Our program provides a range of planned and spontaneous learning experiences each day. They aim to provide a balance of experiences including:
•Indoor and Outdoor;
•Active and passive;
•Sensory and hands on;
•Individual, small and larger group experiences.
Learning experiences are planned based on the children’s interests (individual and group) and their individual strengths and abilities. These are identified by staff via observations of each child, through our conversations with families on home experiences & expectations, and through our educator’s reflections on improvements to the curriculum. Learning experiences are play-based which we believe encourages exploration, curiosity and creativity. According to The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) for Australia (2009) ‘play-based learning is a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations’.
The EYLF is a guiding document used to support our educators in their assessment and planning of experiences for the children. The document encompasses Principles and Practices, which are based on contemporary theories and research highlighting how children’s learning occurs during the early childhood years, along with 5 Learning Outcomes which guide the program of learning (refer to Figure 1: Elements of the EYLF).
In addition to this, our preschool is assessed through the National Quality Standard (NQS), applicable to all early childhood education and care services Australia wide. As such, these standards guide many decisions and practices which occur in the preschool and underpin a continuous approach to quality improvement in the preschool. The 7 Quality Areas of the NQS are:
1.Educational program and practice
2.Children’s health and safety
5.Relationships with children
6.Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
7.Governance and leadership
Our educational program aims to develop the whole child, and includes experiences across all learning areas. It is our aim to prepare each child as a confident independent learner, who is curious and creative, develops problem solving abilities through questioning and investigating, shows persistence in their play, can transfer their learning across contexts and resource their own learning. This type of learning is evident across the day as the children participate in projects, explore and create with “loose part” resources that can be used in a variety of ways and for different purposes.
To allow children uninterrupted periods of time for their learning, exploration and development, our preschool adopts an indoor / outdoor flexible routine, allowing children autonomy in their movements throughout our environment. This strategy allows children the opportunity to expel energy through gross motor and sensory experiences when the need arises, and supports their active engagement in other experiences requiring a deeper level of thinking or when challenging themselves with new skills and abilities.
Our Transition to School Program begins the moment your child enters preschool, regardless of age. Experiences are offered within our daily program, seeking to equip each child with the social and emotional skills they require to make an easy transition into the school environment. Pre literacy and numeracy concepts are included throughout our play based program, with an aim to equip each child with awareness to be built upon on starting Kindergarten.
Children also participate in a daily group time program focused on developing children’s listening, attention, literacy, numeracy, communication and inquiry/questioning skills at 9.30am daily. It is important that your child arrives for this key learning period, where many skills and concepts are taught at this time. Getting used to arriving on time to preschool as a set time will also help to prepare your family for arriving at school in time once they start Kindergarten.
As a Christian preschool, we also value the spiritual development of each child. A daily Bible story grouptime occurs daily, and incorporates simple biblical truths which emphasise that
1.God made me
2.God loves me
3.Jesus wants to be my friend forever
Each child’s progress is closely observed, monitored and documented by staff. This documentation is available to families to view via the HubHello Educate web based program. Families will receive a login email to activate their account, and once completed, will receive email notifications when new documents are posted to view. These include observations, cycles of planning or follow up learning experiences and the preschool program outlining all experiences on offer to children across the week. A comment feature is provided within each document, and we encourage families to provide your thoughts or ideas to assist in our planning, but also to engage with the educators about any questions you may have about your child’s progress and learning.