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Haileybury Playtime Brings Smiles to ELC Children

NEWS 30 Sept 2021

Some familiar faces made their debut during Haileybury’s latest initiative for ELC children and their families.

The launch of Haileybury Playtime – a half-hour weekly online show that includes music, literacy, STEM and Chinese segments – featured highlights such as Vice Principal Scott Doran playing guitar and singing about the seasons and Head of Newlands ELC, Lisa Christopher, reading a story called Titch.

STEM teacher, Sakan Pyseth, performed an experiment demonstrating the effects of gravity on rain and ELC educator Silvia Wang read The Very Hungry Caterpillar in English and Chinese.

News - ELC Playtime
Mr Pyseth performed an experiment demonstrating the effects of gravity

Future episodes of Haileybury Playtime will also incorporate Art, PE, Drama, Dance and Yoga and the shows have been created as part of the @Home with Haileybury series to support ELC students and families as they continue online learning.

The first episode of Playtime saw 61 ELC families tune in.

“We have an enormous range of talent among our ELC educators and we wanted to create something that pulled those talents into one valuable resource that can be shared among all our families,” says Haileybury’s Head of Digital, Michelle Dennis.

“Each episode has a different theme and in addition to our live sessions, parents and children have access to learning resources that they can use when it suits them. Many parents are having to juggle a lot of different things, so we are trying to make sure that we support families in a way that best suits them.”

News - ELC Playtime
Head of Digital, Michelle Dennis, prepares the ELC Playtime set

The next episode will focus on different ways of communicating and will include some special lessons in AUSLAN says, Ms Dennis.

Bringing the show to life has seen Ms Dennis work with technicians and create COVID safe schedule for the teacher talent, run tests and create a colourful Playtime set. The efforts have been well-received, based on the feedback of ELC children and parents so far.

Emma Torcasio watched the premiere of Playtime with her daughter, Lizzy.

“Like all the other parents, we would love to have all our children back in the classroom but to take a positive out of this experience, I have been finding the online home learning a great opportunity to witness some of the teaching methods and to watch Lizzy’s level of engagement with the various activities,” says Ms Torcasio.

News - ELC Playtime
Lizzy Torcasio enjoying ELC Playtime at home

“Lizzy and her younger brother were both occupied and amused by the ELC Playtime webinar—meaning I was able to drink my coffee while it was still hot! The variety of presenters and the stories, music and science kept them engaged the whole time. They particularly enjoyed hearing The Very Hungry Caterpillar read in English and Chinese and I was surprised to hear that Lizzy already knew some Chinese words.”

Dr Rachel Pollitt, Director of Early Learning at Haileybury, hopes that as Playtime expands there will be opportunities to collaborate and record contributions from each campus.

“Thank you to all our educators and teachers who have worked so hard to make this happen and thank you to Michelle Dennis for her innovative thinking. It is terrific to belong to such an innovative and supportive school community,” says Dr Pollitt.

“Haileybury Playtime is a wonderful addition to our @Home with Haileybury program. Thank you to everyone for supporting this concept. Stand by to see some of our new stars on screen—the children will be thrilled.”