Let’s Explore | A Virtual Kindergarten Experience 

Let’s Explore is SMGS’ Kindergarten Transition Program. The program won a coveted Innovative Schools Award in 2018.

The program is designed to guide your child in their first steps, as they discover a whole new world of education. Let’s Explore gives our future learners the opportunity to experience the normal routines of a school day and looks at individual child readiness.

The program gives each child the tools to prepare for that very special first day of school and aims to leave them feeling more comfortable and confident in their personal learning journey.

Families have the option of participating in the full program (virtual and physical, just the virtual, or just the physical, component). 

Virtual Program – Anytime until the beginning of the 2021 School year

Physical Program (includes the virtual program component) – Registrations are open until Monday 26 October 2020. The first day of the physical sessions is on Wednesday 28 October 2020.

Register Now

Session 1

Mode: Virtual | Week of Monday 18th October

A box will arrive in the mail with hands on and self-paced activities. You will also receive access to the Immersive Virtual Kindergarten Experience Portal. In the portal there will be explainer videos from our teaching staff on how to complete each hands-on activity.

Each little explorer will also receive a set of VR goggles and access to a series of Virtual Reality (VR) Kindergarten experiences each explorer will have the opportunity to virtually join a literacy and numeracy lesson, our specialist classes (art, music, STEM, German, gross motor skills), story time, and so much more.

Session 2

Mode: Physical & Virtual | Wednesday 28th October | 9:15am – 11:45am

A second box of resources will arrive with a a whole new set of activities. This is also first week that our little explorers can come on to our school campus, explore our learning spaces and interact with our Kindergarten teacher, Ms Nikora. The theme and details for the physical session are:

My Classroom – Introduce students to their Kindergarten classroom and playground environment. Children will arrive and settle into activity stations based on literacy, fine motor development and play. This facilitates a calm drop off, encourages social interaction and immerses children in Kindergarten literacy practices. Children will have a recess snack and explore Eat St. They will meet their buddies live via zoom during the morning session.

Session 3

Mode: Physical & Virtual | Wednesday 4th November | 9:15am – 11:45am

A third and final box of resources will arrive with a a whole new set of self-paced activities and virtual 360 degree experiences.

This is the second week that our little explorers can come on to our school campus, explore our learning spaces and interact with our Kindergarten teacher, Ms Nikora and some of our specialist teachers. The theme and details for the physical session are:

My School environment – In session two, children will have a School tour, visit the library for a story and engage in a Specialist teacher experience. During recess they will explore the Adventure playground. They will also interact with their buddies live via zoom and have recess in Eat Street.

Session 4

Mode: Physical | Wednesday 11th November | 9:15am – 11:45am

This is the third week that our little explorers can come on to our school campus, explore our learning spaces and interact with our Kindergarten teacher, Ms Nikora and some of our other amazing teaching staff. The theme and details for the physical session are:

Interacting with Technology – In session three, children will explore numbers and science concepts through hands on interaction with current technology that we have available for our students. They will rotate through technology activities and experience coding with Botley the robot, a virtual excursion and drone flying with Mr Moore. They will have recess in Eat Street.

Session 5 (Part 1)

Mode: Physical | Wednesday 18th November | 9:15am – 11:45am

This is the third week that our little explorers can come on to our school campus, explore our learning spaces and interact with our Kindergarten teacher, Ms Nikora and some of our other amazing teaching staff. The theme and details for the physical session are:

My Active School Life – In session four, children will engage in a gross motor lesson that has the components required to promote hand and eye coordination, balance and strength. They learn about an active, healthy lifestyle, discuss what goes in a healthy lunchbox and explore our vegetable garden. The children will have recess followed by time on the Adventure Playground.

Session 5 (Part 2)

Mode: Zoom | Wednesday 18th November | 3.30pm – 5.00pm

Parent/teacher one-on-one Zoom meeting – In session 5, Parents are invited to have a Zoom meeting with Ms Nikora and Ms Shvetsoff to discuss their child and any aspects of school readiness.

Pivoting the 2020 Let’s Explore Program

Our attitude, as a provider of a modern education, is to remain open and agile, to innovate so as to improve the experience for students, and to prepare them for the world they are entering, not the one that we, as adults, experienced when we were at school.

With this in mind, and in consideration of current regulations around running Kindergarten transition programs, we re-imagined our Let’s Explore program for 2020.

The program will be delivered via our innovative hybrid model which includes the following elements:

  • Three virtual and four physical sessions on campus
  • Virtual Reality (VR) Kindergarten experiences – each explorer will have the opportunity to virtually join a literacy and numeracy lesson, our specialist classes (art, music, STEM, German, gross motor skills), story time, and so much more.
  • Video instructions for each of the three Let’s Explore virtual sessions
  • Hands-on tasks delivered by post to each explorer
  • Interaction with SMGS Kindergarten teacher, Ms Rosheen Nikora, via SeeSaw
  • The opportunity for parents to meet with Ms Nikora over Zoom to discuss your child’s school readiness.

What is involved in the Let’s Explore transitional program?

Our hybrid delivery model enables us to provide our future learners with an experience that is as close as possible to that of our vibrant in-person program. They will be immersed within an active Kindergarten classroom lesson that will present social interactions between students in the room. This will simulate the social aspect of our Kindergarten environment.

Each weekly session instructional video not only develops a key school readiness skill, but also builds connections between your child and their future Kindergarten teacher. Ms Nikora will talk to your child during the lesson demonstration as she would if it was actually on campus.

The Virtual Kindergarten experiences enable our future learners to have a sense of what it feels like to be in our flexible learning spaces and interacting with our specialist classes, teachers and students. They will develop an early understanding of our school expectations and, of course, have a glimpse of some of the amazing opportunities they will have when they start Kindergarten in 2021.

During the program, families will access SeeSaw to gain valuable feedback on the weekly activities and further connect with Ms Nikora. This is also an opportunity for our Junior School staff to start to get to know our new students and begin planning their learning for their first year at school in 2021.

How will this work?

When you register your child for the Let’s Explore Program, you will receive the following:

  • A passcode to the Let’s Explore Experience Portal where each session will be unveiled each week
  • Instructions on how to register for SeeSaw, the student engagement platform used in our Junior School
  • A package in the mail each week with instructions and tools on how to complete the weekly Let’s Explore learning experiences
  • A set of VR goggles to access the Virtual Kindergarten experiences.

Students complete the weekly session and tasks at their own pace and time.

Each week there will be a set of deliverables which parents will upload to SeeSaw. Ms Nikora will then review the work and provide feedback via SeeSaw.

 

Who can register for the program?

This program is open to any child who is already enrolled or considering enrolling in Kindergarten at SMGS for 2021.

Families have the option of participating in the full program (virtual and physical, just the virtual, or just the physical, component). 

Registration deadlines are as follows: 

Virtual Program – Anytime until the beginning of the 2021 School year

Physical Program (includes the virtual program component) – Registrations are open until Monday 26 October 2020. The first day of the physical sessions is on Wednesday 28 October 2020.

Register Now

If you would like to find out more about Kindergarten at SMSG, our Registrar Mrs Bronwyn Canham would be happy answer any questions you may have. She can be contacted on (02) 6457 1022 or registrar@smgs.nsw.edu.au.

About the development of this year’s Let’s Explore program

Built around a collective desire to find a way to provide our future learners with a meaningful and memorable transition program despite the current climate around COVID-19, a team of SMGS leadership, teaching and administration staff collaborated to create this year’s innovative Let’s Explore program.

All advertising and supporting materials, including the Let’s Explore experience portal, instructional videos and 360-degree videos, were designed and produced in-house and the part they would play in achieving our goal of providing each child with the tools to prepare for that very special first day of Kindergarten at SMGS was thoroughly considered.

While we are cognisant that this program could never fully replace the experience of our face-to-face Let’s Explore program, we believe that this will still provide our future learners with an educational, engaging and inspiring Kindergarten transition program that will prepare them and their families for their learning journey at big school.

 

Adapting to the changing landscape of the COVID-19 restrictions – If the current COVID-19 school transition program restrictions change at any point during Term 4 to allow face-to-face delivery, we will pivot again to run our program in-person, on the SMGS campus.