All posts by Lisa St

Community Service

Oh, those wonderfully helpful Pfadfinder!  As a favour to their young friends at GAP and Spiel und Spass, the Pfadfinder scouts got busy putting their carpentry skills to good use, doing some repairs in our playground.

Wobbly benches  were made secure; the slide ladder was fortified; the wall-mounted tubular music instrument was fixed so the pipes don’t slip down; and more dirt was moved in to shore up areas of erosion.

 

The Pfadfinder also started work on making some wooden stilt blocks for the children, which they hope to finish in time for Christmas.

Once the work was done for the evening, the Pfadfinder had fun “testing” some of the little bikes, because, you know, that’s totally necessary!

Messy Play

The children decided last week that it was time to cook up a witch’s  magical frothy brew and fly about the playground on broomsticks.  So, armed with ingredients they found and no end of imaginative ideas, the children set about their tasks with glee.

Did you know that the German word for a ‘whisk’ is a ‘snow broom’? Our whisk sure did turn our potion into snowy froth!

And, did you know that dirt, water, leaves, twigs and soap mixed together and served in a cup actually tastes really horrible?  Yes, well…. you can ask a few of our more adventurous children, who were not content to take our word for it, and prefer the motto “learn by doing”!  And I bet all our parents know exactly which category their own child falls into!

I must also applaud the teachers’ professionalism:  At no time did I see any of them laughing or pointing as the children pranced around the yard astride our little brooms and rakes … but with their flying garden implements facing the wrong way.  Perhaps modern day witches can ride brooms with the bristles facing forwards afterall?  (It begs the question though:   Which way will the brooms face next week on Melbourne Cup Day, when we all need horses to ride?)

Story Night Success

Once again, our story-tellers presented to a packed audience at our annual German Story Night.  We had all enjoyed supper outside, and then came into the hall to hear the stories.

First we heard a delightful German tale about a cow and her friends who somehow get up into a tree, read to us by one of our dads who works a librarian.

Next, was the ever popular puppet theatre put on by two of our mums, where our young hero went on a quest to find a house with red walls, no doors, no windows and five rooms.  After much searching, and help from the children, he found an apple which fit the first few criteria but didn’t seem to have five rooms.  All was revealed when his mother cut the apple to reveal the secret rooms inside.

And as a grand finale, two of our Pfadfinder scouts played out the story of Goldilocks and the three Bears for the children, using a big book, a rotating story box and many props which arrived on stage in amusing ways, with one of our teachers as a surprise guest star.

Goldilocks even enjoyed a repeat performance by popular demand on Tuesday night for the Joey and Cub scouts.

Many thanks to an ACT Children’s Week grant and to everyone who participated for the great food, music, stories and fun on the night.

Scouts Spider Web Escape

After a night of scooters, skateboards and rollerskates at John Knight Park, the scouts found themselves trapped in a giant spider web bowl at the Belconnen skate park.

It was great to see the scouts encouraging each other to firstly gain the courage to drop into the deep bowl, and then cheering each other on as they used their cunning and muscles to get back out again!

Reviewing Term 3 at the GAP

Feedback from parents and teachers on our very busy and exciting Term 3 at the GAP has been very positive, as usual!

We have enjoyed:

  • learning about music, and having a guest music teacher in
  • learning and rehearsing songs in order to put on a concert for our parents
  • parent teacher interviews with families who wanted them
  • crafting surprises for our dads for fathers day
  • the RSPCA visit and our charity drive
  • having parents visit us at playschool to tell us about their occupations
  • excursions into the local parks to explore and play
  • welcoming our new assistant teacher
  • going on the bus wash excursion
  • having our portraits done by a professional photographer
  • learning lots of new songs (especially about yummy mangoes)
  • taking part in German Story Night
  • playing traditional games (one of our favourites is Bello Bello)
  • … and much much more!

It was lovely hearing from so many families in the parent/teacher interviews, and feedback at pick up and drop off time, as well as emails to us.  As per families and children’s wishes, Term 4 will include preparing the older children for their transition to preschool, child-led curriculum (the Thursday/Friday class will have an “I wish, and I wonder” theme), more exploration into nature (we have ordered some seeds and will also take the Monday/Tuesday class to the arboretum).  Some of the children LOVE singing, so we will be sure to include more of that in the program. Some of our quieter children have blossomed recently and we think it helps having fewer bikes out at once as it has calmed our high speed traffic in the playground!

Further feedback is always welcome.  Here is how.

 

 

Pfadfinder Charity Fundraising Challenge

The leaders put the idea to the scouts, and they ran with it:  a charity fundraising challenge.  The scouts decided the rules of the competition and then the count-down started!  Each patrol had exactly one week plus one hour to nominate a charity, come up with ideas and raise as many funds as they could.

Leaders were impressed with the thoughtful discussion that the scouts put into choosing their charities – our Pfadfinder scouts really are global thinkers with strong ethical values.  It was inspiring to hear them set their goals and listen to the breadth of fundraising ideas they came up with.

The deadline arrived on Monday evening, and the patrols were still excitedly scrambling to the last minute to raise even more money for their chosen charities, before settling in to share a meal together and compare their strategies and results.   We all learned a lot!

We are really proud of our scouts who, within just one week (and a lot of baking, door knocking, bucket appeals, cake stalls and so on), raised $114 for the Red Cross International and $432 for Operation Christmas Child.

Challenge complete!  What will those amazing Pfadfinder do next?

Presents Delivered to RSPCA

Inspired by a visit from the RSPCA, the Thursday/Friday GAP children crafted enrichment toys and treats for the animals.  These adorable and delicious treats were delivered along with donations of towels and pet food last week.

It was heart-warming to see the animals sniffing them appreciatively and opening their colourful hand-crafted presents from the children to find a food treat inside.

 

Ta-Tu-Ta-Ta! Hier kommt die Feuerwehr!

The children and parents at Spiel und Spass thoroughly enjoyed a visit from the ACT  Fire Brigade recently.  Those fire-fighters sure  are our heroes, and they really know how to please a crowd!  There was even an opportunity for children to explore the fire truck, and turn the hose onto some of our beautiful trees in Haig Park.

Pfadfinder Girls STEM Day

Some lucky Pfadfinder Girls got to take part in a Greenlight 4 Girls Day on Saturday 12 August.   Greenlight 4 girls is an international movement to encourage girls to consider Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) careers.

The girls heard from amazing female scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, mathematicians, students, technological designers and inventors.  After decorating our lab coats, it was off to a series of workshops to experiment, learn, solve problems, accept challenges and have fun, before returning to share our knowledge in the closing ceremony.  Along the way, we even got to meet a rare bettong up close.

The day was really well organised by the Girl Guides Association, and was a lot of fun.

Occupations Weeks at GAP

The GAP children have been learning all about occupations in our community.   Some of our parents offered to come in and tell us about the interesting jobs they have.

During a visit from an Australian Army dad, we got to see how soldiers make little tents (called hootchies) to camp in, check out all the things they have to carry in their backpacks, and see how they cook and eat when they are in the field.  We tried on some heavy webbing, tried to lift the heavy backpack, checked out some cool equipment, peered through a little telescope and tested some electronically enhanced ear protectors.  Afterwards, we made our own hootchie in the playground and tried some of the food from the army ration packs.  We even drew little maps of our surroundings before we went to sleep in our sleeping bags, just as the real army people do.

We are looking forward to a visit from a builder next week!

The Children’s Hootchie