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As the School year draws to an end, it is pleasing to reflect on, and celebrate the year we have shared in the early years.

The new extended ELC day, has provided greater flexibility for families and importantly, less fragmentation for boys who are now able to stay for a longer day. Educators have responded in a variety of ways to the 8:00am-5:00pm day; morning and afternoon rituals have been established and reflection about the pace of each day has ensured the quality and continuity of the ELC experience. The ritual of preparing and sharing afternoon tea has been a special way to end the day for many boys.

Highlights of learning across the ELC this year have included ELC A’s investigations of Things that move, representing themselves in self-portraits, a research project exploring block play and interest in buildings around the world.

In ELC B, Eric Carle’s picture book 10 Little Rubber Ducks was a spring board for a lengthy learning adventure. Ducks were drawn, painted and sculpted before the geographical, meteorological and oceanic features of the world and the animal inhabitants of the various countries visited were explored. Their powerful message regarding sustainability recently shared with the Saints Community, is a reminder of the capacity of young children to voice their views and opinions in matters that affect them, as is identified in the United Nations Conventions of the Rights of the Child.

ELC C continued in their second year together, with developing community a core element of their year. Their investigation into the physical and historical aspects of Memorial Hall developed their connection with community; old scholar parents and School staff enriched the boys’ learning and connection with St Peter’s College. Exploring learning dispositions through the Learning Rainbow has been further embedded in our practice and is proving to be a valuable strategy to assist the boys in understanding how they learn at, and beyond the ELC.  Family engagement with the Learning Rainbow has been another highlight of the year.

In Reception, THRASS has continued to thrive, and the Big Write has provided the opportunity for boys to develop their skills as writers. The Last Supper Play, excursion to the Central Market, Nativity and Dinosaur Day have been experiences shared by the year level as a whole. The new playground opened in April and has engaged, challenged and connected boys during playtimes in new and exciting ways.

My sincere thanks to the boys, families and committed staff for the privilege of working with you all. We wish Holly Baulderstone and her husband well as they prepare for the birth of their first child early in the new school year and finally, bid a fond farewell to Mr David Hine. We are indebted to Mr Hine for his unwavering support of the early years during his headship. His leadership, presence and commitment to the education of the boys has been greatly appreciated and will be missed by us all.

Sheryle Yorston
Head of Early Years