We wold like to improve the sustainability efforts at the My Story centre, and use our efforts as a teachable opportunity for the children. To start this process, we have introduced trolleys for each room that can accommodate the fresh food, a scrape bowl (so the children can scrape their scraps and take to a composting area), and face washers (to help the children to wipe their faces, instead of using disposable wet wipes).

The educators have really embraced this change and it is prompting a lot of conversations with the children about our environment, and the responsibilities we share.

What Next: Look into setting up a rainwater tank to effectively manage water run off and provide a sustainable water play area.

Quality Areas: 1.2.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.2

It is important to us that a child has a ‘best friend’ from day one of their experience at My Story. We want to improve the sense of security for our new children, and in fact, all children at the service. For this reason we have implemented a ‘primary caregiver’ philosophy.

Basically, each room will be divided into smaller groups depending on friendships, skills, interests and developmental age. The children will then have a ‘best friend’ educator who is responsible for learning all about that child, assisting them with sleeping/mealtimes/changing/observations etc. That educator will also be the first point of contact for families when they want to have a chat about their child’s day.

We are expecting that this system will foster a sincere sense of belonging in our community, and encourage children’s independence and initiative in their day-to-day lives.

What Next: Converse and Collaborate with families to strengthen their understanding of the Primary Educator system.

Quality Areas: 2.3.1, 4.1.1, 5.1.3

Stories and literacy is a part of childhood that holds a special place in the heart of Chloe and Anna. We would like to improve the children’s exposure to different types of books, including fiction, non-fiction, interactive, newspapers, manuals etc…
To this end, we purchased some new shelving and spend a few too many hours trying to put it together! Once together, Chloe was like a pig in mud sorting the books into their various categories, including those related to inclusion, other cultures, emotional development and science.
We have talked to our families about this project and asked for donations of second hand books that their children might have outgrown.

What Next: We will continue to find objects of cultural and scientific interest to place on the display sections.

Quality Areas: 1.2.2

In our continued efforts to improve our learning spaces, we spent the day renovating the art room. We get so much feedback about the Art Room, and how lucky the children are to have this dedicated space that they can move to in order to express themselves and have a ‘change of scenery’. We really wanted the space to encourage collaborative creative time where ideas about colour, shape and form can be discussed between peers and resources can be shared fairly and respectfully.

We have repaired and painted the walls, added some better lighting, kitted out the cupboards with new resources and displayed large artwork posters to inspire the children in their work/play (interchangeable!).

What Next: Buy countertop easels to enable children to have quiet, solitary art experiences when they need it.

Quality Area: 1.2, 5.2


Part of the reason we chose to buy this centre was it’s beautiful setting in the bush, with a creek just behind the back fence. It’s important to us that children are given the opportunity to engage in the natural environment in an immersive ‘hands on’ way.

After listening to the children’s excitement in a pretend ‘bear hunt’ game, Miss Narges suggested to us that the preschool children have regular excursions ‘behind’ the fence. After completing all the relevant risk assessments/permissions Chloe and Narges took a small group on intrepid adventurers into the bushland. We noticed ants, turtles, lizards, a yabby, small fish and various flora. The children were so excited, but did manage to calm themselves for a brief mediation session sitting on the rocks listening to the birdsong.

What Next: We would like to increase the children’s access to the natural world through excursions and incursions.

 

Quality Area: 1.1.2, 2.2.2

Anna and Chloe have been chatting with various business networks and community groups in the local area, and it was suggested to us that we get in touch with the publications Galston Community News and Dooral Roundup. We used a marketing opportunity to share a little of our educational philosophy with the community and introduce ourselves as parents, not just business owners.

Thank you to Mary Ord for her support and advice. We look forward to staying engaged with the local community through Dural Chamber and similar networks.

What Next: Visit local mothers groups to share advice on transitions into care environments/back to work anxiety.

Quality Area: 6.3.4

At the end of a long day gardening and tidying, Sophie, Cohen and Ruben were very excited to pick a Christmas Tree for our foyer! It is important to Anna and Chloe that the festivals and traditions of many cultures are celebrated in our service. As an added plus, the scent of the pine needles is bringing back a lot of memories for the educators, prompting them to share their childhood experiences of Christmas with the children.

What Next: Research the traditions of cultures around the world at this time of year, incorporate into curriculum. Host a Christmas Party for families.

Quality Area: 1.1.2

 

Today Anna and Chloe purchase a lot of Acoustic Boards and installed them into the classrooms. The acoustic boards serve multiple purposes; they are a place to display artwork, a felt board for group stories, and most importantly – they absorb noise and so offer those with impaired hearing a more comfortable environment.

Thank you to all the educators for helping us install these in their spaces, and thank you to the Inclusion Support team for their advice.

Unfortunately we didn’t capture a photo of Anna trying to manipulate the 2m long wobbly boards into her car…

What Next: Buy thick curtains for the rooms to absorb more sound.

Quality Area: 3.1.3, 3.2, 6.3.3, 5.1.3

Narges Clark

Narges Clark has joined the team at My Story! Narges is an Early Childhood Teacher with vast experience leading preschool programs. Narges will be working in the Seniors room to assist the children in their transition to school, school readiness and learning through play.

Please try to catch Narges in the room and introduce yourselves. You may find you already know her from her involvement in the Dural/Cherrybrook community!

What Next: Create a ‘library’ to support the Preschool Program

Quality Area: 7.1