Possums Playschool was founded in 2000 by Donna Catherall. In its first four years, the Playschool was successfully operated by Playschool parents as a sub-committee of the Miles Franklin Preschool Parents Association.
In 2004 the Canberra Preschool Society Inc. directed a restructure of the management of playschools. As a result, the Possums Playschool Parent Association Inc. was established in November 2004.
In 2016 Possums Playschool relocated from Higgins to its current premises at 30 Scattergood Place, Spence.
Possums Playschool provides a play-based learning facility with structured activities for 3, 4 and 5 year olds. The Playschool is a viable community based, non-government funded service for our children.
Possums Playschool operates three sessions per week at the following times:
Monday 9.20am – 2.20pm
Tuesday 9.20am – 2.20pm
Wednesday 9.20am – 2.20pm
You may enrol your child for one, two or all three sessions. The cost for each session is $55 per child.
The session is run by the Teacher and Teacher’s Assistant. Parents are encouraged to stay and help.
The program at Possums Playschool has been developed with an equal emphasis on all developmental areas: social, emotional, physical and intellectual. We plan the weekly program around particular focus areas. Our approach involves linking a range of the childrens’ activities around a certain idea or concept. These may include transport, farms, pets, friendships, etc.
During the year we also engage in activities to celebrate Easter, Mother’s/Father’s Day and Christmas (children do not have to be involved if these are in conflict with your family beliefs). Focus topics provide children with the opportunity to investigate, question, problem-solve, role-play and practise.
The program reflects the children’s needs and interests, and is designed to build on their prior knowledge by broadening their understanding of their environment and the world around them. The weekly program is always displayed in the window and in the Playschool room for parents and carers to read. As many of the topics we investigate during the year are of great interest to the children, it would be wonderful if you could follow up on any areas we have looked at with your child at home. By doing this, you will of course be reinforcing their understanding!
The activities planned for each session will cover a range of developmental areas. An example of the types of activities your children will participate in, and the areas they focus on are given below. (Note: These are only some examples – just to give you an idea of what types of activities you can expect.)
Fine Motor/Manipulative: Art and craft, threading and lacing, construction (e.g. with various small boxes; or systems such as Mobilo or gears), play dough, and water play.
Cognitive: Maths games (sorting & classifying, patterns, one-to-one correspondence, number recognition, counting), literacy games (letter recognition, letter sounds, literacy card games, responding to a text), puzzles, dramatic play (e.g. dressing up, home corner; the children have pretended to be vets, builders, office workers, etc), singing, contributing to group discussions and library.
Gross Motor: Outdoor play (obstacle course, ball skills, play equipment etc), movement and dance.
Social/Emotional: Interaction with peers and adults, separating from parent/carer, developing independence (caring for belongings, self-help skills), expression of feelings, ideas and attitudes, group participation, news time etc.
As Early Childhood teachers, we view our roles as facilitators rather than instructors. The environment we create at Possums Playschool will assist children in their learning in a positive way, which supports the needs and interests of all children.
We take into consideration each individual child whilst planning and adjusting the program where necessary to accommodate the various levels of ability and diversity within the group. We recognise each child is a unique individual and understand they will bring to Possums Playschool their own set of beliefs, values and experiences, which will be acknowledged and respected.
Families play an important role in their child’s learning and your participation and suggestions are most welcome. As Possums Playschool is a parent-run organisation, your involvement is extremely valued and important. There are many ways you can be actively involved whether it’s by becoming a member of the Committee, or through assisting the teachers in the delivery of the program while on roster duty. If you have any special skills or talents that you would like to share with us, we would be more than happy to include them in the program.
The Playschool has a volunteer parent roster, where parent/carer helpers can assist the Teacher and Assistant, on the premises for each session. The helpers assist and supervise activities. The roster is voluntary but is a nice way for parents to be involved in their child’s day. Siblings are welcome to stay when parents are on roster.
After every Playschool session, hand-towels, tea-towels, smocks, etc are to be washed. Parents are required to volunteer a laundry wash once a term for each session their child attends. The wash register can be located on the board with the parent roster lists. The laundry then needs to be returned to Playschool prior to that session the following week.
Please note that as a parent or carer of a young Possum, you are required by law to have a Working with Vulnerable People card in order to fulfill your volunteer duties at Possums. Read more about the card here.
The parents/carer of every child enrolled at Possums Playschool become members of the Possums Playschool Parents Association for the period during which their child attends Playschool. Each year, the new members appoint a Committee to organise and run Possums Playschool for that year.
The following positions make up the Possums Playschool Parents Association Committee:
- Playschool Coordinator
- Purchasing/Occupational Health and Safety Officer
- Fundraising Officer
- Media/Grants Officer
- General Committee Members (up to four positions)
Every position on the Playschool Committee must be filled prior to Term 1 beginning or the Playschool cannot operate.
It is very important that you are able to attend the orientation days. This will allow your child to become familiar with the Playschool environment and staff. If you have any worries or concerns about your child, you are welcome to use these days to raise them with us. However, we are always available to parents during the year for discussion on any issue.