Forward July 2017 Forward July 2017 - Page 31

PR E PA R ATORY S C HO OL Out of School Care Out of School Care launched the year doing what it does best: Fun! The January holidays were busy and productive as the children ventured out and about visiting new destinations and returning to some old favourites. The vacation periods are times for making memories with the children who spend time with us. To achieve this the programs reflect the endeavours to find places to go and things to see. To ensure that the children experience all of the things that they might be exposed to if they weren’t in the Centre, much emphasis is placed on visiting touring exhibitions and productions. For example, in January we went to see the Earth show at the Heath Ledger Theatre – a touring theatre production of mechanical pre-historic creatures. If you add this to a soccer incursion, a trip to the movies, a visit to the State Library and a session at Bounce, you can see how varied the program is and how we cater to tastes that are as varied as the children. Our focus this year is growth, to reflect the focus in the Preparatory School. Quite literally we continue to plough efforts into our vegetable gardens and green spaces, also developing an indoor garden to enhance the interior of the Centre. We are also contemplating personal growth with an emphasis on skill building. We are embracing elements such as cookery, wood work, knitting and sewing. We have made chutney from the tomatoes we have grown; baked foods to reflect different cultures we study; written letters via the Warrior Mail organisation; created in the mud kitchen; made movies; built houses, caves and castles; danced and sung; taken nature walks and sometimes, just sometimes, we have quietly sat under a tree and read a book. Once we have climbed it, of course! – deciding the menus; suggesting ideas for the program and giving us the feedback we need to ensure that it meets their needs. Coming up this semester will be The Great Beyblade Challenge, explorations of ancient Greeks, and dinosaurs; virtual trips to Spain, Africa and France as well as the variety of sports, crafts and creative elements we do daily. From the safety of our Centre we travel the world, through time and space! We continue to make sure that the children are fully involved in all aspects of the service Mrs Melanie Berrington Out of School Care Coordinator Engaging students in STEM education Experts in education and industry all agree that the personal and learning skills that will make our children successful in the future pertain to those in the arena of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Chances are that the jobs our children will undertake do not even exist yet, however based on what is emerging and changing now, we can safely say that far more jobs will be working intimately with digital machines and intelligent systems. As we work to prepare our children for an uncertain range of possible futures, Preparatory School teachers are using the process of STEM to equip children with critical and creative thinking skills. STEM is much more than a subject area, it is really a philosophy. STEM is actually a way of thinking about learning that caters for the integration of knowledge across disciplines. Equipped with a set of Spheros, a fusion of robotic and digital technology, students as young as Pre-Primary have been inspired to think abstractly. The Spheros can be controlled via an App that allows a user to control them like a remote-controlled car, but teachers have taken it one step further and encouraged students to use block-based code to program the robots to move. Students work in groups to achieve the task and must attend to precision to progress. A vital part of the process is reflection and evaluation of their attempts to meet the challenges and one of the most rewarding outcomes is their increased capacity to work collaboratively. Ms Bethany Tracey Preparatory School Teacher 31