St Columba's Community Kindergarten

Kindergarten
34

St Columba’s Community Kindergarten has been caring for and educating the children of Sale since 1970.

Many of our children are from farming families with parents playing an integral role in helping support the kinder and educational curriculum which has a strong focus on agriculture, environmental stewardship, and community.

We are conveniently located around the corner from Wellington Shire Council. Our kindergarten features a large outdoor space adorned with beautiful old shady trees and a yard wall creatively decorated with paintings by our children.

Children enrolling in our service in 2019 are eligible for the Victorian Government drought kindergarten fee subsidy.

Environment

Our town features beautiful natural surroundings extending beyond the doors of St Columba’s. Our yard has an enormous old tree and a large palm which provides dappled sunlight and protective shade during summer. With plenty of outdoor and indoor spaces and modern facilities, our environment offers a variety of space and support for every child to thrive.

Our kindergarten features:

  • Planned and intentional indoor spaces
  • Fully renovated bathrooms for children and adults
  • Modern stove and cooktop in the kitchen
  • Trees and natural shade
  • Vegetable and herb gardening beds
  • Shade sail
  • Recycling area encouraging sustainability and caring for the environment
  • Worm farm
  • Hermit crabs and stick insects
Activities

We help children build a connection with the land they live on. With fun, educational activities, ranging from gardening, worm farming, and farm excursions, our children develop sustainable living practices and a sense of stewardship for the natural environment.

At our kindergarten:

  • We encourage recycling
  • We promote sustainable living and encourage children to develop everyday sustainable practises
  • We have a worm farm and encourage composting
  • We take excursions that encourage children to care for the environment around them
  • We are working towards becoming a sustainable kinder with the help of CERES

We offer a number of adventurous excursions to help children get in touch with the local community and environment, including visits to:

  • A local farm
  • Seaspray Beach
  • The local hospital to meet some of Sale’s elderly residents
  • The local post office, fire station, art gallery, library, fruit shop, and dentist
  • Maffra Gym
  • Traffic school

We also have a fantastic range of visitors and special guests for children to learn about the world around them from the comfort of our kindergarten. These include visits from:

  • The Local Shire Sustainability Officer to talk about recycling, caring for our worm farm, and making paper
  • Bunnings Warehouse to help with the planting and maintenance of our veggie and herb garden
  • The Gippsland Water Education Officer to talk about the importance of drinking lots of water
  • The Responsible Pet Program to talk about caring for our furry friends
  • Music and movement performers to inspire rhythm and dance
  • Big Tops Little Tots circus performer to demonstrate healthy eating and physical activity
  • The Koori Education Officer to learn about Indigenous storytelling
  • Local service providers including emergency services, health professionals, school crossing supervisor, librarians, and art gallery educators
  • Reptile handlers
Health and wellbeing

We work closely with children and families to help them develop healthy and nutritious eating habits. We run a much-loved daily breakfast program which helps children kick-start their day and fulfil key social and emotional needs of young children. Homegrown and locally sourced natural produce is a big part of our food program and as a proud member of Second Bite we hand out surplus fruit and veggies to families in need.

To guide children towards making healthy choices:

  • We grow our own produce in our garden including herbs, vegetables, and fruit
  • We accommodate diverse dietary requirements
  • We practise and emphasise food safety
  • We work sensitively with parents and families from a range of cultural backgrounds to ensure cultural foods meet standard requirements
  • We offer progressive snack and lunchtime to empower children to ask for what they want and when
  • We educate children and their families about healthy eating and nutrition
  • We run a daily breakfast program and are a member of Second Bite

We also participate in community health and wellbeing programs, including:

  • The Healthy Together Achievement Program
  • Sun Smart Program
  • Smiles 4 Miles
Family and community

St Columba’s has been a much-loved institution in the community for nearly 50 years. That’s because we foster close relationships with community members and our educators enable families to feel welcomed and included. Teaching children the importance of building community relationships plays an important role in developing their feelings of belonging and security.

Parents and families can participate when:

  • We invite them to talk to the children about their jobs, hobbies and other interesting topics
  • They volunteer their time to provide support and resources for our programs
  • They assist with fundraising
  • We have a Parent Advisory Committee meeting (positions are elected at the annual meeting of our kindergarten parents)
  • They work with us to complete the Healthy Together Achievement Program (a Victorian Government initiative)
  • They volunteer their time to help with gardening, cooking, international days, and excursions

Various people, groups or services within our community that we engage with regularly include:

  • All local schools
    • Sale Primary, Guthridge Primary, Araluen Primary, St Marys Catholic Primary, St Thomas Catholic Primary, Sale Specialist School, Airly Primary
  • Indigenous community members and groups
  • Gippsland Library and Art Gallery
  • Sale Police
  • Sale Fire Station representatives
  • Victorian Ambulance Service in Sale
  • Sale Business Post Office
  • Central Gippsland Health (Health Promotions Officer)
  • Georgie Chicken, Koori Preschool worker
  • Responsible Pets
  • Gippsland Water Education Officer
  • Local farm owners
  • Local vegetable farms
  • Farming families of St Columba’s
  • Local Aboriginal community members
Languages

Our educators always welcome new families from diverse backgrounds. English is our primary language for written and spoken communication with parents and families. However, we can have all forms of communication translated for families who speak languages other than English, including Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cambodian.

Special services

Our educators are experienced in working with children who live with a range of physical and intellectual disability or have experienced challenges and trauma. Our educators are equipped with the skills to provide safe and nurturing environments to all children.

All educators have been training in Protective Behaviours and we run regular Protective Behaviours intentional teaching sessions.

Enrolments

For interest in a kindergarten place for the remainder of 2019 and for 2020, please complete the Uniting registration form.

For a place in 2020, we send the letters of offer out to families in August including instructions for the next steps of enrolment and orientation dates.

For a place this year, we will be back in contact with you within a few days to discuss your care needs.

For more information or if you’d like to arrange a visit, please Get in touch or call us on 03 5144 1876.

Fill out an expression of interest form to find out more

Register your interest