The Preschool children have settled in beautifully to the new year and have been enjoying engaging in a variety of interesting activities. It has been lovely getting to know the new children and their families, as well as welcoming back many of our families from last year. The children who attended last year have enjoyed taking on the role of ‘big helpers’ as they are now more confident and proud to help their new friends settle into the Preschool routine.

During the first week at Bishop Tyrell Preschool, we have been focussing on developing and exploring each child’s sense of identity (EYLF Learning Outcome 1). We began this unit of work by giving each child the opportunity to make a portrait of themselves and discuss the attributes, abilities, attitudes and values they believe define them. Through this process, educators afford each child the opportunity to explore their own identity, their own perceptions and their own unique story or background.

The idea of creating self-portraits has a long history in the school of Reggio Emilia. The process allows educators a special glimpse into each child’s individuality and uniqueness and in turn, this builds a platform for which we can build meaningful and long-term learning experiences.

The Gem friends used playdough and loose parts; shells, nuts, bolts, little rocks and ribbons to represent themselves and create their portraits.

“My eyes are pink; I’ve got a purple nose. I have long hair,” said Meha
“We all have eyelashes, boys do too,” said Ashton
“I’ve got a forehead, I have hazel eyes and my hair is dark brown and I have red lips,” said Audrey

Before engaging in their portrait creation, the Treasure friends used their senses of touch, feel and sight to identify what they could add to their portrait.

“My forehead” Phoebe K
“I feel my mouth” Elsie
“My brain” Austin
“I feel my cheeks” Miller H

The Sparkle friends explored patterning and facial features with sequences, buttons and emotion faces.

Austin chose the happy face “I’m not angry” he said.
“I’m lining mine up” said Alice as she created a circle shape with the sequences.

Michelle Neylan
Preschool Director