Cocoon Update

When we started our year together, we invited the children to think about the meaning of the Woodleigh leaf and have conversations around sharing a sense of belonging and community.

“Experiencing belonging-knowing where and with whom you belong-is integral to human existence.” (Early Years Learning Framework, p.7).

The children understood feelings of connection and belonging so early in the year, and it has kept us connected as we flourished throughout our year.

“Respect.” Fletcher

“It tells us we are Woodleigh.” Lewis

“Look after each other and the Country.” Kai G

“You do things that are kind.” Ollie W

“That’s my Woodleigh leaf. It’s so I know it’s mine.” Harriet

“You have the Woodleigh leaf, so you know you are from here. We all belong in the Cocoon.” Ollie C

Coming back together and reuniting has been beautiful to witness. The children seem to have settled back into school life with joyful energy and are happy to play again with their friends. Specialist classes have resumed, and a sense of rhythm in our day has returned. The creek was perhaps the most exciting aspect for the children to rediscover, and now we are so grateful to be welcoming our parents back.

Charcoal: An exploration of materials as a means of expression and communication.

Our current unit of inquiry, titled “How we express ourselves”, invites the children to explore materials as a means of expression and communication. The material of charcoal is captivating for children to encounter, experience and communicate their thinking and ideas. It invites strong line and definition as well as playing with light and shade. Charcoal as a dry material was crushed, water was added to mix and transform it, and charcoal was the drawing tool used to represent the large Eucalyptus tree outside in the playground.

Letters To Our Friends

The concept of letter writing was introduced a while ago to the children. Our special letterboxes are a place to deliver a letter that has been made for a friend. The letterboxes are proving very popular, with the children spending time working on their letters for each other. The children experience such joy when they realise they have post in their letterbox. Some parents secretly passed on a message for their child to discover, and as a welcome message on returning to school, the teachers wrote a special letter to each child and delivered it into their letterbox to find.

Signing your name in the morning

The children are embracing the signing in system as they arrive each morning. It encourages the children to practice writing their names in an informal and fun way. It is a strategy to help build up and teach children the concepts of letters and print, essential for learning to read and write.

Special rituals and celebrations

The value and meaning that celebrating each child and teacher’s birthday brings to building a strong sense of belonging and community is something we treasure. Every child and teacher are acknowledged and respected for their uniqueness and individuality. As a group, all the children contribute to the beautiful birthday book keepsake with a birthday message to their friend, and the special snow dome gift symbolises a sense of tradition and belonging.

Creek Day rekindled with the joys of risky play

“It’s not about how fast I get there. It’s not about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.” Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe

The creek offers many opportunities for the children to challenge themselves and take calculated risks. With the help of educators and family members, the children are encouraged to climb and slide in a supportive environment, where every effort and success is acknowledged and celebrated. Our recent return to the creek has seen the children fully immerse themselves in the outdoor experiences, delighting in the muddy ground so much rain has afforded.

On the hills, the children learn to support each other when they encounter a tricky part of their climb. Offering others words of encouragement and a helping hand helps them to build stronger relationships with each other.

Risky play experiences allow children to explore the limits of their abilities and learn to assess and manage the risks involved. The ability to assess risk and weigh up the benefits against possible undesirable outcomes is an important life skill. T.W. Boyer

As we approach our end of the year together, we have much to celebrate and rejoice. Every year, our Minimbah ECC Christmas tradition of the beautiful Christmas stockings is taking shape, with Milly working closely with each child. Every day and every moment together in the Cocoon group brings meaning to a sense of belonging, being and becoming.