Catching raindrops!
Sarah T3 W3 2021 Puffin catching raindrops

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Hello everyone,

Undoubtedly families were disappointed though not completely surprised by this week’s announcement of the lockdown being extended by 4 weeks.

Michael, Lisa, and I feel very blessed that preschool has continued to operate this term, a haven from the uncertainty and sensationalized reporting of the current restrictions that seem to only heighten everyone’s anxiety levels. The normalcy of preschool is proving to be very therapeutic, food for our souls!

For those children at home, we’ve enjoyed touching base with you via Zoom. We’ve been posting the details of the Zoom class via Storypark each morning. We’re trialling a few different ways to conduct these classes, as we currently have about half the preschool class physically in preschool and half virtually on Zoom. While the children in preschool are interested in saying a quick hello to those children at home, they find it difficult to attend these meetings. Obviously, online classes aren’t ideal or the norm for young children so I’m now keeping the Zoom class separate from the physical preschool group times.

We’ve started to again post daily updates via Storypark to our preschool community. It would be great if families with children remaining at home during the lockdown could share these posts with their children to keep them connected to preschool until they return in person.

As families in preschool know, at the start of every morning meeting we all do a Preschool Acknowledgement of Country. This term we’ve added to it, with everyone physically at preschool able to recite it without help from teachers. For those at home that would like to practise, it goes like this: We at Currambena Preschool would like to say thankyou to the Cammerygal people, of the Eora Nation, for sharing your land with us. We promise to look after it, the animals, and the people, too.

Lastly, a few preschool housekeeping reminders. Pick up and drop off continues to be at the double gates, and parents and carers are currently not permitted on the school grounds. If someone other than yourself is picking up or dropping off your child, please make sure they are aware of this. Children still need to be physically signed out of preschool before they can leave the school grounds. As such, we can’t escort children to family members’ cars as they pull up outside of the school. As we head into August our Sun Safe policy requires children to wear hats and sunscreen from 10 am until 2 pm. Please make sure your child has a hat packed in their bag each day they are at preschool.

Wishing everyone a relaxing and enjoyable weekend!

Love,

Katrina, Michael, and Lisa.

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Dear parents,
What a nail-biting week at the Potato Olympics! The potato roll event was well attended by spectators and the athletes responded with some stunning performances. The big upset of course was the tragic loss of one of our potato Olympians to a hungry bird who was waiting nearby. The diving event proved to be almost as perilous with several competitors hitting the board on the way down and slicing themselves directly into the waiting saucepans. It will be interesting to see how the weightlifters go today…

It’s been lovely to see all the children engaging in some way with the Google Classroom activities and Zoom calls. I know its hard for families to manage this sometimes but it’s going to be important that we have some common experiences at home during this lockdown period so that when we return to school later in the term there is still a shared narrative.

I’m really valuing the time I get to spend with small groups of children during reading groups and it’s lovely to hear how they are continuing to progress with their reading skills whilst at home. Thankyou to all parents for being so well prepared with sheets printed and children ready to read. The feedback I have received about Wushka has been good, but please let me know if you think any adjustments need to be made for your child.

Our Everywhere Adventure with Emma’s class is going to take a turn for the daring today and I’m really looking forward to travelling the globe with a bunch of notorious, swashbuckling adventurers.

Take care,
Jess xxx

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Dear Parents,

As the rules, the playing field, and indeed the whole game keeps changing, I am grateful for the joyful young people who turn up to class each day and their team of supporters who make it happen. With uncertainty being the new black, I find myself constantly thinking of new ways to teach the children online and am actually enjoying that mental challenge.

We loved Crafty’s live drawing class on Zoom this week and it seemed the perfect antidote to clear our minds and focus us on a creative pursuit. What we would do without artists and art-marking in troubling times I do not know.

This week we said ‘toodaloo’ to the OO sound in Spelling and finished our work on Data in Maths. We’ve also been learning about how to write a ‘sizzling start’ to a story. Here are just a few of the many red hot sentences from the children:

The acid dragon wrapped its burning body around the tall building and shouted “I will rip your building to shreds!” – Jens

The fiery dragon wrapped its massive body around the king’s building and said “Grrrrrrrrrr!” – Ethaniel

I was sleeping in my bed when I heard a ROAR! I jumped out of my bed and ran to the window. I saw scales. I ran to the rooftop and saw a ferocious dragon. – Aurelia

The multi-coloured dragon wrapped its soft body around the skyscraper when the mad scientist parachuted out of the helicopter. – Carrie

Jess and I continue to collaborate enthusiastically on our shared unit of work ‘The Everywhere Adventure’. The children’s designs of what they would do to re-develop the site of the Bomb Park to create a community facility were so imaginative and showed great vision. Today the two classes embarked on a PIRATE adventure which will provide lots of opportunity for learning in Geography, Maths, English, PE, Drama, Music and Visual Art. I loved creating my pirate avatar and can’t wait to meet our merry band of pirates once they have created theirs. Arrrrrrr…..the treasure we will find together, mateys!

As we navigate the weeks ahead, I look forward to finding new opportunities for the children to learn, make, create and connect with each other.

With thanks to you all and gratitude for what we have,

Salty Prince Joe (a.k.a. Emma)

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Hello out there……… I am hoping this sees you all well in your prospective pockets and you are coping with everything as best you can.

We had a fairly flat beginning to our week this week with some very plaintive little faces appearing on screen first thing Monday morning. It was the look that said…. “Are we seriously here again?” No amount of beautiful bright rainbow colours being worn could shift the energy I felt coming through, or maybe that was coming from just me???? I miss the children! However, it was a very different story on Tuesday with smiles and giggles shining at our “crazy hair day”!!!! Those who were comfortable made a fabulous effort to change the way they look. There were crazy faces and even a cardboard box robot head which made an appearance. Now that we have confirmation our lockdown will be extended, I definitely think we need to be having more days like this. And today, is “pyjama day!” Although it doesn’t have the same energy behind it as “crazy hair” given the number of children already spending their day in pyjamas, it does bring some anticipation as to what everybody will be wearing to our zoom meetings. We will have to be thinking really creatively, in regards to our attire, to keep our spirits soaring over the coming weeks. So watch this space!!!!

I’m not going to go into a huge amount of detail about what we have been doing, as it’s all happening in front of your eyes. Thankyou so much for the support you are giving your child; whatever you can do and are doing is absolutely wonderful. It’s really lovely having more photos being posted to the Stream of our google classroom which showcases some of the activities and things the children have been doing. I LOVE seeing this and I am sure others are enjoying it too. There have been some really thoughtful and encouraging comments being shared between the children on the photos of work that they post.

In regards to sending me your child’s work: Thankyou to those who are posting a private screenshot of what your child has been getting through. I really appreciate being able to see what they are managing to get done. But I also understand this task could be difficult, daunting, and/or just too time consuming, and that’s okay too! Given we’re in this for the next 4 weeks, I would very much like to touch base with each child and a parent over the coming weeks. I think Fridays will be best for me, so I will email you directly in regards to when is the best time for you.

I am also going to be emailing you the timetable for our parent/teacher interviews. These will start on Monday, 9th August and will continue for 3 weeks. Unfortunately, this will now need to happen through Zoom. There are a variety of different times on every day of the school week which I hope will accommodate the varied work and remote learning schedules. Please look carefully at the days/dates & times and email me with 2 of your preferences. I will do my best to fit everyone in at one of your preferred times but of course if there is a clash, I’ll be in touch.

I think that’s us for this week everybody. I do hope you are managing to get out to exercise and enjoy the sun and beautiful blue sky. And somewhere along the way let’s remind ourselves…. as difficult as things may be there is always something good out there over the horizon.

Please, keep in touch and reach out if there is anything I can do.

Love, Sarah

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I hope you’re all keeping well, especially with the current announcement of four more weeks of lockdown. Our morning Zoom meetings have been a great opportunity to connect with the class and everyone seems to be in a routine with the activities we’re completing on a daily basis. The children have also been sharing the different things they are doing to get through lockdown. These have included: going for a walk, different games happening in the household, hanging out with pets, writing, reading, and getting outside.

On Monday we had PJ day with oodies, sleeping gowns and other sleepwear making an appearance from those that chose to participate. We also investigated how long it takes for water, milk, dishwashing liquid and honey to freeze (dependent on the quantity).

Our Stories of the First Fleet unit continued yesterday with looking at how convicts ended up on the First Fleet and the conditions in Britain in the 18th century. We revised what primary sources are and looked at a diary entry and a drawing from the time.

During Mathematics the children rolled a die to record the results in a table and as a column graph. They have explored the different parts of a graph and answered questions about a range of graphs and tables.

Lots of posts have appeared on our Google Classroom stream from the children sharing their artworks, creations, and also a voice recording of someone’s writing. The children continue to do a fantastic job at navigating Zoom and Google Classroom.

I will be sending out a timetable for parent/teacher interviews on Friday for you to sign up to. These will begin Wednesday 4th August and continue for about three to four weeks. Unfortunately these will need to be on Zoom and I will include different times that I hope will cover everyone’s needs.

As some of you may know, I reside in the Parramatta LGA, and with tighter restrictions in this area I am working from home. Neptune (our fish) is being looked after by the staff at school each day.

Thankyou for your continued support during this time. Please don’t hesitate in contacting me if you or your child need anything. Have a good weekend.

Leesa x

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Hi again everyone.

I hope you are all keeping safe and well and coping OK with all this! It is a very quiet classroom here at school! The novelty is wearing off just a bit, especially now we know there will be at least four more weeks of lockdown, but the kids seem to be generally settling into routines and coping wonderfully well. Please let me know straight away if you have any concerns. We’re getting ourselves sorted in terms of returning work in different formats online and I’m getting a bit faster with the marking!

I have emailed the answer pages for the spelling books… thank you so much to those of you who are marking textbooks for me!

A highlight this week has been our shared book, “Northern Lights”, which has become grippingly exciting as we move into Part 3 of the story. The chapters are quite long so we’ve been reading as much as possible of a chapter in the afternoon and finishing it in morning meeting. There’s nothing quite like sharing a good story read aloud… even via the computer!

In Maths, we are moving on to measuring volume and capacity so there may well be a few requests to use kitchen ingredients and cook! Hopefully it won’t be too demanding of parent time!

In English, our grammar and spelling focus continues, writing for various purposes and linking with factual writing and geography. We revised parts of speech this week and found subjects and objects in sentences. In Geography, we’re learning about biomes, how they vary in different countries, and how humans interact with environments. We are also doing mini PIPs on countries.

Crafty’s art transcriptions are going really well and some of the children’s works have been stunning. It’s going to be a fabulous exhibition when we finally get back to school!

This week’s PE has been self-directed and many of the children have been skipping… such fabulous exercise. I know many of them have begun fundraising for the Heart Foundation. They will need you to help them register and then they can set their own goals and manage their fundraising page.

Take care of yourselves!

With love,
Wendy

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Hello Everyone! Welcome to Term 3. We all hope everyone is managing well in this second lockdown and we all hope it won’t last for too long!

Julianna is currently on leave for the next three weeks, and I will be holding the fort in the meantime. Please feel free to call the office for queries between 9am and 3pm or send an email to enquiries@currambena.nsw.edu.au.

School fees are due on Thursday, 29th of July. If you need a payment plan, you may email us your request before the due date so as to avoid the late payment levy.

NSW Health and Department of Education continue to stress the importance of keeping our children at home when possible, and to minimise mobility to stop the spread of Covid. Below is a message from DoE:

“Parents must keep children home if they can. Students will be supported to learn from home. Schools and early childhood education and care services, including Out Of School Hours Care services, are open for any child that needs it. Thank you for your support.”

From Mikee

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Hello everyone,

We hope you’re all travelling well in these strange times we yet again find ourselves in. It’s definitely not how we envisaged the second half of our preschool year commencing.

As per the current NSW Government advice, preschool is considered an essential service and can continue to operate unless directed to close by NSW Health. With the tightening of restrictions on Saturday, Lisa, Michael, and I are now required to wear masks while we are in both the indoor and outdoor environment at preschool, which we are finding very bizarre. We’ve done a little work on sign language with the children who are physically at preschool regarding our facial expressions to let them know how we are feeling. They’ve picked up the signs quickly. We look forward to extending on this when all children return and we are no longer required to wear masks!

In normal times, our preschool environment relies on the openness of free play within a carefully curated environment. Through play, children develop foundational social and emotional, executive functioning, and academic skills. When children are physically at preschool, we provide opportunities for engagement with open-ended materials that provoke children’s engagement with each other and the environment, building on their natural curiosity to learn.

We now have some children at preschool and many children at home. We are providing a short Zoom class open to all children at home to stay connected while they aren’t physically present. As it’s more appropriate for preschool children to engage in a play-based curriculum, we are providing resources for children via email and Storypark that fosters child-centred learning.

For those families coming in, it’s important to adhere to the school’s guidelines and drop off and pick up at the double gates in line with the current NSW Health guidelines. For those families at home, we miss you and look forward to when restrictions ease and we can all be together again.

Love

Katrina, Michael and Lisa

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