Month: March 2014

The Harmony Garden

Happy Harmony Week! We hope you have been feeling an increased sense of belonging at Flinders this week. Thank you to our families who have contributed to our Harmony Garden. It is blossoming with stories of belonging, family and community. Your willingness to contribute your stories to our community is much appreciated. If you haven’t yet added to our Harmony Garden, we invite you to when you can. There are resources in each house to decorate a leaf or bird, and also at the mural, which is situated on the Toddler House wall as you walk up the path from the office to May Mills House. At Flinders we consider ourselves a “community within a diverse range of communities” (Flinders Philosophy) and as such we are a meeting point for families, children and educators. Our educators and staff work extremely hard to ensure everyone who enters our community feels a sense of being welcomed and belonging, whether they are here for a short time or a long time, whether they have been a part of Flinders for days or for many years, where ever they come from and where ever they are going. Harmony Week is a time when we recognise our successes in this area, and also a time where we plan to do more, to reach more people and become increasingly more welcoming. As we plan for each Harmony Week, we hope to ‘do better’ than the year before, that the special celebrations from the previous year haveRead more

Harmony Day

March 21 is Harmony Day in Australia. The ongoing message of Harmony Day is everyone belongs. “Harmony Day 21 March is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of this land to those who have come from many countries around the world. By participating in Harmony Day activities, we can learn and understand how all Australians from diverse backgrounds equally belong to this nation and enrich it.” ( At Flinders, to ensure all children have an opportunity to be a part of the Harmony Day celebrations, we celebrate Harmony Week. This year Harmony Week will run from Monday March 17 to Friday March 21. The Early Years Learning Framework talks about belonging as a key aspect of children’s growth and learning. It describes belonging as follows; “Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s sense of interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.” (EYLF pg. 7) This year our Harmony Week celebrations will foster the idea that everyone belongs through building connections between home and Flinders, between children and educators, between language and culture and ideas. Following are some of our plans; Family Favourites Cook Book Harmony Week Menu including aRead more

The Mud Kitchen

This week the Preschool House educators decided to build a mud kitchen in the garden. For a while they had been admiring mud kitchens on other early childhood education blogs and on Pinterest, and when the opportunity arose for them to build one this week, they took it. The educators were possibly more excited than the children! A mud kitchen is exactly what it sounds like it would be; a play space designed around the idea that children can cook with mud. Preschool House built their mud kitchen down towards the middle left of the garden, next to an existing decking space that was underused. The space is clearly defined by half buried rocks and logs, with a space left at the front to indicate a doorway. Whilst the mud kitchen was being built, the children wondered what they might do with this space; bake cupcakes? Jump in muddy puddles? Have a picnic? Watching the construction helped the children plan and imagine what might happen there, so when the mud kitchen was officially opened in the afternoon, they were ready to go, play plans in mind. Over the first few days, the Preschool House educators noticed a distinct change in the way the children played in and used spaces within the garden. Play seemed more purposeful, and children remained involved over a longer period of time. Children seemed to slow down and really focus on their work. Different dynamics began to appear as children made new connections in this newRead more