Pre-Prep News - August 2019

Pre-Prep News - August 2019

Pre-Prep News – August 2019

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This month we welcome the following students and their families to St Hilda’s Pre-Preparatory.

  • Bonnie Midgley PP1
  • Francesca Quinn PP2M
  • Melinda Xu PP2T
  • Domee Xu PP3M


Last week we invited Lyndall Mayhew, Speech Pathologist, to speak to our parents about the development of speech in the pre-school years. She shared with parents what is normal speech development, what causes difficulties, and also activities and resources parents can use to assist the development of speech. The chart below indicates the average age children learn to pronounce English consonants correctly. If you have any concerns about the development of your daughter’s speech, please speak to your daughter’s class teacher.

(Based on 15 English speech acquisition studies compiled by McLeod and Crowe, 2018)

To read more about Communication milestones in children please click HERE.


Having and encouraging good hygiene practices is essential for reducing the risk of cross infection. It is important to ensure children follow simple hygiene rules by incorporating good hygiene methods in both the Pre-Prep Centre and the home environment.

Personal hygiene practices that the children are encouraged to follow include:

  • Children not sharing hats and hair is to be tied back and off the face
  • Cough and Sneeze Etiquette: Children are encouraged to cough or sneeze into their inner elbow or use a tissue to cover their mouth and nose. All tissues should be disposed of in the rubbish bin straight away, and hands washed with either soap and water or an alcohol-based rub.
  • Children using effective hand hygiene and toileting procedures
  • Children, educators and families visiting the Centre are reminded to wash their hands:
    • on arrival at the Centre
    • After going to the toilet
    • After wiping a runny nose or blowing your own nose
    • Before eating, preparing and serving food
    • Playing outside
    • Before going home
  • Hand washing should include soap and running water for at least 20 seconds and dry hands using paper towel

For further information regarding preventing colds in children please press click HERE.


This week all Pre-Prep children are participating in the 2019 Premier’s Reading Challenge. The reading period for the 2019 Premier’s Reading Challenge commenced on Monday 19 August and closes Friday 23 August. Experiencing books can include shared reading, listening to stories or reading picture books. The aim for the 2019 Challenge is to engage more children in reading books than ever. Pre-Prep children can participate at home by recording their reading at home with a parent on the Record Sheet which was sent home in the Diary. The Record Sheet should be returned to your class teacher in the week beginning Monday 26 August 2019.

Every child who completes the Challenge will receive a Certificate of Achievement signed by the Premier. It will be my great pleasure to present these certificates during the Premier’s Reading Challenge Celebration Weeks to be held 4 – 15 November 2019. For more information about the Premier’s Reading Challenge, please visit: challenge/


Under the ‘Public Health Act 2005’, we are required to keep records of every child’s immunisation status. As children receive an additional immunization at the age of four, we are required to request that parents provide us with an updated immunisation statement at this stage of the year. Could you please email Mrs Shannon Leaver on an up-to-date Immunisation Statement for your daughter at your earliest convenience.


Throughout the year we invite parents to comment and give feedback on our policies and procedures. Parental feedback is valuable and very much appreciated. This month all Pre-Prep parents should have received an email highlighting the Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities Policies and Procedures for Pre-Prep and are encouraged to provide feedback on these via email to me. Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities is Quality Area Six and encompasses policies relating to supportive relationships with families and collaborative partnerships.


Parents with siblings wishing to commence at St Hilda’s Pre-Preparatory in 2020 are strongly encouraged to submit an application for enrolment to ensure availability of a place for next year.

Should your daughter not be continuing as a student in 2020, parents are reminded that it is a condition of enrolment that one term’s notice must be given in writing to the School as we commit resources on the basis of confirmed enrolment numbers. If you have any questions in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact our Head of Admissions or 07 5577 7232.


Date Time Activity and Venue
19 – 23 August Premier’s Reading Challenge Week
21 August Father’s Day Market Stall
28 August Big Kids Incursion
29 August Acacia House Fundraising Day
30 August Gold Coast Show Day Holiday
2 -6 September Child Protection Week
6 September 9.00 – 11.00am Pre-Prep Carnival/School Oval
10 September 7.30 – 9.20am Father/Grandfather/Daughter Breakfast and Morning/ Jennifer Reeves Café and Classrooms
19 September Term 3 concludes
20 September 8.00am – 3.30pm Parent/Teacher Interviews

Mrs Lisa Cleverly
Director of Pre-Prep

Pre-Prep 1

We have had such a busy start to Term 3 with so much learning and exploration!

This term we are focusing on our literacy and numeracy skills through our play and utilising new activity areas and materials that have been set up in our room. The girls are showing keen interest in these areas and love to share with us their developing knowledge and understandings.

We have continued with our interest in fossils, exploring ammonites which we discovered in pictures of St Hilda towards the end of last term. We have got to look at and feel real ammonites and create our own ammonite pictures, combining them with small pictures in red, blue and yellow to create our own ‘stained glass window’ picture of St Hilda, just like the one we saw in the Chapel! We have also had the opportunity to look at and feel some fossilised wood, called petrified wood, and will continue to look at and discuss fossils and ancient creatures over the coming weeks.

The girls continued their interest in scientific discovery through their play in our ‘Science Lab’ dramatic play area. We have hatched and cared for our own aqua dragons, explored kinetic energy, friction and wind as a source of energy using a series of balloon and string experiments, made our own slime and explored how two primary colours can mix together to create a secondary colour.

Outside we have continued our interest in our natural world through gardening, with our carrots growing big and the tomatoes forming on the bushes. We continue to find amazing mini-beasts in our garden and have used technology such as the smart board to research the name and some information about the creatures we have found.

As we celebrated NAIDOC week, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day and Friendship Day, we have explored the Indigenous Dreamtime creation story of the Rainbow Serpent, known as Wardjam in Yugambeh language. The girls really connected with this story of creation and followed their interest through their creative play, creating their own rainbow serpents using cardboard, as well as independently with drawings, playdough and plasticine sculpture, as well as during exploratory play with the slime. They loved hearing different versions of the story and related the story to their own experiences with stories of creation, as well as learning that different tribes have different names for the Rainbow Snake, which they could relate to their knowledge of different languages (such as French, which they learn in Pre-Prep).

On Tuesday 6 August, we were lucky enough to have the Mukogawa School visitors from Japan come into our classroom to play with us, help us have a go at origami and listen to us sing our favourite song – “Let It Go” from Frozen!

Our girls have also continued to share with us their amazing creativity through their collage work, creating their own puppets and then engaging in role-play with their creations. From here we have introduced a puppet theatre for the girls to use as a stage for their role play to express themselves through dramatic play!

We are so excited to continue to explore our world around us and develop our skills, knowledge and understandings as we play over the coming months.

Mrs Turner and Mrs Nolan

Pre-Prep 2

At the end of last term, the girls had the opportunity to decorate a ‘holiday handbag’. These bags were taken home over the holidays and filled with found items, photos, treasures, drawings, souvenirs and various other bits and pieces. The girls were eager for their turn to share and expressed great enjoyment during their friends’ presentations. Benefits of this experience include learning to: respect each other’s turn to talk, speak with confidence in front of a group, listen to, pose and answer questions. We loved listening to each child’s unique holiday highlights. Thank you to each family for the effort and time you put into this experience.

This term we have continued learning about and celebrating Indigenous People and Culture. We explored the special ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ episode by Play School. ‘The Gunyah Gift’ was a story shared within the episode which sparked a lot of curiosity and interest among the girls (adapted from the story by Merindah (Min) Rivers, written in consultation with Wiradjuri Elders and knowledge holders and endorsed by Dr Stan Grant AM Snr). Some of the girls were eager to make their very own Gunyah. A Gunyah or Wiltija are well known Aboriginal names for a house. In the Torres Strait Islands, houses are often called huts. We set up a Gunyah building station inside, where the girls had the challenge of constructing their own shelter. Outside, we worked together to gather the materials needed from around the school to construct a class Gunyah. We measured, problem solved, lifted, carried, tested, shared, persisted and talked a lot throughout the process. The work in progress is in the far corner of the yard, check it out!

As I am sure you are well aware, we have been exploring a wonderful story called ‘Stick Man’ by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler in class. This story was requested by one of our girls recently and has since turned into a class favourite. To build on this interest, we had a go at sequencing pictures from the book and engaged in various art and numeracy experiences based on and inspired by the story. In addition, we thoroughly enjoyed watching the story come to life as we viewed the ‘Stick Man’ animation. These experiences have enabled the girls to become familiar with the characters and the beginning, middle and end of the story. They have also helped to further develop and strengthen their vocabulary, receptive and expressive language, comprehension, creativity, numeracy and motor skills.

We set up an office in our dramatic play area after the girls displayed an interest in the keyboards and phones outside last term. This dramatic play environment has been added to throughout the term and now features a post box, parcels, stamps and writing prompts. To extend on this, we read the book, ‘The Jolly Postman’ and looked at different items that come in the mail including post cards, letters, cards, parcels and catalogues. Soon after, Maria gifted us all a beautiful postcard from Germany, which the girls were delighted with. Overall, it has been wonderful observing the girls explore this area of the classroom and it has been encouraging to see them role-playing, using their imaginations, turn taking and writing in their play.

Furthermore, we warmly welcomed three new students to our beautiful class community this term, Melinda, Lexi and Frankie. We have so far enjoyed House Shirt Day, a camp out, the Gym Carnival, NAIDOC celebrations and a visit from Mukogawa School. We celebrated the 100th day of Pre-Prep, the girls bucket filling achievements, Eleni and Annalise’s 5th Birthday and the arrival of Lexi’s baby sister, Charlotte. As we move forward, we are busily preparing for the reading challenge, Father’s Day and the upcoming Pre-Prep carnival, which we hope you can join us for.

Miss Morrissey and Miss Stewart

Pre-Prep 3

Jingeri Families,

The girls have settled beautifully into Term 3 and are showing fabulous progress in all areas.

Our Veterinary Clinic has been very popular, and the girls have been learning how to care for different types of animals. Dramatic play allows them the opportunity to negotiate roles (vet, nurse, receptionist, patient), and develop the skills needed to cooperate with their peers. Have you ever tried to help a giraffe with a sore throat? We’ve also been enjoying traditional tales, exploring story structure and identifying beginnings, middles and endings, and learning how to sequence using puppets and role play.

In honour of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, PP3 read a story called Outback School and discussed the differences and similarities between learning outside on the land and learning in a school like St Hilda’s. The girls then illustrated their thoughts and also created a gorgeous wreath made with gum leaves and the theme words ‘We play, We learn, We belong.’

They have made amazing progress in locating and naming the pictures on the THRASS chart and have produced their own cards to use for games and transitions. This is something we practice regularly and combine with songs and stories.

One of our interests has been learning about where we live in Australia and wondering about other places that children call home. After researching and investigating types of houses around the world, the girls produced some gorgeous process art using mixed media and collage to show where they would like to visit. Perhaps Malta or The Caribbean? Exploring the diversity of culture and heritage provides opportunities for new understandings and respect for others.

We have also chosen to further extend our knowledge of sustainability and ways to help others by participating in the exciting initiative ‘Lids for kids.’

We will be contributing by collecting and donating plastic bottle top lids to be made into 3D printed bespoke aids for children in need across under-serviced countries, thus also benefiting the environment. If you would like to donate any lids, please bring them to PP3. Thank you for an incredible term thus far.

Mrs Robson and Mrs Robards

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace