We have also attended conferences on the National Quality Standard documentation, Let’s Talk – language development and many more to come. We are also in the process of purchasing some much needed resource books on various curriculum topics. So lots of professional development this year to look forward to.

Sonya Mortimore

(Monday, Tuesday)

February News

Educational Leader

Hello to all Blackwood Street families.  I hope that you have settled into your rooms and are getting to know the educators and other families at the centre.  We have been busy starting the year with some professional development where educators have been visiting another centre, Samford Pines.  Educators have been visiting similar age groups and sharing ideas and networking with other educators.

We are also shortly looking at our centre philosophy and making any relevant changes.  Families and educators will have input into the development of the new philosophy.  I will keep you posted.

Sonya Mortimore