Month: July 2014

Severe Weather Warnings

Over the last couple of months we have seen a number of days with a severe weather warning. This has a significant impact on the programs at Flinders, as we need to go from an indoor-outdoor curriculum to an exclusively indoor one. There are a number of reasons why we remain inside during severe weather warnings, most significantly due to the many beautiful trees we enjoy in our outdoor environments. We are guided by the Bureau of Meteorology in making decisions about when it is safe for us to go outdoors and when it is best to avoid it. The Flinders children absolutely love heading outside in all kinds of weather, and most of the time we do abide by the philosophy “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” but these warning days are the exception. Educators and children all work exceptionally hard on severe weather warning days, finding ways to be engaged in an exclusively indoor environment. We try to remain engaged with the natural environment without actually being a part of it, such as watching the weather through the windows, listening to the sounds of the storms, and sharing stories (both our own and in books) about interesting weather we have experienced. We have found this year that the more informed children are about the severe weather warnings, the more able they are to adjust their expectations and manage a day inside. Children from May Mills House have been calling the office to findRead more

No More Transitions!

As you know, at the beginning of the year the South Australian government implemented a single school intake for public schools. This had a significant impact on Flinders. Traditionally we have transitioned four times each year, at the beginning of each term, as children left for school. This year, we had one enormous transition at the beginning of the school year, with nearly all children in each group transitioning to the next house. This was a huge process, logistically and emotionally, for the children, educators and families of Flinders. We had faith that it would pay off in the long run, with each house having a stable group of children for a twelve month period. Over the last couple of months, the benefits for children have become crystal clear. We are seeing deeper relationships developing between children and educators. We are seeing deeper engagement for children within the educational programs. And perhaps most excitingly, we are seeing deeper relationships between children, and a genuine culture of kindness and respect emerging across Flinders. We spend a lot of time talking about the Flinders community, and the impact of the single transition has really highlighted this. Not only are families and educators developing strong partnerships, the children are demonstrating sophisticated levels of empathy and compassion with each other. From handing a friend their hat, to comforting a friend who feels sad; from offering moral support, to asking someone who seems alone to play, the children of Flinders are becoming increasingly caring, compassionate andRead more