Getting to know us! Gungahlin Children's Centre is 12 years old! The centre opened on the 1st of December 2003. When our centre was being built, Gungahlin was a new town centre and community - we have grown with it! In the beginning, the only shop was the Marketplace! There weren't many buildings - we could see cows across the road from the front gate! We are now a well established service with a reputation for providing an excellent standard of care and education. Our Director Lorraine, had managed the Nipperville Kindergarten and Nursery in Watson for a long time - 35 years. The new centre in Gungahlin was a great adventure that she shared with her daughter Samantha who manages the centre with her. "After 12 years we feel quite grown up! We have learnt many things and have worked with a wonderful team of dedicated teachers to create a community that we are so very proud of!" Lorraine Menzies (Director) Scroll to Continue the Journey
Creative Spaces I opened the centre with Lorraine and Samantha. When we began our building was beautiful but our walls were empty. There were no children’s pictures or photographs displayed in the rooms or down the corridors. I love to see how our spaces are now true expressions of children’s ideas, learning and abilities. Creative spaces have evolved over the years. Our specialist teachers in music and art have helped us create beautiful sounds and pictures. We now can see works of art everywhere! Karen Gergely (Director of Operations) Children’s education has always been an important part of our centre. As we have grown our focus on children’s learning and the role of educators has become firmly established. Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), the first national early years curriculum was launched in 2009. The EYLF is now the standard curriculum for Australian preschools and children’s services and guides our education of infants through to primary school entry. Our teaching practices work within the EYLF and we can now confidently recognise that Gungahlin Children’s Centre provides children with a comprehensive educational foundation for their future. Samantha Menzies (Director of Administrator)
"Art is something you paint and do" "Art to children is a visual form of thinking, conceptually they can develop; observation, problem solving and reflection skills all while expressing their emotional intelligence and idea of self. Our projects combine colour, shape and identity. Here we believe that every child is an artist and nurturing children's creativity is essential for their cognitive and emotional development." Brydie Malone (Art teacher) Looking at her paper strip sculpture, Darcey explains, “We used rainbow colours and glue. It was a tent, now it looks like a turtle!” Ravyn adds, “I like to make beautiful things out of paper - I’m not good with cardboard - I like bright pink and purple!” “I like to do everything in art - painting, sticking on, using different paints like yellow, purple and red” said Darcey. “You can make......anything in art!” Noah “Art means you can make something and do something cool!” Ishaan “You can make lots of things - wrist bands and finger puppets!” Alexander
With music and costumes "We can turn into lots of things!" "The Soundscapes Studio invites children to be immersed in a creative world of instruments, sounds, drama and dance. It is important that young children are introduced in a meaningful and inspirational way to a diverse range of songs and music. Liz Lester (Director of Music) “I am Mrs Flowers in the studio. I bring my bee wherever I go” Charlise as she listens to the "Bumble Bee"!. “I like to dress up like a mother lion! - everywhere Mrs Lion goes she roars!” Georgia who likes loud sounds. “I really like to dress up as a Leprechaun” Mitchell adds as he dances around to and Irish jig! “I turn into a dinosaur!” says Jackson as he stomps along following his friends. I want to be a knight with a sword to fight the dragons” James added. Children enjoy playing ukulele's, drums, maracas, triangles and bells in the studio each week. We write many songs together to express our ideas and imaginary games.
"We were just all on the team!" "Educators work together with children and families to incorporate the children's interests into our curriculum and learning environments." Erin Anderson (Pedagogical Leader) We spend our days playing and working together. This is how we learn to listen, have conversations and share our ideas. The construction of the Dinosaur Zoo
“How do we work together?” Justine
“We just be’d a team!” Noah
“Yeah we were just all on the team!” Jaidan Making cement
“We’re making cement” Ben told Lydia. “How do you make cement? asked Lydia.
“You need sand first. Then you add water and stir it” Ben explained.
“I’m making cement too” Mitchell called out.
"I make a big mountain!" The sand pit is always a busy place! Everyone likes to do something different there! “Cakes” Harper
“Buckets” Luke and Isabella
“Trucks” Tobias and Cohen
“Digging!” Ella “Cars” Thomas
“Cups!” Mikaela
“I like mixing sand in the bowls” Jayden
“I make a big mountain! I can use a shovel to dig lots of holes. Some holes are so big you can go through!” Lily
"What is magic? What is real?" The natural environment in and around our centre is a source of wonder and adventure! Children feel real grass underneath their feet and explore a wide variety of bushes and plants that feature in our landscaped play spaces. This is how we learn about nature! We find magic everywhere especially in the garden! “The flowers are magical because they look nice” Maya said.
“Inside the big bush there is a dragonfly” added Bradley.
“Dragonflies can light up!” said Mitchell.
“Moths come out at night” Bradley said.
“Bats are real” Jalen joined in.
“Fairies are real too!” suggested Maya.
“Flies are magic and butterflies and birds and Peter Possum” said Molly and Tahlia.
“Peter Possum is really magic, sometimes he’s real” said Molly.
Our gardens - where do worms live? Outdoor play environments are designed to inspire the imagination and encourage energetic play - the emphasis is on natural beauty and sensory experiences. Thomas, Ishaan, Kane, Mitchell and Jaisal sat in the garden and talked about worms. “Our worms live under the ground in the dirt” explained Thomas. “They hide in the mud of the dirty grass” said Ishaan. “When I dig a big hole you can find them!” added Kane. “My mum says worms are slippery and dirty” Jessica said. “We have a worm farm, it’s got yellow and red sand so we can see the worms” explained Mitchell. “We sometimes feed them, the worms, with vegetables that we grow” said Jaisal. “I was looking for a snail and I found one, it was under a rock! It didn’t have a shell. I was in the garden outside near the sand pit” said Noah. “Near the pot there was a live snail it was grey, it had a shell. It was moving slowly” said Kierah.
Food Culture "An important part of our care of children relates to their health and wellbeing. We think critically about the quality and presentation of children's meals. Menus are planned to provide maximum nutrients and taste while minimising preservatives, additives and sugar. Children's individual dietary requirements are met and families are encouraged to talk with me about their family cultural preferences. The links between particular foods and children's behavior are researched and provide useful advice for families. We are particularly dedicated to working closely with parents to make sure their child is provided with food that meets their requirements. " Jane Elliot (cook) Our vegetable and herb gardens are tended by the children - we harvest our produce and experience preparing meals "from garden to plate"! Cooking food and enjoying it together is part of our weekly curriculum and supports our children's awareness of sustainable and healthy lifestyles.
"Sometimes we have special days!" As a community we celebrate the things that are important to us including our families, cultural festivals, visual art events, birthdays, children's and book weeks. “Grandma came to Grandparents day! We read books, I showed her the quiet room and we looked at a mouse mask! She put it on! Sarah told us. “When we had the Easter Parade we made hats with noses and whiskers - we used paper and paint on them” said Zahra.
Sometimes we like to dress up on our special days. For Eric Carle day, “I dressed up as a lady bug” Sarah told us. “Charlise was a sea horse and she had a tail! Thomas had big black legs - he was the spider!”
When we go out and about! There are always adventures to have when we take walks around Gungahlin. Erin and Paige take the babies out in the big pram for walks. “Our adventure took us out to the front of the centre where we peered through the fence. We kept on walking and found ourselves out the back near the big tree!” Exploring our local community together helps us feel a sense of belonging with the physical spaces and environment where we spend our time! The Preschool children walk to the Gungahlin Library each week. “Karen takes us to the library. We walk across the road and stand in the middle part and then follow the path to the library. Inside there are books and a big TV. We use scanners to borrow books and a card” "Our preschool children are proud to wear our preschool uniforms so that everyone knows we are from Gungahlin Children's Centre! Preschool is a special time at our centre, the children are enjoying their senior year and getting ready for big school! Preschool is the culmination of previous years' learning and relationships - children who complete their preschool education with us benefit from the security of preparing for the school transition with the teachers and children that know them well and share in their achievements." Lydia McNaught (Preschool teacher)
Discover More Contact Us: 7 Fay Lane | Gungahlin | ACT 2912
P: 62624138 | E: g.c.c@bigpond.com

To discover more about Gungahlin Children's Centre please call or email our office during opening hours.

 

To hear some songs from the Soundscape Studio music program, visit our Youtube channel.

 

We trust you have enjoyed our introduction