Welcome to the end of Term 1 reflection! It's hard to believe that a whole term has gone by so quickly! This term has been a very busy one, and we have noticed the children's self-esteem and independence growing more and more each day. We have been observing children who want to take more risks in their play (meaning that they are confident in challenging themselves with social interactions, thinking, and bodies). It is a considerable step in their development and will assist them as we move into term 2. Next term, we will continue to consolidate this development further, allowing children agency in their decision making in terms of the program and where they want their play to go.
PYP Units of Inquiry
The Early Years program of inquiry comprises four different Units which are offered throughout the year:
- Who We Are
- Sharing the Planet
- How the World Works
- How We Express Ourselves
While we are introducing these units one at a time, they are designed to run throughout the year. It will allow us to revisit our investigations and follow the children's interests in our programs while honouring their right to learn through play and have voice, choice and agency in their learning. As projects and investigations unfold with the children's interests, we will return to the relevant units.
For example, each time we celebrate a birthday or special family news, we will extend our learning through our "Who We Are" unit. An interest in plants or animals might allow us to build on our learning through "Sharing the Planet."
Sharing the Planet
"Exploring the natural environment leads to discoveries."
- An inquiry into:
- how we can explore nature
- how people connect with nature and Country
- our responsibility to, and for the natural environment
We introduced our Unit of Inquiry, "Sharing the Planet", during the last few weeks of term. This unit sits alongside "Who We Are" and will run throughout this year. Our early learning experiences have related to ways we can explore nature in many ways, including sensory play, creative art with natural materials and engaging in active or risky play as we connect with the Country.
Next term, we will continue this unit and plan to provide a wide range of opportunities for the children to investigate ways we can be caring, show respect for the world around us and discover an appreciation for beauty in nature. Learning experiences about the impact we can have on the environment will also offer the children a chance to learn about their responsibility for the natural environment, take action, and discover how they can make a difference in the world.
Our unit of inquiry, 'Who We Are,' has seen us learn about our families, cultural backgrounds and the diversity within our learning community.
Harmony Day 2021
Harmony Day in the Hive provided the children with the opportunity to recognise themselves as part of a larger group. We came together as a class to celebrate, share and acknowledge our diversity.
It was also a starting point of many meaningful conversations in small and large groups.
Children embraced the opportunity to share stories or things from home:
"These are my sticks", Willow.
"Mum said they are from Yorta Yorta country, is that right?" Rachelle
"They are different to the turtle ones", Issac. (Remembering our clap sticks in the ECC and Lisa talking to us about where they are from).
"Yes, the pattern is different; how have they made the pattern? Rachelle.
"With fire sticks", Remi.
"My favourite place in Australia is the beach", Maisy.
"My mum is from Canada; this flag has the maple leaf from the tree that makes the syrup", Ezra.
"We live in Australia", Dominic.
"It's Boon Wurrung country", Stevie.
"Yeah, here is Boon Wurrung country" (tapping the floor) Rose.
"I did St Patrick's Day", Austin.
"Can you remember where mum said dad is from?" Rachelle
"People live all around the world" (shows her hands in a circle) Rose.
"I lived in America", Jake.
During the quieter time, the children decided to engage in some collaborative drawing to express their ideas and knowledge about Harmony Day.
The sustained shared thinking from our morning meetings was meaningful to everyone. The children drew on prior knowledge and transferred their understanding using role play in the mud kitchen.
"We can make own celebration", Ezra.
"What kind of celebration could make?" Rachelle
"One with dancing", Gemma.
"And food", Ezra.
"Yes, I can make food", Maisy.
"And music, we will make music" Huxley.
"My mum can sing" Henni.
"So can my mum", Huxley.
"Australia" (pointing to map) Jude.
"It's the world", Flynn.
"And dress up. I dressed up for St. Patricks Day" Austin.
"I have dressed up before", Dominic.
"We can eat in the cafe", Stevie.
Floral Friday 26 March
On Friday, 26 March, an excited bunch of little humans entered the gate with flowers, Floral clothing and an open mind. There was lots of excitement as we handed out musical instruments for the first time! We wondered how we could open the coconuts, worked through this problem, and read a story about Thursday Island, which provided the children with the opportunity to learn about the different jobs and food eaten. The children had a wonderful time!
"I like the fish trap", Griffin.
Thank you to the families who joined our celebration at the end of the day. The children expressed their ideas about the experiences they wanted in their celebration, which allowed them to voice their opinions and thoughts- an essential part of allowing children agency in their decision making, which helps build confident independence skills.
"We are doing a real performance", Huxley.
"My mum is coming", Henni.
"Mum will be there", Flynn.
"All the grown-ups can come", Pearl.
“Bunjil and Waa will watch” Remi.
"Can I hold Bunjil?" Zoe.
"Daisy, would you like to hold Waa?" Rachelle.
"This is the Torres Strait song", Gemma.
"I know that one it's this flag".
"Look at this" (pointing to Torres Strait Island flag) Bond.
"They know the land", Pearl.
"The people are happy" (Remembers from video) Rose.
The joy of play
Every day as educators, we feel well and truly blessed to be part of your child's day. Being an observer to the wonder that children find in the world is fantastic and seeing them accomplish new tasks and ways of playing is beautiful to watch. Children use play to make sense of their world, test out their ideas, theories, and prior experiences to learn what it means to be part of this big wide world. Play is something many children missed out on last year, and we have been able to allow this experience to occur throughout this term- and that is the wonder and love of play! Enjoy these photos that show the joy of play, the fun and the essence of just being in that moment and loving life!