We spoke with Manjit to find out about her role as an Outside School Hours Care Educator at Lakeside College in Pakenham, Victoria. Manjit is a passionate educator and is thoroughly enjoying being part of the community at her school.
Popular interests in Outside School Hours Care
Children have varying interests in Outside School Hours Care. Activities for children range from Lego, building castles with recycled boxes, art and craft, painting, sports, and more. Recently, the children have found their musical passion and have taken up playing musical instruments.
Basketball and soccer are the popular sports this term, and in summer, cricket is the go-to sport. In primary school, children tend to pick up a sport that is played either at a national or community level. Rarely a day goes by when children aren’t dribbling a ball down the basketball court, lining up for that winning goal in soccer or swinging a bat when it’s cricket season! Children also enjoy skipping outside and silent ball when it’s raining.
Tailoring Activities for Children
Manjit caters for all of the children’s interests in before and after school care. Some activities build on other activities, and this is the beauty of keeping children engaged. Manjit works closely with families and teachers to talk about each child and what interests them. Of course, children also have input into what they can do in each session, allowing them to be creative. For example, using recycled materials to create castles!
Activities are always set up so that children are free to explore, based on their interests. Manjit states, “UNO was played a lot during COVID. I became the UNO expert and children loved winning against me in this game and Connect 4.”
Getting to Know Children in OSHC
Understanding each child is important to be able to contribute to their growth. “I feel that families are the first place before the children attend.”, explains Manjit. Maintaining contact while children are attending the service is also very important. Manjit also keeps an open dialogue with children – she is always available to the children.
Manjit recalls a time where a child was interested in science and to get to know more about this child, they found a book they could read together. Having conversations with children and building a rapport with them allows educators to understand each individual. Manjit says that children are comfortable in telling her what they are interested in and she loves how all the children like to help the younger children.
The Importance of Community Involvement
Manjit likes to attend as many school functions as she can, including orientation days, open days, and chapel. Manjit also has her own children attending school at Lakeside College. She said she loved the school when she commenced at Camp Australia and thinks that it is amazing to have your own children at a school you are working at because you are part of a community.
Updates in monthly newsletters are also included for families, giving them insight into upcoming events and what children have been doing in before and after school care.
Last term, Lakeside College supported the National Handball Championships and one of their star handballers was the lucky recipient of a signed Ash Barty top, donated by the great tennis champion herself. Children are to be commended for displaying good sportsmanship throughout the championships.
What Children Like about Outside School Hours Care
Manjit asked children what they like about attending Outside School Hours Care. Here are some responses:
“After school care is fun and It keeps me entertained.”
“I like the variety of games.”
“I get to play with my friends.”
There are approximately twenty children per week attending before and after school care at Lakeside College. The Your OSHC service has grown with the school, allowing Manjit to welcome new families into Outside School Hours Care. To learn more about Your OSHC, visit https://www.campaustralia.com.au/families/oshc.