Kindergarten Newsletter 

13 March 2019
Issue Two
Writing development  
Home language and learning English 
Dates and events 
Oakleigh Primary School and Kindergarten
(03) 9568 0558
20 Warrigal Road
Oakleigh, Victoria, 3166
AU

Writing development  

Supporting your child's writing development 

Learning to write is a complex process that begins well before children begin to write actual letters or words. It is an involved and ongoing learning development process that has many stages along the way. It is important that children are allowed to sit within the stage of writing development they are at, to explore and experiment and not to be pushed beyond where they are ready to go. 

We don't start life walking. We need to learn to hold up our heads, sit up, crawl and walk. With many stops and starts along the way. The same is true of learning to write. And while as adults we may not remember all the steps we took in our early childhood to learn to write, kindergarten aged children are right in the thick of the learning process, and it is important neurologically that they be allowed to work and learn in ways that are appropriate to their age and development. 

Climbing outside, balancing, hanging from A-frames all form part of learning to write. Did you know that using play dough, holding tweezers, picking up small objects, manipulating small construction toys is also necessary for learning to write? Being able to hold tweezers, bring able to manipulate play dough helps strengthen fingers and hands, that will be used to hold pencils and write. 

Playing with toys, creating imaginative worlds and talking as they play allows children to learn to plan out thoughts and ideas in sequences that make sense. 

There are many ways children show their understanding of writing;

Making marks on a page. These may look like random marks of pencil, marker or paint.

Writing-like marks, squiggles, lines, dots, dashes etc., used in many forms of writing play, for example when a child is playing in home corner they may pretend to write a shopping list, or take a cafe order. 

Letter strings, children use letters that they know how to write to make strings of letters to represent words and a message. They may or may not say they know what the writing says. 

Writing known, familiar words such as names in seemingly random ways. Young children know the importance of writing, they see family members, educators, people everywhere making marks, writing notes, typing furiously. They know that letters and words are important and carry meaning. They want in!  And they often play and practice writing and writing like marks as part of their play. 

 

Attached below is a PDF from Dr Noella Mackenzie on ways families can support children's early writing. 

 

Home language and learning English 

Speaking to your child in your home langauge is best. 

We all want our children to be strong and effective communicators. Language is an important part of communication, and research tells us that language development is a key predictor of social and emotional development. Our staff have been researching, attending conferences and engaged in professional development and reflection on how to best support each child's language development, and adding new knowledge to our practice.

We know that it is at home, with adult family members where children learn the most language. We also know from research that speaking to your child in your home language is the best way for children to develop rich vocabulary and language. Many children who are learning English from being at kinder can appear to be very quiet while at the kinder, not speaking at all, or only in their home language with other children who also speak that language. This is part of their learning and is not to be discouraged. It is so important that children feel connected to the kinder, and to their peers. Just by being in kinder, where the common language is English, where the staff all speak English, and the songs, stories and learning conversations are in English, children will learn and develop their understanding of and eventually be able to speak English. A quiet or mostly silent period is often part of the way children process learning a new language, it can be a time where a lot of learning is taking place, just not a lot of talking! 

 

Remember too that if your child is learning English at kinder,  they will be very tired when they go home, speaking with them in your home language will allow them time to rest, relax and process what they have been learning at kinder. 

 

Beginning to learn to speak English can take time, but research shows that your child will not be at a disadvantage if they do not speak English at home. Family are the child's first and most important educator and children strongly benefit from language rich interactions with their family. So below are a few ways to ensure there is a lot of language and vocabulary rich interactions at home. 

Singing, chatting, playing games and reading to your child in your home language

Reading favourite books over and over... 

Use everyday activities such as shopping, cooking, meal times as opportunities to talk with your child.

Don't be afraid to use complex or large words in correct context

Have serve and return conversations with your child - a bit like a tennis match where each person talks, listens and talks again, responding to what the child has said, adding to the conversation. 

More information can be found on the benefits of language education are available on the Department of Education and Training website here. 

Dates and events 

Dates for Term One and Term Two 

 

Harmony Day Wednesday 21st March, we will be planning some learning around Harmony Day The week 18th - 22nd March 

 

Mini Beast Incursion Thursday 28th March for Purple and Orange Groups

 

End Term One -  Friday 5th April 

The last day of term one. There will be no kindergarten sessions this day for Orange and Green Groups as staff will be spending the day in professional development. 

 

Term Two 

Kindergarten will reopen Tuesday 23rd April

 

Public Holiday: Thursday 25th April is a public holiday for ANZAC Day. There is no kinder on this day. 

 

Photo Day 

We will have professional photographers at the kindergarten to take individual photos of children and a group photo  on the following dates:

Green Group and Purple Group: Wednesday 29th May 

Orange Group: Friday 31st May 

 

Lantern Festival 

Our annual Mid-Winter Lantern Festival will be on the evening of Friday 21st June  

 

End Term Two

Friday 28th June is the last day of term two.

Kindergarten Newsletter 
draw talk write.pdf