Today we have some very exciting news about the future of our preschool. In 2010 we opened our first preschool, with the goal of reshaping the way early education is delivered to the families of our community. Over the past 8 years, we have proudly worked with our community's youngest members to ensure that they get the very best early education and school readiness, providing them with all the tools that they deserve to prepare them emotionally, socially and academically for the next big step in their education. We are immensely proud of the reputation that we've developed and we are always honoured when families choose us to be responsible for their child's early education in their most formative years.
As we've grown and evolved over the years, so has our philosophy of education. We've fine-tuned our approach and we've developed both as individuals and as members of an educational institution. As part of this growth, we have reached a point in our history where we feel like it's time for a new name. Whilst Platinum Pre School is a name that has served us well in encapsulating the quality of education that we offer, we also feel like it is somewhat limited in describing the full commitment and passion that we have for education. As such, we have been working for the majority of this year on reshaping our identity to better capture who we are and what we do.
We are excited to announce that as of 2019 we will be known as Everlearn Preschool. This new name is designed to reflect our unwavering commitment to education and our responsibility in sparking lifelong learning and curiosity, whilst weaving care and consideration into everything we do.
Please rest assured that our name and branding is all that will be changing (our ownership will not be changing). The same established team of passionate early educators, teachers and management will continue to meet and exceed the standards of care and education that you have come to expect of us. This change of name will be for our Clovelly and Prestons preschools that operate separately to Platinum Pre School Randwick.
We are very happy to be sharing this change with the members of our Everlearn community and look forward to continuing to work with local families and children in 2019.
If you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to contact us.
It goes without saying that children love playing outdoors within natural environments. The more research that goes into outdoor play, the more we understand that this is no accident. As humans, we are designed to have an affinity with the outdoors not just because it is beautiful, but more importantly because it has a significant impact on our development in the early years.
Research shows us that many of the fundamental tasks that children must achieve, such as exploring, risk-taking, fine and gross motor development and the absorption of vast amounts of basic knowledge, can be most effectively learned through outdoor play.
For example, when children move over, under, through, beside, and near objects and others, the child better grasps the meaning of these prepositions and geometry concepts. When children are given the opportunity to physically demonstrate action words such as stomp, pounce, stalk, or slither, or descriptive words such as smooth, strong, gentle, or enormous, word comprehension is immediate and long lasting. The words are used and learned in context, as opposed to being a mere collection of letters. This is what promotes emergent literacy and a love of language. Similarly, if children take on high, low, wide, and narrow body shapes, they’ll have a much greater understanding of these quantitative concepts, than children who are just presented with the words and definitions. Learning by doing creates more neural networks in the brain and throughout the body, making the entire body a tool for learning. All of these skills and understandings can often be better learnt in an outdoor environment.
In addition, spending time outdoors might lower your child’s chances of being short-sighted. And a bit of safe play in the sun can be good too – small amounts of sunlight exposure helps boost vitamin D levels. Also the best way to reduce the spread of infection when kids are unwell is through plenty of fresh air. Outdoor play enables the infectious agents to spread out and be dissipated; it also enables children to get fresh air and exercise and be less constrained than they are in the indoors. Outdoor winter play has long been blamed for colds and flu. Our parents told us “Bundle up or you’ll catch a cold” and their parents probably told them the same thing. But winter play gets a bad rap. Although going outside unprepared for the elements is unwise, viruses that are spread by other human beings cause colds and flu—indoors.
The indoor circulation of germs and bacteria is much more harmful to your child than playing outside. With the right preparation and understanding of winter weather, your child can have as much fun in the cold as he or she does in the sun!
At our centres we place a huge amount of importance on constantly evolving our outdoor spaces to encourage imaginative and developmentally effective play. You’ll find spaces that allow children to freely travel through large open doors into large outdoor spaces that encourage children to explore and create in a way only natural outdoor spaces can. In one visit alone, children have the opportunity to dig, climb, pour water, build, plant, hide, play alone or in groups, join in outdoor yoga or read quietly. The spaces are reflected upon by educators who listen to the children’s interests and ideas and create environments to enhance learning, cooperation and language development. The possibilities are endless and we value how fortunate we are to be able to provide such an outstanding learning environment in a city short of space.
We have large outdoor undercover areas at our centres so play in open air is still available in wet weather. We also have weather appropriate clothing for both the staff and children to ensure everyone can get out into the rain and learn through play. Rain is a wonderful, scientific and rich sensory learning experience which children get very excited about. Our outdoor sheds allow children to choose their vessels and tools for water collection and pouring.
For more information about outdoor play or the approach to early education that we take at Platinum feel free to give us a call and visit our centres.
The Importance of Outdoor Play and Its Impact on Brain Development In Children - UMKC School of Education’s Edgar L. and Rheta A. Berkley
Outdoor play is a big part of healthy growth, learning, development and wellbeing for your child - Raising Children’s Network
You may have noticed this year at our Clovelly campus we have started to increase the frequency of our excursions… Outside the gates of the preschool!
As a society we have become increasingly risk-averse, and within the early education industry, the result of heavy regulatory requirements has made the ‘easier’ option to simply avoid the risks and additional paperwork associated with excursions. However, we are in danger of suffocating our children in regulatory cotton wool and we feel it's our responsibility as early education professionals to find new and more efficient ways to meet our regulatory obligations without denying our children opportunities to explore the big wide world whilst in our care. Life is full of challenges and we owe it to our children to equip them with the skills to recognise risks, assess them sensibly and react positively. You will have noticed that we have started using digital permission forms and improved communication platforms to reduce the administrative burden of maintaining our regulatory requirements.
“For children, a sense of community plays an important role in the development of their feelings of belonging and security. Children thrive in an environment of mutually supportive and caring relationships. For this reason developing a sense of community within a service is crucial. It is also valuable for children to feel part of a wider community that extends beyond the learning environment. As children grow and develop, connections to the outside world help them to find their place in the world, to develop understandings of how society works, and to recognise and understand the shared values that underpin our society.”
(Early Childhood Australia - NQS PLP E-Newsletter No.47)
The ability to build a sense of community through excursions in early education is so effective that it almost feels like cheating. The immersive experience of an excursion for a child and the educators is often so enjoyable it can be easy to forget the how many boxes experiences outside the gates tick in a short period of time. Without really scratching the surface here are a few of the benefits that children get from going on an excursion:
So far this year we’ve visited local shops, primary schools and businesses, Coogee Beach for the Koojay Corroboree and Burnie Street Park.
So what’s next?...
We’re planning to continue building connections through excursions within our local community and potentially travel further afield by travelling on public transport to some of the fantastic facilities and attractions that we are so lucky to have access to in Sydney’s East.
It was with great anticipation that we began the planning in the lead-up to our 2017 Platinum Pre School Art Show. This year we decided to use Ken Done as the inspiration for our art show. All the children painted an artwork inspired by the work of iconic Australian artist Ken Done.
The children went on a wonderful journey creating beautiful masterpieces for the Art Show! Over the weeks leading up to Little Creations we looked closely at the work of Ken Done and decided to base our paintings on his art. Every child was guided in each step, learning and developing a range of new skills as they went through intentional teaching. These skills included sponging techniques such as dabbing and swiping, stencilling, colour blending on the canvas and adding texture with impasto. Our educators believe in all children’s capacity to succeed and actively promote children’s learning through worthwhile and challenging experiences. The children were very proud of their finished masterpieces - they named them, discussed where they would keep them and what their favourite parts of them were. The whole process helped children to develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.
We also discussed how creating art for a charity event was helping to support the children at Ronald McDonald House, allowing our students to develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation.
As we progressed in the lead up to the event we were overwhelmed by the amount community support we received from both our preschool parents and the kind people and businesses who donated to the event. Little did we know at the time, that thanks to the incredible generosity of the 300 guests that attended the event that we would be able to turn this into $48,000 worth of usable money that has now gone into Ronald McDonald House Randwick's bank account for use in supporting the amazing work that they do every day.
According to the House Manager, the day-to-day operation of the house costs in excess $2,500 and supports over 80 people every day. Many of these people come from distant regional areas for the child’s treatment and can often have to make Ronald McDonald House their “home away from home” for months at a time.
Ronald McDonald House, Randwick relies significantly on donations of money and supplies to simply provide the basic necessities for their residents and is the reason that Platinum does everything that we can to support their needs.
We can't thank everyone who was involved in the night enough for their time, efforts and donations. We are proud to say that the three art shows we have held over the past 7 years have raised over $150,000.
Recently Platinum Pre School - Prestons was assessed by the Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and we are extremely proud to say that we achieved a result of Exceeding National Quality Standard.
This is not only the highest achievable overall rating from a ratings visit, but it is also a rating that has only been achieved by 18% of the other private services in Australia since this ratings system was implemented, putting us amongst the leading preschools in Australia.
We are very proud of our entire team in achieving this outstanding result. In particular, Mrs Keepence, our Nominated Supervisor who guided us through the Assessment & Ratings process.
This result is truly a reflection of the dedicated and innovative approach that we take to early education and care every day.
Thank you to all of our parents and families for the confidence you have in us each and every day in ensuring that your children get the best start in life. This is a privilege that we never take for granted in our commitment to constant reflection and quality improvement!
What an exciting day we had yesterday at our Clovelly campus!!!
One of our superstar dads, Adam came to the preschool to make handmade pasta with the children!!! This was a wonderfully messy, "hands-on" experience for all the kids. Giving them the opportunity to see how real pasta is made and then best of all, getting to eat their creations.
This experience was an excellent example of Outcome 2 of the Early Years Learning Framework, which says that children should be connected with and contribute to their world. The experience of connecting with a real chef and making pasta was a great way for our children to build on their understanding of where their food comes from and best of all we had heaps of fun making and eating our yummy pasta!
Play spaces in natural environments include plants, trees, edible gardens, sand, rocks, mud, water and other elements from nature. These spaces invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk-taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature. They foster an appreciation of the natural environment, develop environmental awareness and provide a platform for ongoing environmental education".
(Quote from pg 16 of the Early Years Learning Framwork)
This quote is a perfect example of how natural learning environments help with the development of young children. The opportunities for children are endless in a garden! Children have the chance to work scientifically as they identify and classify plants; they can explore mathematical skills through counting scoops of dirt, filling watering cans or measuring growth. They can be exposed to reading and writing through related stories, books and creative pursuits such as writing a kitchen garden cookbook. They can experience continued growth in social skills development by working together with other children and educators in considering ethical issues as they learn to nurture and care for living things.
Last year during a review of our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) at our Prestons campus we identified that Platinum could stand to improve by focusing on further developing the children's understanding of sustainability and their interaction with natural environments. "The aim of a QIP is to help providers self-assess their performance in delivering quality education and care and to plan future improvements."
As a result, in addition to our already thriving veggie garden we have had a parent working bee to landscape a formerly underutilised section of our playground with new natural materials and native plant life. We have also installed a rainwater recycling system that stores water run-off from the roof of the outdoor building for use in watering our garden beds.
A huge thank you to the families who took the time to help out at our working bee and to Mandy Richardson Landscaping for arranging all the plants and supplies for the day. The children are delighted with the new space.