We have arrived at that time of year when advertising in stores and in the media focuses on Christmas and the vast array of choices available for us to purchase as Christmas gifts. Parents and carers begin thinking about what to buy for their children and our children are asking for the many attractive looking toys, games, gizmos and gadgets that are being advertised.
We can fall into the trap of buying whatever our children request without necessarily thinking about the item’s benefits or lack thereof. In this day and age, computerised devices and games are all the rage and they can provide a great deal of fun. However, too much time spent on devices is having a detrimental effect on our children, particularly young children who have not developed their fine motor skills or oral language.
We can enhance the development of our children by providing them with games, toys and activities that make them think, help to build their fine motor skills, increase their vocabulary and nurture their creativity.
Providing children with activities such as jigsaw puzzles, construction materials (like Lego and Meccano) and games such as Chess and Scrabble help them to build strong foundations for future learning. Same families might say, ‘My child only likes playing on the iPad and isn’t interested in other games,’ and this could be the case. However, when parents and trusted adults engage in the activities with their children, you will notice their interest increases significantly. Children love spending time with their parents and grandparents, playing games and engaging in conversation. Children learn so much through their conversations with adults and we should not underestimate the power of talking with one another.
Doing puzzles and playing with 3D construction materials also helps children to develop spatial awareness, which is the ability to see and understand two or more objects in relation to one another and to oneself. Spatial thinking is what allows us to mentally picture the locations of objects, their shapes, their relations to each other and the paths they may take as they move. In daily life, we regularly use spatial reasoning to read maps, for example, or find our way home from the park, and interpret diagrams and charts. Research indicates that strong spatial reasoning skills correlate to children’s early achievement in mathematics and strongly predict who will pursue STEM careers later in life.
Spatial awareness is developed through play with 3D objects such as jigsaw puzzles and building blocks, as opposed to 2D screens such as televisions, tablets, smart phones and computers. So, this Christmas, please consider purchasing a gift for your child that allows you to share quality time with them and try to avoid too many ‘screen-time’ presents.
Year Two Chess Tournament
The Year Two children will participate in a Chess Tournament on the afternoon of Monday 20 November. They will put into practice all the strategies and techniques they have learnt during Chess lessons throughout Year One and Two. We look forward to seeing who our 2017 Chess Champion will be.
Year Two Recycling Project
The students in Year Two are participating in the Garnier Recycled Playground Competition. This involves collecting as many empty containers and packaging from used hair care and beauty products as possible. The school that collects the most items and generates the largest number of votes will win a new playground.
Votes for our school can be made by visiting http://www.garnier.com.au/playground and clicking on the Terracycle tab in the top right corner. Everyone in the community can cast additional online votes every 24 hours.
We encourage everyone to join in and assist with this project. Any collected hair care and beauty packaging can be left in the box outside the STEM room /Chapel each morning or in Primary Reception.
Our first box of recyclable items to be sent into the Garnier Recycled Playground Competition.
Story Time Fun
The last session of Story Time Fun will be held on Monday 20 November starting at 8.45am until 9.15am in the Primary Library. Families with pre-Kindy aged children are most welcome to come along and join in the fun.
Uniform Shop – Hat Cleaning and Repairs
Formal Hats can be dropped in to the uniform shop on the last day of the school for cleaning and/or repairs.
Primary Students may wish to leave their hat at Primary Reception for forwarding to the Uniform Shop for repairs and cleaning. Further details and prices are below and a form can be collected from either the uniform shop or Primary Reception for you to complete.
Option 1 (Boys Fur Felt Hat)
Re-block and Clean – re-blocking restores the shape of the hat – clean hat using an environmentally friendly product – $35.00
Option 2 (Girls White Hat)
Clean – Clean hat using an environmentally friendly product – $20.00
Replace Binding or Repair Work – Replace Edge Binding on Hat -$15.00
December and January Vacation Care details and booking forms are now available on the St John’s website. Please click here for more information. Please complete and return to the Primary Reception as soon as possible to ensure your booking.
Friday 1 December is the last day of the 2017 school year. We will hold our annual Christmas Concert in Living Faith Chapel on this day, commencing at 9.00am. Families are welcome to join us as we celebrate the end of the year and look forward to the Christmas season. Students are able to wear their sports uniform with Christmas shirt on this day. At the conclusion of the Christmas Concert families may choose to take their children home; however, classes will continue to operate for all those who remain.
Alpine Singers will be performing at the Community Christmas Carol event to be held on Sunday 3 December at the Secondary Campus, College Avenue. While most groups will have ceased for the year, rehearsals for Alpine Singers will continue in the last week of school. Further details will be sent to families of Alpine Singers in the near future regarding this performance.
I am looking forward to seeing families at our Early Years Night of Celebration on Friday 24 November at the Performing Arts Auditorium.
Until then, kind regards
Head of Primary