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Randwick-02 9398 2000   Prestons-02 9608 8458   Clovelly-02 9665 4648

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High School Buddy Programme

Buddy

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 1.35.37 pmToday we were very excited to kick off our 2015 Buddy Programme.

Towards the end of last year we started speaking with local high schools about the introduction of a Buddy Programme, following our success with our primary school buddies from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at the end of last year. This is a great opportunity for building partnerships and strengthening links within our community, in line with the Early Years Learning Framework Practice 1 - Holistic approaches: (Educators) recognise the connections between children, families and communities and the importance of reciprocal relationships and partnerships for learning. They see learning as a social activity and value collaborative learning and community participation and National Quality Area 6.3.4: The service builds relationships and engages with the local community.

The buddies will be trained in interacting with our students and in helping them work towards individual goals. This will enable our buddies to have a sense of purpose and gain new skills, while at the same time benefiting our students as they are guided in their learning. (Learning Outcome 2 - Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation).

We will match our students to buddies depending on their individual needs and we hope to continue bringing more volunteers on board as the year progresses. We are very excited about this partnership program and look forward to seeing the benefits for all involved.


Buddy Update

POLO-TOP-TRAINEETo help you and the children identify the students that are participating in our Buddy Programme or who are training or volunteering, they will always wear a green Platinum Pre School uniform with a badge that says "Trainee." By offering programmes that allow these Trainees to experience an early childhood setting we are ensuring that they have access to the extensive knowledge base of Platinum teachers, giving them the best opportunity to decide if a career in Early Education is for them. When on site, these students are always under the direct supervision of a Platinum Pre School staff member.

Celebrating Community Commitment

Australia-Day-Award

10940441 784061131641313 8177172422044321419 nThis year's Australia Day was a particularly special one for all of us here at Platinum as our very own Joanna O'Brien was recognised for dedication to the Randwick City community.

Joanna's contribution to the local community has grown and continues to grow through her impact as a teacher and pre school owner. Growing up in Maroubra to become a primary school teacher gave her both a love of education and a strong sense of community. This combination drove her spend over 10 years enthusiastically teaching the children of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary School where she eventually became Assistant Principal. However, in 2010 it was her need to further increase her impact on the lives of the children of her local community that drove Joanna to open the first Platinum Pre School with her business partner Nichola McLean. Since then, Joanna has opened a second pre school in Prestons with a third due to open in Clovelly in 2016. The pre school has had such a positive impact on the community that it now has over 1,500 families on its waiting List.

Joanna strongly supports both the people, businesses and charities in the Randwick City community through various community services. When the first Randwick campus opened, Joanna dedicated a large portion of her time supporting the efforts of Ronald McDonald House - Randwick by offering free child care to the parents of seriously ill children. This gives their other children the opportunity to spend the day doing fun and educational activities whilst giving the parents a chance to focus on meetings with doctors and care for their ill child. The pre school has also had recovering children attend the pre school in the past, giving them a break from the hospital. Joanna is a huge advocate for the House and always encourages our regular parents and students to help involve the RMH children in their activities at Platinum.

Under the guidance of Jo and our other Director Nichola McLean, the pre school has proudly financially supported Ronald McDonald House by raising a whopping $80,000 since support of the house back in 2010. Making Platinum Pre School the single largest fundraiser for the Randwick House.

As far as supporting local businesses, Joanna is a big believer in supporting other local businesses and provides free advertising for them in our newsletters and mailing lists. The pre school’s newsletters are also extensively read by the parents of enrolled students and other parents in the community. This is because Joanna has built relationships with various local specialists in areas such as child psychology, occupational therapy, speech pathology, nutrition and fitness. These specialists also receive exposure for their services through the newsletter. The pre school’s newsletters can be downloaded free at www.platinumpreschool.com and are packed full of great articles for parents.

Joanna’s enthusiasm, drive and steadfast commitment to supporting her community is something that impacts everyone who crosses her path. It is rare to see someone who notices a need in their community and not only tries to solve it on a one-to-one basis, but who builds an organisation that is growing at such a rapid rate that its positive effects on the community are astounding all involved.

Working collaboratively in conjunction with parents, other educators and the local community, Joanna and Nichola have built the foundations of an education institution that is reshaping the values of the Randwick City community.

Without doubt, their effect on our community will have positive outcomes through the children Platinum Pre School teaches and the growing support that we offer the wider community.

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Time Out is NOT Your Only Option

Justin-Coulson

1505563 782204655160294 5986452361550159977 nWe are excited to announce that after the success of Dr Justin Coulson's last visit to Platinum Pre School in 2014, we have booked him again to speak to our parents about discipline and creating boundaries for children.

Places for this session are strictly limited so please make sure to RSVP in order to attend. Anyone who is interested is welcome to come, however places will be limited.



Cost - FREE
Date - 24th February
Time - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
Location - Platinum Pre School: 193 Avoca Street, Randwick




Setting limits with kids requires a lot more than simply telling them what to do and then punishing them or rewarding them based on whether or not they are obedient. By the end of this presentation, Dr Justin Coulson will help you discover creative solutions for working with your children to help them stay within the limits. The session explores:

- Why punishments and rewards don’t work – and what to do instead
- How your children’s development impacts their ability to stick with the rules
- How getting our hearts attuned to theirs changes everything about discipline
- Do you feel that you are incessantly nagging, shouting, pleading, threatening, and demanding that your children do as you have asked?

Do you find that after all of the nagging, shouting, pleading, threatening, and demanding that you end up doing it for them anyway?

Do you live in a dictatorship – where the kids are in charge?

‘Creating boundaries’, ‘discipline’, ‘teaching kids how to behave’, ‘socialisation’… call it what you will, the purpose of this seminar is to help you to set limits with your kids that they can stick to in ways that you feel good about. While most parents admit to yelling, threatening, and smacking (or manipulating their kids with bribes and goodies), it seems we would rather not do those things if we could avoid it.

 

CLICK HERE TO BOOK!

 

Newsletter 28

Newsletter28

Issue 28 of the Platinum Pre School Newsletter is hot off the press! Yippee!

It's full of interesting articles from our specialist writers, pre school updates and community news.

Enjoy...

Download Newsletter - Issue 28

Can you believe Christmas is only 5 weeks away? We hope you have been hearing some lovely Christmas tunes in your house as the children learn their lines at pre school. Our weekly updates have the links to all the songs the children have been learning.  Our Christmas Concert practises are well under way and the children are getting excited. We look forward to sharing it all with you.

We recently had our WOW (Wear Orange Wednesday) Day, which was a great way to celebrate people who help out in the community - the SES volunteers. The children learnt all about what it is to be a volunteer and gained an understanding of community awareness and the idea of “giving back”.

We have also been actively engaging with our community through Grandparents Week, charity work with Ronald McDonald House and the Dandelion Support Network and our Kindness Programmes.

We are very proud to have recently launched a new Developmental Area at Platinum called ‘Citizenship’ which you can read all about in our School Readiness article on page 10 of this newsletter.

It is especially important at this time of year to focus on what we give to each other as parents, friends and colleagues, as our values and actions will be passed on to our children to shape the future.

We hope you have a wonderful festive season and enjoy all our celebrations.

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School Readiness

SCHOOL-READINESS

At Platinum Pre School we believe in constant reflection on practices and performance. When we opened the doors of our first campus in 2010, our Directors, Jo and Nichola were looking for suitable pre schools for their own daughters, so we were motivated to create an environment with a strong focus on education and school readiness in the early years.

At Platinum we have a clear understanding of the social, emotional and academic skills that children need to successfully transition into the primary school world. We endeavour to balance these essential skills to develop a love of learning in the formative years of our students.

We take an approach to early education that is different to the centres around us. This does not mean that the foundations and values of our approach is any better or worse than the other 5,800 long day care services across Australia. However, it is unquestionable that an industry as large as ours, with such a huge responsibility to the future generations of Australia must be measured, must be meeting certain minimum standards, and most of all, must be constantly reflecting on our principles and practises. At Platinum, children are provided with a variety of experiences in their daily programme that help make the transition to school a positive experience. Our teachers provide written information about school readiness for parents prior to them going to school. Our teachers also endeavour to create partnerships between Platinum and the local schools in our community to ensure an open exchange of information and understanding particular entry requirements. Many of the terms we use and routines are there to assist the parents as well.

In order to give children every opportunity to grow and thrive at Platinum, we implement the National Quality Framework and Early Years Learning Frameworks into our educational programmes. These well researched platforms reach out to educators in a considered and well rounded system of principles and practices that provide room for the varying values, beliefs and backgrounds for all kinds of Early Education approach. It allows us to balance Intentional Teaching and play based learning in a way that seamlessly blends with Platinum’s own approach.

Why starting early matters

At Platinum our focus only just begins with the academic development of our children. Our main focus is based around empowering children with confidence. When we talk about confidence we mean confidence in relationships with family, teachers and friends. Confidence that will give them the strength to take risks, speak up, discover, self regulate and understand the needs and interactions of their peers. With confidence comes a willingness to learn – children will reach out for new knowledge – learning is a risk.

We also have a strong focus on instilling values early in an effort to give children the tools that will shape who they become.

School Readiness at Platinum

At Platinum we focus on a number of key areas in order to help prepare them for school. These areas include:

  • Building relationships – with teachers, peers and community.

  • Developing confidence in being in a larger group – behaviour, meeting needs of others, listening to teachers, assemblies, learning to take turns.

  • Building independence – getting ready in morning, routines, eating lunch and putting rubbish in the bin.

  • Children bringing own lunches - independence on knowing what to eat and in what order eg. sandwich then biscuits, how to open packaging.

  • Rotating groups - children rotate throughout the day to different teachers focusing on various Key Learning Areas.

  • Excursions to local primary schools - becoming familiar with school environment

  • Developing community awareness - through exposure to charities and other community focused events.

  • Bounce Back Programme – a resilience programme also used in Primary School that focuses on practical strategies to help children function well in school life, whilst promoting positive mental health, wellbeing and resilience. 

Developmental Areas

At Platinum our Developmental Areas are key in our focus on preparing children for primary school. These areas are as follows:

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 5.25.41 pm

citizenship

We have also recently launched what we consider an important area of development - Citizenship Development Area. Included here is a strong focus on building a sense of purpose, good values and kindness within our students. Below are some of the topics this area covers:

Advice from local Principals

In preparation for getting our students ready for school we regularly consult local Principals to gauge the skills we hope the children have prior to them starting Primary School. Mostly they look for things like confidence in being able to engage in conversation, maintaining eye contact with adults, being able to separate from a parent to do an independent activity such as drawing a picture or making a pattern. For many Principals it’s all about maturity and confidence, not about academic ability. Some other feedback that we have had from local schools include children being able to:

  • maintain concentration in a group for a period of time (10-20mins) for stories, songs etc

  • toilet themselves and look after their own hygiene needs (washing hands, blowing nose) and belongings;

  • speak to an adult clearly and confidently and make their needs known in a polite manner;

  • share and play cooperatively with friends;

  • follow simple directions in a group setting;

  • colour within lines and cut around a simple shape;

  • write their name and draw a simple picture of themselves;

  • recognise and name colours and shapes;

  • recognise random numerals to 10 ;

  • demonstrate 1:1 correspondence and count to 10;

  • know some letters and sounds and have concepts of print and books; and

  • can place pictures in order to make a story, justify their order and then retell the story made by the pictures.

Feedback from Parents

In the end however, it is probably most important that you pay attention to your ‘gut feeling.’ As a family you will have a unique set of values and perspective on what you hope your child to achieve by attending primary school. Whilst it is very important to listen to what specialists and trained educators say, it is most important that you are comfortable with your decision as a reflection of what you want for your children.

Below is some feedback we have received from parents who have had their children attend one of our campuses (you can read more here).

“My Husband and I feel incredibly blessed to have both our children attending Platinum Pre School at Randwick. Everyday Olivia and Walt come home happy with their day, full of stories on what they have learned. We are constantly astounded at the progress they are making as they reach the milestone of attending kindergarten. All the staff are just incredible, they are warm / caring / funny and engaging with all the kids (and their Parents)! Platinum promotes a wonderful community spirit and we have made many great friends thru the various Platinum functions. Cooking nights at Ronald McDonald house or just a get together for a social (parents) night just to name a few. Thank you Platinum, Olivia and Walt are very lucky to be attending Platinum during these very important years....and so are we!”

“I am grateful everyday of the high quality and standards set at Platinum Pre School. This is evident in your amazing teachers. My daughter absolutely loves going to school here and is always talking about it! I feel blessed that her and in future, her brother are taught & cared for everyday by your wonderful staff. Keep up the brilliant work!”

"There are so many positives about Platinum it's hard to narrow them down. What makes it different to other childcare centres, it has got to be the people. Between the directors, teachers and office staff, everyone is happy. It's the first thing that struck me about Platinum, everyone is happy to be there and that's before you even talk about the kids. We've been regularly delighted with Grace's progress. She's exploring complex concepts in a practical way that she really enjoys and is making huge progress with the basics too. Writing her own name at 3 years old makes us very proud and boastful parents. The use of technology, be it Tumblr, Facebook, e-newsletters and videos to keep us up-to-date and involved with activities is excellent (and it does the boasting for us!)."

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