Volume 30 Issue 16 04 Jun 2021 24 Sivan 5781


Terry Aizen – Director of Kornmel

Assessment and rating visit

The Pre-school was assessed last week Tuesday and Friday. This is a gruelling two-day process of inspection from the Department of Education on our educational program, practices, relationships with children, families and the community, staffing, our physical environment, health and safety, policies and compliance. The Pre-school looked amazing and the two days went smoothly. We are hoping the assessor saw plenty of evidence to ensure we receive a good rating. Services are rated either Significant Improvement Required, working towards the National Quality Standard (NQS), meeting the NQS or exceeding the NQS. We will receive our results in the next few weeks.

Many thanks to our wonderful educators for all the hard work they put in before, and during this visit. A huge thanks to the maintenance team for all their hard work and support.


A visit from the Kornmehl Family

On Friday, finally after more than a year, our wonderful benefactors – Jim and Jeany Kornmehl – were able to visit to share in Shabbat with us all. We were delighted to see Jim and Jeany again, after such a long time. They were able to walk around the Pre-school and see how beautiful it looks after all the work that has been done over the past 18 months – including new flooring and new soft fall outside.

We sang songs for Shabbat and enjoyed looking closely at the real Torah that Rabbi Ninio brought in to show us all. We so enjoy these connections we have with our community and the bonds we share are deep and meaningful.

Care Packs

To date we have collected 531 Care Packs from 14 schools and one corporate business. There are still quite a few schools that are going to deliver their Care Packs, so I am feeling very confident that we will definitely surpass our target of 600 care packs. This is an incredible effort and I am extremely grateful to everyone for their support of this worthwhile cause.

Pantry 4 the People

As part of the festival of Shavuot, the Kornmehl Emanuel Pre-school children donated non-perishable food to donate to a charity of their choice.

An educator at the Pre-school suggested we donate to Pantry 4 the People and arranged for them to come and do a pick-up of five crates of food products, waiting to be eaten and enjoyed by someone in need. A mother-of-two in the Sydney suburb of Botany found a way to feed hundreds of people in her local community who had lost jobs because of COVID-19. Rachael Smith opened up “Pantry 4 the People”, where a purpose-built, rain-proof pantry on the street remains open 24/7, stocked with food of all kinds for those in need. As well as stocking the pantry herself, Rachael relies on the help of other locals to donate non-perishable foods. Rachael’s Pantry 4 the People runs on the motto of “TAKE WHAT YOU NEED, GIVE WHAT YOU CAN”. We were thrilled to be able to support this wonderful community project.

Parent/Teacher meetings

These took place on Thursday afternoon into the evening via Zoom, for all three groups. Educators and families were able to connect and discuss each child’s progress, strengths and interests these past two terms. We will hold the remainder of Parent/Teacher meetings on Thursday 17 June 2021.

School readiness

This is the time of the year when parents and teachers begin to think about whether the children are ready for school. This is also the time when many parents begin to question whether their child is “ready for school”. One particular issue often raised and frequently asked is “how do you prepare my child for school?” It is always useful to think about this issue at varying stages of young children’s’ development.

Here is what we often say:

Childhood is an extraordinary period in a human being’s life. All stages of our lives bring with them certain characteristics, limitations and special challenges. The relationships and opportunities offered to a child at any time must be responsive to the child as he or she is now. Readiness for school translates into a child who is a capable learner, who is confident, flexible, open to possibilities, sufficiently resilient to take risks, sufficiently secure to be confident – in short, a child who goes off to school and is comfortable with challenge. The central concept when working with children in the present is that we develop relationships and promote personal development rather than teach facts.

Our aim is to support children to:

  • become effective as contributors within our pre-school community
  • be valued as unique and powerful human beings
  • engage in relationships of caring and respect
  • be involved in positive relationships with their peers 
  • feel a sense of belonging

We ask parents to reorient themselves to look at children, no matter how young, as people with certain characteristics who are growing, becoming, developing and adding new knowledge, skills and understandings all the time. In this way, each child in our Pre-school has been assisted to become responsible for themselves, for others and for the physical world. 

We hope that this will give you something to think about as we draw closer to our Parent/Teacher Interviews, the time where we think about your child’s progress, strengths, development and readiness for school in all areas – socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. 

Occupational Therapists often stress the following when we chat to them about school readiness, sensory processing and self-regulation:

Fine motor skills

Children need to have an established hand-dominance before starting school.

A mixed dominance at this age will impact negatively on:

  • Handwriting (letter formations, reversals)
  • Reading (scanning from left to right) 
  • Left/ right discrimination
  • All bilateral skills (catching, cutting, supporting page when writing, construction toys, tying laces)

Gross motor skills

To develop bilateral integration for:

  • Crossing the midline to develop a dominant hand.
  • All motor planning
  • Ball skills
  • Scissor/pencil tasks 
  • Reciprocal arm/leg movements
  • Riding a bicycle
  • To develop balance skills in preparation for: hopping, skipping, climbing, galloping & marching.
  • Examples of gross-motor activities – completing a puzzle or drawing while lying on their tummy, negotiating stairs with alternating feet, catching a ball, balancing for 5-10 seconds etc.

Visual motor skills 

  • To develop visual motor control to be able to: trace, cut, colour in, copy, thread with accuracy
  • To be able to copy all shapes, especially diagonal lines (/ \ x) in preparation for early letter and number formation.
  • Examples of activities: colouring in, lacing, weaving, stringing beads, peg board patterns, cutting out shapes, copying a design of three steps using cubes, joining up dots, tracing around your own hand, copying shapes or sequences etc.

Play/social skills and self-care skills

  • To develop confidence/self-esteem in their ability to perform or attempt all tasks.
  • To understand social cues, rules and limitations.
  • To initiate new friendships and interactions with peers. 
  • Eating and dressing independently. 
  • For school excursions
  • Changing for sport

Examples are dressing and undressing independently, toileting independently, understanding rules of games and being able to participate in games meaningfully, taking turns and sharing. 

Cognition is important

  • To develop pre-academic skills for reading/writing
  • To organise themselves and their belongings. 
  • To develop visual perceptual skills (especially memory) for:

    • Spelling, reading and writing.
  • To develop sequencing skills for:
      • Following instructions
      • Early mathematics

Sensory processing 

Sensory processing is how we interpret incoming sensory information.

Sensory Processing Disorder is the inefficiency in our central nervous system to process incoming information or stimuli. Difficulties in processing can lead to numerous problems such as disrupted motor co-ordination, sleeping, eating, concentration, learning, behaviour and social/emotional functioning.


Self-regulation is a person’s ability to adjust or control their energy level, emotions, behaviours & attention. 

Appropriate self-regulation means adjustment and control is conducted in socially acceptable ways.

Behaviours to look out for include:

  • Fidgeting
  • Restless/rocking in chair
  • Knocking into people/objects
  • Difficulty sitting upright during floor time
  • “On the move,” easily distracted.
  • Seeking/avoiding touch
  • Wrapping legs around legs of chair
  • Hates change
  • Dislikes music time
  • Unpredictable behaviours, 
  • Feeling overwhelmed during outdoor play
  • Sucking on clothes or objects

Happy Birthday

We wish a very happy birthday to our wonderful Educator Julie Bowman. Happy birthday to Leah Heyman (5), Bronte Hamor (5) and Elisa Lavecky (5). We hope you all had a special day.