The Hive Update

Our morning zoom sessions have provided a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to meet as a class and discuss different learning invitations such as weather conditions, routines, individual interests, music and revisiting learning that has been occurring at home or in the ECC. These conversations are an essential aspect of our program as it allows the children to reflect on the learning possibilities for each day.

"It's sunny today, a nice day to go for a walk," Olivia
"I like to jump in the puddles when it's wet," Eli
"Me too, I have gumboots," Riley
"A rainbow will come if it rains, and then the sun comes." Sophie
"You need a raincoat, so you don't get cold if it's wet," Ollie. C
"Children take increasing responsibility for their health and physical wellbeing."

(VEYLDF: Wellbeing)

"Children have a say in matters that affect them."

(VEYLDF: Community)

Sharing the Planet Unit of Inquiry

The children enjoyed participating in an excursion via zoom to support our inquiry into animal habitats and sustainability. Lanka taught us a song about the Earth that Aunty Fay Stewart- Muir (Boon Wurrung elder) gifted her. Here is some of the Boon Wurrung/Bunurong language that we learned;

  • Earth/land – Bik
  • Sky – Wirra Wirra
  • Friends – Kirrup
  • I/me – Murrumbik

The rhyme we shared is pretty simple – Here is the land, here is the sky-Bik, here are my friends- Kirrup and Here am I- Murrumbik.

Through play, the children explored animals found around a river and the importance of following Bunjils' two laws:

  • To look after the land/nature.
  • Take care of the bupbups (children)

"Look after the bupbups." Felix
"Bunjil and Waa" Harriet
"Yes, we must look after nature, so Bunjil and Waa have a safe place to live. You're right, Harriet." Rachelle

We found out that we must tread lightly on the ground and follow paths to help preserve animal habitats.

"Stay on the path." Kai
"You don't want to squash the eggs." Harriet

Kai shares his animal habitats:

Thank you, Kai, for bringing in your animal habitats. The children were fascinated by observing what was in each jar. They noticed how each habitat varies according to the animals inside.

"The frog needs water and leaves." Kai
"The praying mantis can camouflage itself."
"I see rocks and leaves" Ollie C  

Exploring nature with our senses

Through hands-on experiences, we have been exploring our connection to nature with our senses.

"The leaves are crunchy." Eli
"The wind is loud." Sophie
"It goes woo-woo" Felix (prompted from were going on a bear hunt book)
"When it rains, we get puddles." Riley
"Clouds can move in the wind." Ollie W
"The sun is out today, and it's warm," Felix

Children develop skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching, and investigating. It's evident when children make predictions and generalisations about their daily activities, aspect of the natural world, and communicate these.

(VEYLDF Learning)

Art and sharing the planet

Woodleigh is well known for its inclusive school community. Students, teachers, and parents come together and celebrate our diverse community members. This week's celebrations on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) were highlighted in our program with "Rainbow Day." This was a big hit with the children, and their contributions to the day reflected Woodleigh's Three R's - Respect for self, others, and the environment. The children were encouraged to be themselves by dressing in their favourite clothes or costumes. We then sang various songs chosen by the children, danced like no one was watching, and even participated in rainbow art.

Sharing the planet: Nature and Art explorations

Nature is everywhere, and therefore art is too! The children have been collecting items from the garden or playground, such as flowers, leaves, and bark to create original art. It's been pleasing to see the children and adults express their creativity and explore the beauty found in nature.

For Mother's Day, the children used natural materials to create a piece of artwork of their choice. Through these hands-on experiences, the children were able to explore their treasures with all their senses. They were able to notice and identify colours, patterns, smells, and textures. It was interesting to observe them exploring soft petals, the roughness of the bark, smooth stones, the bouquet of leaves and flowers, and the birds and other sounds out in nature. Such sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain's pathways that increase the child's ability to complete increasingly complex learning tasks. The children learned to match, classify, and follow procedures by collecting, pressing, and sorting natural materials. 

These are all critical parts of developing early mathematical skills. As the children used recycled jars, cardboard, and other resources, they are learning the importance of reusing materials and how this is the best way to help our environment.

What will you put in your flower press?

"I want to find some blue in nature." Ollie. C

Have you ever seen blue flowers?

"I have." Eli
"I have collected flowers and leaves," Olivia
"We found flowers in my backyard," Eli
"Daisies" Riley
"Lots of flowers" Harriet

Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination, and reflexivity.

This is evident when children express wonder and interest in their learning environments, are curious and enthusiastic participants in their learning, and participate in a variety of rich and meaningful inquiry-based experiences.

(VEYLDF: Learning)

Rubbish and recycling

We read some stories about landfill and recycling after the children had shown a keen interest in the rubbish truck at Minimbah.

"You recycle with the green bin" Eli
"Mine is yellow" Riley
"My recycle one is yellow too." Sophie
"I have a green rubbish bin too." Ollie. C
"Me as well." Felix
"Do you have a yellow bin too Eli?" Rachelle
"Oh yeah, I do." Eli

Where does the truck take the rubbish?

'The tip," Kai
"Yes, that's right, and then it becomes landfill," Rachelle

We looked at the images in the book.

Is this good for the environment?

"No." Harriet
"No way." Ollie C

"The landfill goes into the ground, and the recycling gets made into something new."


"Paper." Eli
"Cans are also in my yellow bin." Rachelle

From the book, we saw that glass bottles are broken down and made into new ones. We discussed how recycling still uses electricity and machines, and how the best thing for the environment is to REUSE what we can.

Who has shopping bags at home that you can REUSE when you do the shopping?

"Oh me" Kai
"My mum does" Riley
"Me too" Eli

Reducing our footprint on Earth by giving back to the land. COMPOST

"But which one for the compost?" Kai
"I don't have a compost one," Sophie
"Maybe not at home but school, we have one, and it's green, where do we take the food scraps?"
"The worms" Felix
"Yes, the worms" Eli
"Worms" Teddy
"That's right, but not the oranges or citrus because it's too spicy for the worms."

Children then had an opportunity to explore their rubbish disposal at home and help family members sort rubbish into different bins. They are developing an understanding that waste can go to different places, and this is something we will inquire into more in the coming weeks.

Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment. This is evident when they use play to investigate and explore new ideas. Children demonstrate increasing knowledge of and respect for natural and constructed environments.


Creating our very own clapsticks

We are all artists! We enjoy and connect through music!

Clapsticks are a popular instrument in the ECC, and the children enjoy joining in on our morning singing with their own. We have been busy collecting sticks, and it's incredible how different they all look and sound. We tested our creations and found they had lots of different sounds.

The clapsticks will be something children will bring back into the centre and share with the group when we return to the centre. We can do some more testing of the various sounds and different colours.

"I have some blue on mine" Eli
"I'm going to put blue on mine too" Riley
"See, I have lots of colours" Felix
"Mine are here, see yellow." Ollie C
"I used to paint on mine" Elleni

Our clapsticks have provided opportunities for fun games where we clap out syllables and sounds at the start, middle, and end of words. Supporting the children to develop an awareness of the sounds within words is an essential aspect of literacy development. 

Hippopotamus- "five syllables that are the most" Ollie C
"Kai is one" Kai

The children are quickly learning to identify long or short words and are having fun counting the number of syllables in different words.

Children become socially responsible for the environment and develop an awareness of the impact of human activity on environments and the interdependence of living things.


"We ought never to do for young people what they, with a struggle, could be expected to do for themselves." 

(Michael Norman, Founding Principal Woodleigh School)

The changes to our arrival at ECC have provided an excellent opportunity for us to support the children to develop their self-help skills and independence. We have been blown away by the children's developing ability to organise themselves and approach new challenges with grit, determination, and resilience both in their learning and on-site. During our Continuous Learning Plan, the children have been:

Learning to wait to speak in an online community which is very different to face to face communication.

The children returning to the ECC have been learning to:

  • Managing increased hygiene measures and learning our new hand washing routines.
  • Wash their hands independently on arrival and regularly throughout the day
  • Carrying their bag and backpack with independence
  • Ensuring they have what they need for the day: drink bottle, lunch box, hat, and jacket.

"Children take increasing responsibility for their health and physical wellbeing."

(VEYLDF: Wellbeing)