Students explore, discover and grow

BIG BUS: The biggest achievement by far this year has been the purchase of a brand new 22-seater bus.
BIG BUS: The biggest achievement by far this year has been the purchase of a brand new 22-seater bus.

The continued Aboriginal language program - which allows children and staff to participate in and learn to speak Gamilaraay words and language - has been a highlight of the year at Gunnedah Preschool.

"Our fulltime engagement officer has also implemented and organised many events throughout the year including NAIDOC week, excursions to the local Gunida Gunyah, National Reconciliation Week, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's day and many more events," said preschool director Kate Olsen.

"Our school readiness and preschool room has strived to consist of early knowledge and skills including building resilience, developing self-help and independence skills, regulating own feelings and behaviour, develop social, emotional and early language skills, willing to participate in small group times, correct pencil grip, identifying and starting to form their own names and many more.

"Our preschool has offered many incursions and excursions throughout 2019 including Woolworths tours, trips to the local library, police station, Gunida Gunyah, McDonalds, Mitre 10, music lessons at the conservatorium, post office, Pensioners Hill and many more.

"This year, we made connections to the local aged care facility, in which we have established a great relationship with, visiting the residents on a fortnightly basis at Alkira, Gunnedah. Here, the children would engage in songs, creative arts and morning tea."

Another highlight of 2019 was being asked by the local Gunida Gunyah to participate in a funded swimming lesson initiative. For Terms 2 and 4, each Tuesday and Thursday, a group of children from preschool would travel by bus to the town pool to engage in swimming lessons.

Over the ten week program each term, the children's ability to swim, skills and confidence grew immensely.

"But our biggest and most stand out achievement by far this year has been the purchase of a brand new 22 seater bus from the local Gunnedah Toyota," said Ms Olsen.

"The fundraising for the bus was done over the past few years and we finally got to drive it out of the car yard in March 2019, we were so excited.

"The bus is used on a daily basis for many reasons including picking up/dropping children home as families don't have access to transport, transport to and from swimming lessons, taking families to appointments, picking up school-aged children from transitions in terms 3 and 4 as well as weekly excursions."

The preschool was also approached by the Gunnedah community to take over the tender for the local Kennel Club canteen.

Each term, the Gunnedah Preschool team of staff and committee members fundraised by serving at the canteen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each Gunnedah dog show calendar.

"It was a great way of meeting people from outside our community, promoting our wonderful service and of course watch their very talented dogs perform," said Ms Olsen.

"Money fundraised throughout the year and any drought relief grants we were lucky enough to receive are going towards a new wooden stage in the bottom playground.

"This will hopefully be constructed in early 2020 for use not long after for the children on an everyday basis, concerts and graduation.

"We are so proud of what we have achieved this year. We thank our team of staff, management, committee members, the children, families and local community for their support and efforts," said Ms Olsen.

"As we were rated 'Exceeding' at the end of 2018, we still hold that rating in all seven areas, so if you are looking for a fantastic preschool to join, come and see our office staff today.

"We only have limited positions for 2020 and our wait list for three year olds is extensive. Get your name placed on today." For more information phone (02) 67421002.

NEW BUS: The new bus will transport students to many events and excursions.

NEW BUS: The new bus will transport students to many events and excursions.

SWIM FUN: Students participating in a funded swimming lesson initiative.

SWIM FUN: Students participating in a funded swimming lesson initiative.

XMAS FUN: Students taking part in festive celebrations at the preschool.

XMAS FUN: Students taking part in festive celebrations at the preschool.

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