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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:

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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!)."

Christmas Kindness

Christmas

This year at Platinum we are trying to create a new tradition for Christmas with Kindness Elves! 

Our Platinum Fairies have gone on vacation and their Christmas Elf friends are house sitting for them to water their plants and take care of their pets. 

The elves have suggested that we do daily acts of kindness in preparation for Christmas by focusing on positive, character-building activities for kids. Teaching love, kindness and gratitude.

Thanks to your help and suggestions we have come up with 25 Acts of Kindness that our Elves will encourage the children to perform in the lead up to Christmas. These Acts of Kindness are as follows:

  1. Help someone to complete something difficult by using kind words.
  2. Make a love mobile with words such as joy, love and hope for someone special.
  3. Draw your partner a picture with 3 things you like about them in.
  4. Tell someone you love them... just the way they are.
  5. If you see someone is upset go and ask if they are ok.
  6. Tell a friend at preschool why you like them as a friend.
  7. Be kind to animals of all sizes, including ants!
  8. Play a game with someone you don't normally play with.
  9. Give your teachers and carers an extra hug and thank them for taking care of you.
  10. Let your neighbour know that it's great to live beside them.
  11. Share your toys with a friend or sibling.
  12. Give away a toy that you don't need to someone less fortunate.
  13. Write or draw something nice about someone on a piece of paper and hide it for them to find.
  14. Tell the people you love what you are thankful for.
  15. Give a big smile to everyone you meet - it will brighten up their day!
  16. Ask your parents and teachers how you can help them today.
  17. Let someone else go ahead of you in the line - at Preschool or in the shops.
  18. Clean up toys at home and preschool - even if you didn't make the mess!
  19. Help out a child who is younger than you.
  20. Tell someone they look wonderful today!
  21. Call or write letters to grandparents or relatives who you don’t see often.
  22. Make a decoration or a picture for someone older in the community.
  23. Bake or make a present for someone.
  24. Put a coin in a charity box.
  25. Tell each member of your family why you love them and why you are thankful for them.

Dog & Cat Home Collection

catanddog

It was lovely to have Platinum Mum Louise Dawson come to the pre school on behalf of Sydney Dogs & Cats Home this morning to collect all the generous donations that we have been collecting from our wonderful Platinum families at both campuses. Louise was very impressed by how many kind donations we received in support of this very worthy cause.

The mission of Sydney Dog and Cat Home is to prevent unnecessary euthanasia of healthy, loving, domestic pets, young or old, or with special needs, by rehoming them and giving them a second chance at life.

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home has been taking care of Sydney’s lost and abandoned animals since 1946 and now the Home opens its doors to up to 4,000 animals each year.

Being an impound facility that services the community means they do not refuse any animal that arrives regardless of their temperament, medical condition or age.  They believe that all animals that arrive on their doorstep deserve compassion and we will continue to strive to provide the best possible care, and be the premier rehoming facility in NSW.

For more information visit sydneydogsandcatshome.org

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Day for Daniel 2014

dayfordaniel

In honour of this year's Day for Daniel (Friday the 31st of October) we are inviting our students to wear red in support of this fantastic cause. We have also changed the colour of our website to red to help raise awareness for the efforts of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. At Platinum we will be doing the following on the day:

  • Having red cupcakes for afternoon tea.
  • During assembly we will talk about stranger danger.
  • The children will be doing activities to help reinforce the messages that the Daniel Morcombe Foundation promotes.

The 'Day fo Daniel' is about educating children and adults about keeping kids safe through child safety and protection initiatives. It aims to help empower our children to ‘Recognise, React and Report’ if they feel something is not right. Wear Red and Educate is the theme of for Day for Daniel as we strive to have schools, kindergartens, businesses and communities across Australia take action and conduct child safety activities in their local communities to help in ‘Keeping Kids Safe’.

THE DANIEL MORCOMBE FOUNDATION HELD THE FIRST DAY FOR DANIEL IN NOVEMBER 2005.

The Day for Daniel is a National Day of Action to raise awareness of child safety, protection and harm prevention.

It is about educating children and adults about keeping kids safe through child safety and protection initiatives.  It aims to help empower our children to ‘Recognise, React and Report’ if they feel something is not right.

Wear Red and Educate is the theme of for Day for Daniel as we strive to have schools, kindergartens, businesses and communities across Australia take action and conduct child safety activities in their local communities to help in ‘Keeping Kids Safe’.

The objectives of Day for Daniel are:

  • To raise awareness about child safety and protection and to promote a safer community for children.
  • To educate children regarding their personal safety and empower them to ‘Recognise, React and Report’.
  • To provide FREE safety and educational material.
  • To honour the memory of Daniel Morcombe.
  • To have over 1 million people Australia Wide to participate in Day for Daniel.

Day for Daniel is also an opportunity for Australians to make a statement that crimes against children are not acceptable in modern Australia.

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