SAC Playgroup Delivers an Early Love of Learning


If you pass by The Cloisters lawns on a Thursday morning, you’ll notice something new and different. The area is transformed into an indoor-outdoor sanctuary of play and learning, with colourful rugs, sensory stations and a range of activities set up, and Early Years teacher, Olivia Spadavecchia, eagerly awaiting the arrival of parents and caregivers with their young children. Olivia is passionate about the holistic development of young children and ways to facilitate this – most recently, by establishing the SAC Playgroup. Like all of the dedicated Early Years staff, Olivia brings enthusiasm and expertise to create a nurturing environment where learning and play seamlessly intertwine.

The Playgroup is open to children from infancy to school-age, and their parents, grandparents or caregivers. The Early Years teachers craft a warm and inviting atmosphere where every child is free to explore, play and learn, and participate in story-time, song and dance. These activities drive a sense of belonging, build community and interpersonal connections for children and adults alike, whilst promoting creativity and imagination.

The first SAC Playgroup session was held on Thursday February 8, with 29 families participating. Nadine, an Old Scholar of the College, has two young children, Alyssa (23 months) and Nate (4 years old), and says that they were hooked from the first session.

“I love the variety of engaging, educational activities. My children look forward to it every week. And I love meeting and socialising with other parents.”

Jessica, mother of Arlo (7 months), shares similar sentiments, and highlights the value of social interactions for adults, sharing that the “SAC Playgroup has a wonderful community feel. It provides the opportunity for children and their caregivers to meet and chat while the children participate in a range of activities suitable for various ages.”

“Arlo is yet to climb or walk so he loves to roll around on the mat to reach instruments, books and whatever else he is interested in. He enjoys sensory activities such as playdough and water play where he can feel different sensations. Arlo enjoys listening to stories read by Olivia and joining in the action songs with my help.”

The benefits of Playgroup participation are backed by a long, credible history. Catholic Education South Australia fittingly describes Playgroup as, “a time and place for children and families to play, be and belong,” and not-for-profit organisation, Playgroup Australia, states that, “for more than 50 years, playgroups have been a central element of the fabric of Australian society. When we bring together children and their caregivers to play and support each other, we build communities. Playgroups strengthen Australia by addressing the needs of all parents, caregivers and children.” (

Primary Coordinator, Abby Matte, says that, “we as a school community take great pride in welcoming the whole family through our doors, not just the students we educate. Our Playgroup allows us to establish connections with prospective, new and current families, and children who attend become familiar with our SAC environment and experience our Hospitality from their earliest years. Hospitality is one of our core values, and the SAC Playgroup is yet another extension of that, and it’s something that we hope to see grow in years to come.”

The SAC Playgroup is open from 9am-10:30am every Thursday within the Out of School Hours Care area in The Cloisters at the College. If you would like to register for Playgroup, or if you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Ms Maddie Kelly
Marketing & Communications Team