‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…’

And here we are, the last full week of the year for the children. Despite the ups and downs of the year with lockdowns and remote learning, there is much to be grateful for and to celebrate.

The real Christmas story
Over the last few weeks we have been talking with the children about ‘the real Christmas story’, thinking about the people in the story and considering the meaning of the story. Staff have also been working with the children to make a Nativity video with their unique room flavour and with an understanding that is appropriate to their age and stage of development.

Last week, Janine de Pavia came for the last time in her role as Junior School Chaplain to tell the children the real Christmas story in her unique and colourful way. We have been so blessed to have Janine guide and support the ELC throughout her time here. We wish her well on her next chapter and will keep the lessons she has shared with us close to our hearts.

Special Specialist Staff
We have also been enjoying our last days of literature experiences with Library Anna. She has provided a wealth of new opportunities and ideas for the children and staff alike. We have learnt about end covers and voted on the Children’s Book Council Australia books, we have dressed up for Book Week and examined rhyme and alliteration, and together we have explored the stories from our Indigenous heritage and the First People. It has been a rich and rewarding journey. We also wish Library Anna all the best as she heads to different pastures in Tasmania and thank her for the journey of literature she has shared with us in the ELC.

We are blessed to have wonderful specialists working with us in the arts and opening the children’s and staff’s eyes to new and different ways of doing and seeing: valuing the 100 languages. Art Mikl, Music Tim and Music Lesley all bring different skills and viewpoints to their time within the ELC; developing wonderful relationships with the children that will travel with them into the Junior School and for many years to come. Thank you all for what you bring and your ability to collaborate with the ELC educators.

We have also had the expertise of the amazing and talented Science Laura working with our Oak and Bay room children, in person, remote and pivoting like the rest of us. Together, we have explored Biology, Chemistry and Physics with the children, encouraging and supporting their STEM thinking in creative and exciting ways. Many thanks Science Laura.

Thank you and farewell for 2021!
My sincere thanks to all the group reps for this year for their capacity to seize the opportunities to build community within their room groups and to be creative in their ways of communicating with families and supporting room staff. To Jasmine Dodd, Jessica Needham, Tonina Morgan, Ethel Lin, Marie Cellante and Xue Yang, my sincere thanks.

To the amazing, talented, creative and professional early childhood team, heartfelt thanks for another extraordinary year. With pivoting, balancing, creativity and humour, they continued to deliver an excellent curriculum, whether remote or in person, staying connected and using their imagination. It has been wonderful to finish the year with all the children and staff back in their room groups cherishing the last weeks together.

And to our new head of Junior School, Kylie Baxter, what a baptism of fire the last six months has been! She has embraced the role with warmth, thoughtfulness, grace and enthusiasm to connect and learn about the ELC. To Jonathan Walter, our Principal, who has steered the School ship through another year with calm and collaborative leadership. We enjoy the times he is able to venture down and thank him for his leadership. To the School Board, sincere thanks for their commitment to early childhood and valuing the work that is undertaken with the youngest of the Carey community.

And finally, to you, as our parent community: thank you for you trust, your support and your willingness to pivot and learn with us throughout the year. Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a safe holiday season. For those leaving us we wish you all the best, and we look forward to seeing those of you returning in 2022.

Wendy Seidler
Director of ELC Kew