The Seabirds children and Educators invited all the children and Educators from each Learning Room at St Anne’s to meet on the Grass Space as a community to honour and pay our respects to our ANZAC’s for this year’s ANZAC Day, Sunday 25th April 2021.
There are times in our days that provide us all with a warm spiritual feeling within our class, as well as, the St Anne’s community –this was one of those moments.
Whilst it may be thought that children are too young to understand, we believe all children are capable and knowledgeable (just differently to adults). Such events exposes young children to important cultural and national traditions. We all listened to The Ode, The Last Post, The Reveille, The Australian National Anthem and had a moment of silence (20 seconds). The children were quiet and still as they observed the Educators and Narelle, our Centre Director, bow heads, look deep in thought and a moment of being proud and grateful. We believe, all of the children were, in some way, aware that there was a very special moment happening while we were all together.
It was a glorious warm Autumn morning as 19 Educators and 74 children shared this time to honour those who we now refer to as ANZACs. This was a wonderful example of “community”.
Xavier Catholic College Yr 12 (HSC) Exploring Early Childhood class recently visited St Anne’s as part of their study and research of the various types of services that are available in the community to support young people and their families. This visit also gave us the opportunity to ‘gift’ Xavier Catholic College with the amazing book ‘Ten Little Pippies’ which was authored by one of the St Anne’s Educators and illustrated using artwork by all of the 2020 St Anne’s children.
St Anne’s community engagement and collaborative partnership with its neighbours, Xavier Catholic College and Holy Family Primary School, is an important and integral part of the St Anne’s educative program.
The Big Vegie Crunch Month – 22 February to 19 March
‘Vegie Month’ is a NSW health initiative to promote healthy eating with children. The whole of St Anne’s became involved, with Educators planning a variety of engaging experiences and activities with and for the children promoting healthy eating particularly in relation to vegetables. Activities included vegie ‘tastings’, gardening, cooking, numeracy and literacy activities focusing on ‘vegies’, and discussions about healthy eating, lifestyles and physical activity.
Each year, on 26 July, all at St Anne’s participate in a special celebration to honour St Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the grandmother of Jesus, after whom St Anne’s Long Day Care Centre has appropriately been named.
This year again, representatives from the St Francis Xavier Church and Parish, including Father Michael Nilon and Sister Kathryn Sweeney, and parents, gathered with the Staff and children of St Anne’s to celebrate. Children from each of the rooms joined our visitors in the foyer to sing and entertain. A prayer was shared by Father Michael and the beautiful hymn, Hail Mary Gentle Woman was sung by Linda Quinn-Jarvis, one of the St Anne’s Educators. A huge celebratory cake was then cut and shared with everyone!
St Anne’s is located in a School precinct with neighbouring St Francis Xavier Parish schools very close by – Holy Family Catholic Primary School and Xavier Catholic College. This close proximity has allowed us to build relationships with both school communities, particularly Holy Family Primary School, with our Preschool classes making regular visits to the school as part of our Transition to School Program.
This program ensures we are able to support our 4-5 year old Preschool children’s developing understanding of ‘what a school is’, ‘what a school looks like and feels like’, ‘various rooms and parts of a school’ (office, library, eating areas, outside play areas, toilets, classrooms). These visits will support all children’s transition to school in relation to ‘familiarity with a school setting’ whether transitioning to Holy Family School or one of the other local schools in Ballina or Lennox Head.
It is not unusual to find groups of children visiting another learning area and class of children throughout the day at St Anne’s. Visiting each other, familiarises children with all class rooms, educators, spaces and places, as well as being able to spend time with a sibling!
St Anne’s Seabirds Preschool Tuesday Class is participating this year in an Intergenerational Program with Crowley Care Residents. What a wonderful and valuable way to connect young children and the seniors in our community. The children travel by bus to and from Crowley and spend an interactive couple of hours singing, dancing and chatting to the folk while engaging in activities such as drawing, doing puzzles and playing with play dough.
Adjacent to our outside learning program play space is a green grassy space (fenced for safety as it also sits alongside our carpark). This is used by the children and the educators for feeling the freedom of space for running, rolling, throwing and kicking balls, practising Munch and Move fundamental movement skills, twirling, dancing, and anything a body can do in open space without any obstacles. It is also a great space for our community of learners at St Anne’s to meet on, for special celebrations, centre community gatherings, and Christmas Family get-togethers