The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Kindergarten (5 Day) News

Kindergarten children have embarked on quite a journey this year and one we can confidently assume they will never forget with a world pandemic forcing schools to close. On the first day of Autumn Term, our children marched through the Kindergarten gate to the highly emotive sounds of the bagpipes being played by our Pipe Major, Mr David Stulpner. There were tears of joy, squeals of delight, warm embraces and smiles all round as friends reconnected. And so began our unit of inquiry into the transdisciplinary theme of 'How We Express Ourselves'.

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Four Emotional Zones

With guidance from renowned occupational therapist Leah M Kuypers who devised a 'Zones of Regulation' curriculum, we have introduced the concept of four coloured zones that represent common emotions. When in the Blue Zone, our body is running slow and rest is needed because we may be feeling tired, sick, sad, hurt, bored or shy. The Green Zone, like a green traffic light, signals that we are good to go because we are feeling happy, calm, proud, focused, relaxed or content. Sometimes, our emotions escalate a little and we enter the Yellow Zone. This is a zone where we must proceed with caution and slow down because we may start to lose control if feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, excited, worried, anxious, silly, scared, jealous, embarrassed, confused, nervous or annoyed. Finally, the Red Zone is reserved for those extreme emotions such as terror, uncontrolled anger, aggression and elation. When in the Red Zone, we must recognise that we are out of control and will have trouble making good decisions and need to stop.

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Through these four zones, we have continued to develop the children's inquiring dispositions by introducing a digital gallery of wondrous artwork from many famous artists around the globe. Each carefully selected piece of art invites an emotional response and gently prompt the children to thoughtfully question themselves, question others and consider how the art was made, whilst discovering the stories and emotions that are hidden within. The children are given time to stop, stare, ponder and wonder. They are incredibly quick to recognise which Zone of Regulation is being expressed through each piece and articulate calming strategies that can be implemented to get back into that optimal Green Zone. These art provocations have also inspired the children to express their emotions through their own process-based art. We look forward to showcasing our Kindergarten Art Gallery with our families at the conclusion of this inquiry.

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Mrs Olivia Harnwell
Kindergarten Teacher