A fresh approach to learning

Cire Children’s Centre has had the pleasure of having the enthusiastic Jo Gaissl attend to assist educators in implementing the Linking Learning program. The Linking Learning program was developed to improve the learning outcomes for Victorian children from birth to 12 years, using song, stories, language and play. This program presented facts about how language can be impacted by a child’s environment.

Did you know that by the age of three, children born into low-income families heard roughly 3 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. With this knowledge knowing that our children could be missing out on vital learning experiences we can aim to improve their future by utilising the tools used in the Linking Learning Program. Check out the video below to see how this program has been of benefit to our community.

Jo Gaissl spent five weeks mentoring Cire educators across our children’s services. During this time Jo helped the educators gain skills in communication methods and refining teaching practices to include additional language development opportunities for the children.

As part of the Linking Learning Program educators were allocated one on one professional mentoring time to further explore language opportunities. These included stories, song, dance, movement and social opportunities.

“It’s a fantastic program! Having been involved in the pilot has demonstrated the need to focus on language development. At Cire we welcome opportunities to further enhance the child’s experience and learning outcomes because education is the key to every child’s future.” Lysa Smart – Centre director, Yarra Junction Childcare

“This program has really opened my eyes to a new understanding of the way we communicate with children and in the ways in which we can extend this in our every day lives. It has given me more confidence and the tools in which I can use to teach language to children.”Claire Savage – educator, Yarra Junction Childcare

This individual focus time was unique as it was tailored to suit each educator. During this time educators had a chance to show their own strengths, discover language learning processes and learn how to use many unknown day-to-day opportunities in a children’s education setting.

Educators were able to then use these professional mentoring times and reflect on their language and planning, celebrate their achievements and consider further exploration and direction in their professional learning, with the aim to implement these tools on a daily basis.

“I’m getting a lot out of the program; it’s really helped me to have a better understanding of linguistic development” Toula – educator, Yarra Junction Childcare

“Jo has helped me to utilise language in addressing and guiding behavior, she brings lots of fresh ideas!” Rebecca – 4 year old kinder teacher, Yarra Junction Childcare

Programs such as this are a wonderful opportunity to discover new language learning processes for the educators to use in their teaching practices.  We would like to thank Jo Gaissl for her hard work with the Linking Learning Program and for giving Cire the opportunity to participate.

If you would like further information on Cire Children’s Centre or our kindergarten program, click here to learn more, or you can contact us to arrange a tour on 1300 835 235

The day in the life of an Autistic child in Long Day Care

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition which affects how people make sense of the world and how they communicate and interact with others. People with ASD may experience behavioural and sensory issues, along with difficulties in social interactions, communication and repeated or restricted interests or behaviours.

Here at Cire Services, we support children, teenagers and families who may have ASD or are supporting a family member with ASD. We have students with autism at our school, Cire Community School, and in our pre-accredited courses at Cire Training; we provide relief to carers of children with autism through Cire In Home Care; and we have children who attend our long day care and after school care programs at Cire Children’s Services who have been diagnosed as on the Autism Spectrum.

Whilst understanding of ASD has come a long way, many people still have misconceptions regarding Autism. With understanding and greater awareness, we can break down social barriers and support those living with or affected by ASD. The following was written by Lysa Smart, the director of Cire Children’s Centre, Yarra Junction campus, from the viewpoint of a day in the life of an autistic child and how their view of the world can differ.

I have ASD and this is my day…

My day begins with routines and familiar guardians and family before I head off to long day care.

Upon arrival at long day care I quickly scan the room to check for my friends, familiar educators and experiences that I am familiar with.

I am very sensitive to changes in my environment and when I notice these changes it can make me feel like I’m not in control. When I don’t have control I become very upset and can become aggressive towards everyone in my environment.

Sometimes I don’t like loud noises so when the room gets busy this can be upsetting. I may make my own noises because I like to experiment with how my voice sounds.

My friend Cheryl in the kitchen knows that I like my food served in a special way and it must be the same way every day!

When I become engaged in experiences in my room my senses become heightened and if I feel uncomfortable with the texture I may not want to join in, especially if it feels funny or makes me messy.

I also like to hide in my environment because it’s how I cope if I have no one to help me and make me feel safe.

Sometimes you can redirect me to things I am interested in and this will help bring me back to the green zone, but I need your help to achieve this.

I normally have a very long day so please remember that I don’t do these things to make you angry, I do them because I don’t know how to stop, this is my way of asking for help.

All of these things may apply to me or some may apply to other friends with Autism, we are all different.

And the following is another viewpoint of a day in the life of an autistic child:

Lots of children with Autism have a special interest; I have had an interest in birds for a long time.

My bird lives in my Pocket

Wow what does he eat?
He doesn’t eat anything

Why doesn’t he eat anything?
Because he’s not real

Can I meet your bird?
No he’s tiny.

Ok maybe another time I can meet your bird.

(Ten minutes later)

Here is my bird

What is your bird’s name? I have forgotten.
He hasn’t got a name he is just bird.

(Sitting on the table is a small porcelain bird sitting next to the child)

Look my bird is missing his head.

What happened?
I didn’t like him anymore. He wasn’t doing what I wanted him to do.

Ok, does he need to go to the hospital?
Yes can we put him in a box?

What size box do you think we need?
Only a small one as he doesn’t have a head anymore.

I feel comforted by having my bird with me.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects children in many different ways and as educators we provide support based on those individual needs.

If you would like to join this rewarding industry Cire Training offers Certificate and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care – now taking enrolments for semester 1 2017.

For further information on Cire Community School an alternative to secondary school call 1300 835 235.

For further information on Cire Children’s Services call 5967 2776 Yarra Junction or 9736 1918 Mt Evelyn.