Monday, 18 June 2018 05:43

Professional Development May/June Report

We love Anthony Semann We love Anthony Semann Creating beautiful learning spaces that inspire conference.

Well we have had some very busy educators at Margaret Ives over the last month or so, engaging in learning, self, team and whole centre reflection. Below are the main points of each training, how new educator knowledge can benefit interactions with children, relationships with families and support other staff at MICCC. Please feel free to engage in any conversations with educators about their training or leave any questions/feedback on our Facebook page.


May Reflections

‘Interoception- the 8th sense’

Presenter:  Helen Kowalenko

MICCC staff:  Claire, Sammy & Tatum

Supporting children to understand the way they feel....”if you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” Poor interoception means children cannot decipher what their body is telling them. Butterflies in tummy (anxiety/worry), headache (thirsty) and poor body temperature regulation can all lead to meltdowns! Good interoception improves learning so is beneficial for all children, especially children with a disability or trauma history. Cue cards, books, exercises, video/self reflection and feelings boxes can all be supporting resources.


‘Little Scientists- Water base foundations’

Presenter:  Gowrie SA

MICCC staff:  Arja & Kerys

A child’s perspective on an experience is very different to an adult’s perspective. This training placed importance on the thinking processes of planning a play experience from the set up to the props used, planning time for free discovery, exploration and prompting. This is an on-going training series.


June Reflections

‘Creating beautiful learning spaces that inspire’ CONFERENCE

MICCC staff:  Ollie, Claire, Michelle A, Rochelle


Presenter 1:  Anthony Semann ‘For the love of beauty- it really does matter’

A super inspiring presentation about unshackling bad habits and creating visual order to reduce stress and anxiety in children. It started a reflection process of thinking about spaces and environments that spark emotion and give children hope. All children have the right to beauty, every moment and play space matters. It’s about starting conversations with educators and families about how they value beauty in their own homes and how that is reflected here at MICCC. If your furniture could talk what would it say?


Presenter 2:  Kirsty Liljegren ‘Enabling environments worthy of beautiful minds’

Kristy highlighted what we are already doing well at MICCC and showed us a beautiful video of true sensory immersion in a space, We were reminded to celebrate every scribble and mark a child makes and to ensure we engage in a consultation process with children, recording their voices (verbal and non verbal). We would love to create more holistic spaces and encourage any families to come in and share in the experience of creating beautiful spaces with us.


Presenter 3:  Janet Robertson ‘Place made inspiration the intentional playground’

With a unique spiritual connectedness to outdoor spaces, Janet sees beauty even in death. With a pedagogy about life and love, learning is about loving and embracing what we have. A playground with nothing, helps children to discover their own meaningful spaces. We reflected on the things we do have and how we show the children these things are valued and respected. We all loved looking at the ‘Much Loved’ book that showcased what love can look like, a story of child comforters, the silent witnesses and constant companions of our children being embraced and shared for who they are.


Presenter 4:  Stefania Giamminuti ‘Environments Of solidarity and artistry collective meaning making in Reggio Emilia’

Stefania had the vocal presence of education and research, she focused on the adult role to push the envelope, be curious, research, invent and embrace art and culture. She talked about the relationship that exists between National Quality Standards and curriculum but also reminded us that they do not govern us, it is our job as educators to master them and test them. Beauty is the process of happiness and there are many objects we can use to challenge visual perspectives of children. While we need to seek opportunities to research and document we also need to focus on our own wellbeing, we are here for the children and our own exhaustion and wellbeing can impact on our attitude.


Presenter 5:  Claire Warden ‘Pedagogy behind the design: a risk rich learning environment’

Claire began by unpacking jargon labels and words like, nature play, bush kindy and loose parts, these words need authenticity, actions should be embedded and integrated into daily play. She shared her notion of “as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible” as we explored the three types of risk taking; emotional, physical and intellectual. We loved the way injuries were referred to as medals of adventure because that truly captures the idea of learning and empowering children to risk assess themselves. We were encouraged to notice the beauty in all things from broken bricks to dead bugs, and to create an awareness of different species so children do not fear all sharks, spiders and snakes. There was also a connection to interoception and that idea of letting children feel the cold and deciding if they need a coat, not just putting one on before they go outside.



‘Central East Partnership’

Presenter:  Steven Cameron, Catherine Honeychurch & Brett Gent

MICCC staff:  Sammy, Tatum & Ollie

At the latest partnership workshop our Coral Room inquiry question continued to evolve. How can our routine moments best support and value children’s needs and voices? We began questioning why certain elements are part of our routine and ways that we could make learning more powerful for children. Using S.M.A.R.T targets we have set some specific goals and investigated the best data collection methods for our approach so that our goals are measurable and achievable.


‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in your curriculum’

Presenter: Gowrie SA

MICCC staff:  Tatum

We are very inclusive at MICCC and this training shared some tips about how to further explore art and authentically engage with ATSI culture in our setting. Like all inclusive practice, developing relationships with families still remains key to creating meaningful experiences. Tatum is looking forward to sharing her new knowledge, tips and techniques (like basket weaving) with educators, children and families.


‘Why does a quality arts pedagogy and curriculum matter?’

Presenter: Amanda Morphett

MICCC staff:  Ollie & Jo

An inspiring session about our own connection with art and creativity exposed the importance of children’s relationships with art materials and supporting them to find their own mode of expression. Art should never be about the product, it is about acknowledging each child’s process using language that celebrates the skills they are developing. What a child asks you to draw something for them, it is in the child’s best interest if you refrain.... instead break down their understanding of the task, help them see shapes and lines before they draw, support them to research images and make the task more manageable, this way their confidence will grow. Art is not just drawing and painting, it is a holistic approach to communication and expression that involves all the senses. Facts: it takes a minimum of 500 years for a texta to decompose and 7 years to make a simple lead pencil, so it is our job to explore concepts of sustainability and respect with children when it comes to art materials and experiences. Interestingly the same babies in the rain sensory immersion video from the ‘creating beautiful learning spaces that inspire’ conference was shown, such a powerful clip....




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