26 Aug 2019

Abacus Newsletter 26th August 2019

Abacus Kindergarten’s latest newsletter available to read now. Find out the latest news from around the school and upcoming events.

This Week 

Week Beginning – Monday 26th August

Tuesday Meet the Teacher Evening
Next Week 

Week Beginning – Monday 2nd September

Monday K2 Admissions Meeting – CWBS
Important Dates This Term

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September –  Staff Training
Monday 30th September –  ESF Staff Training (School Closed)
Tuesday 1st October –  Public Holiday
Monday 7th-Sunday 13th October –  Half Term Holiday
Monday 14th October –  Staff Training (School Closed)
Saturday 23rd November –  School Fair
Friday 13th December –  Last Day of Term 1 – Christmas Concert

Although we are not governed by the statutory holidays for schools, we follow the ESF schools calendar. During every year we have 5 teacher training days built into the calendar. This is in addition to the contact days with children. These CPD days are added onto our calendar not removed from the contact days with children.

Abacus Calendar for 2019-2020 is available here.

First Weeks

We would like to welcome Hannah Jamieson to the Abacus staff team. Hannah has two boys currently at Abacus in K1 and K2 and will be joining us as Jackie Henderson’s replacement in K2 English class. We were very impressed with Hannah at interview and think she will be a great addition to the staff team.

We are very impressed with how well the children have settled in at Abacus. In particular the K1 children are already showing us their amazing independence skills. Most children are already confidently entering school and putting their belongings away at the beginning of a session. These developing independence skills are really important as they lay the foundation for children to develop independent learning skills. 

It has been a really impressive start to the year so far. Keep an eye out for communication about our first school trips soon. These will be beach or park trips and parents are invited to join the children if they can. This will provide you with an opportunity to meet some other parents and children in the class. If you can’t make it because of work or other commitments it is fine for a helper or other adult to accompany your child also.

Sustainability Update

We have been keeping an eye on children’s snack boxes this week and have been really impressed by how little single use plastic is being sent in the boxes. Thank-you for your cooperation with this.

From now on we will be sending any plastic home with children and a note in the box to ask you not to send single use plastic to school. Please can you let your helpers know not to send in single use plastics if they are preparing snack for your child.

Children are also learning about composting at school as we have provided special bins for waste that can be composted. These are then emptied into the big school compost bins.

Outdoor Provision at Abacus

You may think of Abacus outdoor time as just a ‘free play’ time, however we view it differently at Abacus. For us, this is a valuable learning time for children. As we now know play is a really strong vehicle for learning with young children. Therefore, we plan for and structure the outdoor learning time carefully to ensure a good balance between teacher led and free play learning experiences. 

Children at Abacus are provided with a variety of outdoor learning experiences which relate to the concepts of each unit of inquiry and some of the standalone subject areas.  Teachers and EA’s ensure that they have a clear purpose for learning and incorporate key questions and learning outcomes into these planned experiences.  Resources and spaces are flexible and open ended to allow staff to follow children’s interests.  Teachers encourage higher level thinking and collaboration through a variety of adult initiated challenges.

We have begun a new system of planning for the outdoor area this year. Staff plan in curriculum area teams, we have teams for Maths, Language, Physical, Science and the Arts. Each week the teams meet and look at the learning objectives for the week in each area and then plan suitable activities for the outside space. Team members take it in turns to setup their areas and are stationed in the area during outside time to support learning through dialog and questioning as well as teaching children some specific skills.

Absence from School

We have a new system at Abacus for reporting illness. If your child is off school through illness or holiday you can now report this on our Gateway system. Please follow the instructions which can be found here.

Submit absence request on Gateway – Parent

Speech and Language Screenings

Harmony Choi from ENT Laser will be running the speech and language screenings here at Abacus on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th September 2019.

Screenings are very useful in identifying children with speech and language delays or sound articulation issues who would benefit from speech and language therapy.

We would advise you to participate and if you are unsure whether your child’s language is appropriate for their age please speak to your child’s class teacher.  Screenings are paid for by parents and details about this can be found in the speech screening letter from Harmony Choi.

Occupational Screenings

Abacus is pleased to be offering Occupational Therapy Screenings next month.  Screenings are very useful in identifying children with delays or issues in general development skills such as; fine and gross motor, graphic, self care, sensory processing and attention. 

We would advise you to participate as this type of screening and early detection of any issues can be worked on in school and at home.  Screenings are paid for by parents and details about this can be found in the sign up letter from Linsey Irvine.

Occupational therapy can help children develop their independence and reduce any challenges they may be experiencing.  

If you would like to participate please follow the instructions in this letter from Linsey.

OT Screening Letter

Completed forms and payments should be returned to the school office on Friday 13th September at the latest.  Linsey Irvine will be scheduling these appointments with you directly on receipt of those wishing to participate.

Class Teachers for This Year

The new class teachers for this year are as follows:

K1 English Class – Hannah Derisley, Sue Tyson/Penny Loveridge and Michelle Chan

K1 Bilingual Class – Olivia Kane, Allison Fung and Maria Lee

K2 Bilingual Class – Zena Deal (Maternity cover) Danielle Evans, Susanne Liu and Anita Jims

Danielle is currently on maternity leave until December. Zena is joining us from Clearwater Bay School for the term to cover.

K2 English Am Class – Suzanne Carrigan, Bridgette Walker and Hannah Jamieson

K2 English Pm Class – Fiona Hall, Bridgette Walker and Hannah Jamieson


(All links open in a new tab/window)

Moodle – Your child’s portfolio and reports, class news, school news and photos.
Gateway – Change personal details, sign up for events and book parent consultations on Gateway.
The School Calendar – All important dates can be found here for next year.

Class Pages

K1 English Class

K1 Bilingual Class

K2 English Class

K2 Bilingual Class