Category Archives: The Blog

Check out the latest news and stories from Aeoncademy’s journey into Education through Creativity!

Here, you can check out:

What’s on at the Centre, and

How our Creative Spark is being nurtured.

Homeless Aeoncademy in 2019?

Where will we be in 2019?  Well that’s up to you!

standing together

Dear Community,

Some of you may be aware that our facilities license at Yarralumla Primary School(YPS) is up for renewal at the end of this year. While we had hoped to smoothly transition into a new license it has become clear that the Principal wishes to offer our position up for tender.

It is with great sadness that we announce that this is the last straw for Aeoncademy at YPS. The announcement that we will be forced to go through a tender process is a clear expression that the school management does not support us, despite our efforts for 15 years to develop a partnership in the education and care of children. It is also incredibly disturbing and disruptive to the immediate running of our tiny service; we neither have the resources nor the time to compete with large franchise child care providers. We need a school that supports us in our efforts to provide quality care. Our families need continuity, our workers need some job security.

Aeoncademy is unique, we are a single, small centre run by family and friends. For 15 years, thousands of children across Canberra have grown up in our service, sometimes working their first jobs with us. Our staff all work directly with children providing quality care in a sea of average to poor childcare options. Our life long dream of becoming a not-for-profit is about to be realised in July. These are the projects we need to focus on, not a looming tender process for our right to exist.

This facilities tender process risks repeating the mistakes recently seen in NSW where dollars have trumped quality and large, base level, multi-service, operators have ousted smaller, individual childcare providers. The tender process is not being enforced upon schools by the ACT Education Directorate. YPS management has chosen this option.

If you have a child at YPS, in addition to filling out the after school care survey by June 29th, please contact your school’s Principal ( rohan.evans@ed.act.edu.au ) and tell him NOT to tender out his school’s child care service facilities license and to automatically renew Aeoncademy’s license. He has discretionary powers that can be used to support our program which has a proven track record of excellence. His duty is to listen to the opinions of families attending YPS.

If you love Aeoncademy for our vacation programs, our work experience and mentoring opportunities, our community engagement and our excellent workers who all rely on us for employment please also write directly to the current ACT Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development Yvette Berry MLA ( Berry@act.gov.au) to express your support of the automatic renewal of Aeoncademy’s license and rejection of any tender process.  It would be helpful to Cc that email to the YPS Principal.

Thank you for your ongoing support!

The Aeoncademy Team.

Before school care with mindful movement and breakfast.

Good Morning!

We have had a number of parents enquiring about Before School Care especially in the current climate of concern for child safety in the morning.

Yarralumla Primary will support us in trialling this service which will initially run from 7.45 to 9am Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the school hall.

balance

Prices will start from $15 a session but this will vary as we sort out our numbers and staffing etc. Going forward we can provide a cooked breakfast option too (mmmm pancakes) but we will start with a basic cereal option for all children attending.

homemade muesli

Our excellent facilitators that run the afternoon sessions will be looking after your children in a safe environment with a chance to do some mindful movement (meditative & relaxing movements and stretches) to prepare children for the school day.

Please spread the word and contact us as soon as possible so we can start up before term 3 in week 10.

Call 61423268 or info@aeoncademy.com

Aeoncademy is going Not-For-Profit

Here we are roaring through the year and as you may have heard …it’s our FIFTEENTH YEAR! This is no small thing for us, as a small family business we have seen many changes over the years, in our host school Yarralumla Primary School, in childcare expectations and in Canberra.  As the owners and directors, Mathew and Teffany are now ready to establish Aeoncademy as the entity it has been moving towards for so many years: as a not-for-profit social enterprise.

 

Image courtesy NGA
Sprout – Sculpture Garden Sunday 2010

 

What does this mean?!

It doesn’t mean too much to the day-to-day activities of our current families and workers, we will still be running the same amazing programs, classes and open days. It does however open the door for more involvement for people who are really interested in our philosophy of ‘education through creativity’ and ‘nurturing the creative spark’.  This change will also enable us to strengthen our relationships with other cultural organisations thereby enriching our programs.

Parties
Aeoncademy’s 10th Birthday Party

 

How can I get involved?

Send us an email and we’ll put you on our active members list, future plans involve gardening, cooking, playing with your kids, helping with Open Days, writing grants etc, etc

I liked that food!
Yum Yum Yum!

I don’t want to do anything else! I’m busy.

Don’t worry we wont make you. This change is about increasing opportunities for people who want/have time to collaborate and partner. We appreciate you for choosing our service already. We intend for this move to help us keep evolving and improving.

Young Painter

Will anything change at the centre?

Business as usual here. Things will only get better.

 

Business as usual

Will fees go down?

Fee structure will stay the same and you can rest assured that all your money is being reinvested in the quality of our Not-For-Profit service.

Get Involved!

We look forward to your enquiries, responses and involvement!

We are looking for a Caterer!

looking for the perfect caterer
a perfect job for someone…

Sadly Ruth of Scrumpers Garden is leaving us to focus on her growing Farmers Market commitments. So we are looking for a caterer. If you ever wanted to get involved with catering with an ethical, organic and sustainable focus or believe healthy food makes a real difference in peoples lives, then you might like working with us!

Ramadan for beginners

Every year Ramadan begins with a lot of questions from my friends and colleagues. I told my colleague (name not identified due to privacy reasons 😉) that the start of Ramadan is determined by sighting of the new moon. She asked if anyone who fasts needs to sight the moon, I told her that if anyone in Muslim community sights the moon, then Ramadan is announced, and she goes “oh! What if a person is hallucinating and says he saw the moon?? So, I thought will write a little bit about Ramadan to resolve the mystery.

Saadia – answers all your questions!

 

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whenever you sight the new moon (of the month of Ramadan) observe fast”.

Many places still depend on someone seeing the new moon with the naked eye. As a result, Ramadan’s start can vary from place to place because of weather conditions and other factors that affect how easily the moon is seen. Some of us rely on technological advancement in predicting the birth of new moon, but whatever the personal choice, we all agree that Ramadan begins with a new moon. An evidence of a sane, mature, honest and pious Muslim irrespective of male or female will suffice to prove the appearance, sighting of moon if the sky is over cast.

During Ramadan, observers are expected to abstain from food, drink and other pleasures from dawn to dusk. Removing these comforts from daily routine is intended to focus the mind on prayer, spirituality and charity and to purify the body and mind. Several different groups are excused from fasting during Ramadan; pregnant women, people who are mentally or physically ill, and sometimes women who are breastfeeding (they can decide for themselves if they feel fit to fast).

 

delicious dates

We break the fast when the evening call to prayer is made (or when the alarm goes off on Muslim prayer App). Every country has its own specialities and mostly the ‘mums’ show off their culinary skills to make food for ‘iftaar’ (the meal at the time of breaking fast). We break the fast with a date and some snacks (potato/chilli/chicken pakoras, chaat, samosas, damn I am fasting have to stop) followed by a dinner. Then it’s off to bed for a few hours of sleep before it’s time to wake up and start all over again (Sehri/suhoor – the meal before the morning prayer).

What if you look at somebody’s food? LoL! So, nothing happens by just looking at it, and to my friends who are not fasting, it is NOT okay if you want to eat your juicy kebab in front of me when I am fasting!

So, it’s a complete fast? Not even water? Yup! Not even water. Only sweet oxygen till we break the fast.

Do you stuff yourself with food after sunset? Totally depends! Some people indulge to the point of not being able to leave the couch (guilty as charged), while others will try to eat balanced meals full of nutrients.

At the end of Ramadan there is a big three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. It’s kind of like the Muslim version of Christmas, in the sense that it’s a religious holiday where everyone comes together for big meals with family and friends, exchanges present (hint for Teffany), and generally have a lovely time.

Ramadan Kareem everyone!

P.S I’ll be breaking my fast with my family on two working days, therefore the office will be open from 12:00pm till 4pm on Friday May 25th and June 8th, 2018). Please make your inquiries before 4pm.

 

 

 

Winter Open Day is Coming!

all welcome to the Winter Open Day
Winter Open day 2018

Call in for 10 minutes or a day to enjoy homemade soup and a play with clay, or get involved with a Vala live action game. You might even like to grab a 20% discount on our amazing Winter vacation all day workshops ranging from oil painting to Boffer weapon master classes…

see here for a sneak preview so you can plan your Saturday

The Winter Program

 

Garden Bee creates a buzzzzzz

Moving the earth
The earth movers
How to Garden Bee
Garden Bee

On Friday 11th May a few daring souls braved the cold to attend our garden bee. Fortified with pumpkin soup and focaccia loaded with fresh herbs from our herb garden students, aeoncademy staff, students and volunteers helped to move garden beds, shift soil, rake leaves, plant bulbs, seedlings and even weed! As a result the front has been transformed into a new design ready to explode into action in Spring.

Unstoppable worker
A boy and his Wheelbarrow
homemade and delicious
Soup Glorious Soup
all about gardening
A Keen Gardener
they love to cook
Focaccia Makers

 

Over the coming months further gardening will continue the transformation of this space along with the garden beds into an interactive cornucopia of edible and sensory plants. We look forward to the nature play opportunities as well as nourishment this place is going to provide for our students and programs overall.

And never-fear, you can always make the next garden Bee 🙂

 

Nature play- the great outdoors

We are enjoying this incredibly warm and gorgeous Autumn weather and making the most of it by taking our programs outside wherever possible.  Our three main programs; Vala (dramatic adventures), Creative Catalyst ( visual arts) and Sparks (ages 4-7) make use of the outdoors on a daily basis to enjoy all the benefits of some Nature Play.

free time under the plays
Imaginative play under the trees

By looking at the word Kindergarten and thinking about it’s original meaning, ‘garden for the children’ the close associations with young children and the great outdoors are so obvious as to be almost not worth stating.

kids playing in the sand pit
Nature play in the Sand Pit

Yet how much time and what kind of space do children have to spend in an enriching outside environment?

As across the globe we all become more sedentary and urbanised  the benefits of nature play  (activities like digging in soil, walking under trees, having contact with animals etc ) are being proven to have great benefits for all. From improving children’s physical heath, relieving stress and anxiety, improving academic performance, assisting with concentration and personal and social development. The list goes on!

We love living things. These Long Necked Turtles live in the art room

Aeoncademy believes taking the children outside to paint, to make obstacle courses, to build cardboard cities, to role play adventures and to garden are all excellent things to do.  The proof is in the kids behaviour, they love it and respond with enthusiasm to dining al fresco and outdoor group games .

kids running outside
kids playing outdoors

As our garden evolves (Working Bee- Friday 11th May 3-6!) so will the opportunities to interact with living systems; worms, plants, soil and food. As a holistic service we like to connect everything. We eat our meals together, outside when possible. Everyone washes their our dishes and collects food scraps for chickens and the worm farms. All the participants from 4 years olds to teenagers, help pack down the dining room and make space for other activities.

eating outside is great for your appetite
Dining outside

There are opportunities to water the garden, plant seeds and harvest plants that will become part of our meals. Our caterer Ruth Gaha- Morris provides us with healthy, delicious meals sourced organically and locally where ever possible. She loves to present us with incredibly coloured heritage vegetables and food grown from nearby farms to encourage children to diversify their tastes and food tolerances.