Happy Friday, and happy end of Term 2! Apologies for this newsletter being a little later than usual, but it seemed a good idea to tie it up with the end of term.
It’s time now to recharge batteries and do all the cool, fun, family things that term time doesn’t always allow. I had been looking forward to simply wishing everyone well for a great break, However, once again, it’s remarkable that the Covid situation seems to escalate immediately prior to each school holiday period. I’m sure that we’re all being incredibly mindful of keeping on top of the situation as it changes at the moment, and we do best by our community by continuing to be mindful and vigilant. I expect, sadly, that families may have needed to change or cancel holiday plans at short notice, which will be disappointing, and I’m sorry if that’s the case. Most importantly, look after yourselves, look after each other, and all being well, we’ll be able to continue with school without restrictions within the ACT in two weeks’ time. All current ACT Health advice can be found here https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/
When we get back, a focus through Semester 2 for us is developing our children’s outdoor environment in two main ways. Primarily, with the Cycle 2/3 space, we are working to develop better quality sporting facility and space, beginning with a properly kept and manicured sports oval. This is the beginning of a longer term project to develop this further over the next few years.
For the Cycle 1/Snowgum Grove area, alongside the Cycle 2/3 Area also, we are placing a focus on developing Loose Parts Play. Loose parts play creates a richer environment for children, giving them resources needed to extend their play. It involves using a wide selection of everyday objects and materials to build, invent, experiment and play with, supporting curiosity, wonder, imagination and free exploration. Loose parts play has a significant number of benefits for children, including; developing imagination, creativity, physical health, gross and fine motor skill development, behaviour, cooperation, communication, teamwork and concentration. We feel that both of these outdoor enhancement projects will be positive contributions to our school for our children. Staff have undertaken professional learning and research in these areas, and we’re beginning the work of developing these projects.
Much of this we will source and create ourselves (and also supported by our Parents and Friends’ Association), but it would be great, and hugely appreciated, if families would be able to search home/business for any unused objects or materials to donate. The beauty of loose parts play is that it involves upcycling and recycling unused objects and (almost) anything goes. All we ask is that objects donated are not sharp (including if broken) and/or not treated with any toxic chemicals. A list of suggestions of the sort of things we’re after is below (with some pictures of examples of loose parts play attached). These might seem unusual play items, but they can be used in endless different ways, allowing children to make anything from an obstacle course, racing car, a palace, or a cubby.
Manila Rope min diameter 20mm (needs to be thick enough to not hurt small feet or hands) Example
River Rocks (smooth) of size children can carry. Enough rocks for the children to carry or build walls and constructions.
Other loose parts: milk crates, tubes, pipes, plastic containers and bottles, sticks, lids, spools, buckets, driftwood, rocks, shells…
Many thanks in advance for any contributions possible. Bring on the endless play and learning opportunities!
To those in Snowgum or the holiday program over the next two weeks, we’ll see you around school, to those who are away from school for this break, we look forward to seeing you again on Monday 12 July. To the families that have left us today for the last time, thank you for being a part of our school community, we send all the best wishes as you venture off on your new and exciting journeys.