We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher
Our Learning Environment
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)...
The Children's Preschool delivers a curriculum that is guided by the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.
"The Framework forms the foundation for ensuring that children in all early childhood education and care settings experience quality teaching and learning. It has a specific emphasis on play-based learning and recognises the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development." EYLF, p5 (2009)
Play-based learning: a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations. EYLF, p 6 (2009)
Our Approach to learning....
At The Children's Preschool, we have an intergrated, holistic approach to children's learning.
We recognise the connectedness of mind, body and spirit as being parallel to children's physical,social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well as intellectual aspects of learning. We promote in children a deeper understanding of their connectedness with the natural world and the interdependence between people, plants, animals and respect of our land.
We want children to feel happy, safe and secure in their preschool environment and develop trusting relationships with educators. Our experience informs us this needs to be established, for learning to take place. We believe first and foremost learning must be fun.
Our intergrated learning environment, sees multi-age grouping, bringing together children aged 3 to 5 years old. This offers unique opportunities for learning and development. One of the greatest ways children learn is from each other rather than adults.
The benefits of learning from younger or older peers is significant.
Children develop friendships and engage in learning just as they would in same single age settings with the addition of being able to access peer support and lead learning for other children. These opportunities offer children the prospects to develop more sophisticated social skills.
Children are able to spend longer periods of time with the same teacher,as there is no need to change rooms.
All educators work together to support each other and the children. This allows the child's primary teacher to develop a deeper understanding of a child’s strengths and needs, and is therefore in a better position to support the child’s learning.
Children develop a sense of family with their peers. They become a "family of learners" who support and care for each other.
Older children have the opportunity to serve as mentors and to take on leadership roles.
Older children model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving, and younger children are able to accomplish tasks they could not do without the assistance of older children. This dynamic increases the older child’s level of independence and competence.
Children are more likely to cooperate than compete. The spirit of cooperation and caring makes it possible for children to help each other as individuals, not see each other as competitors.
Younger children tend to develop more complex language and types of play.
Our Learning Centres.....
Our learning environment offers a wide variety of experiences and flexible spaces that allow children to learn effectively, indoors and outdoors through the use of 'Learning Centres'.
At 'Learning Centres', children are invited to take charge of their learning, by making choices at centers and with project work. This sense of "ownership" and self-direction is the foundation for lifelong learning
Children are supported to access resources, materials and experiences that match their interests and skills as well as those that challenge them to extend their capabilities.
Our Educational Program ...
Educators plan or assess with a focus on a particular component of learning, they view children’s learning as integrated and interconnected.
The planned educational program provides a balance of intentional and spontaneous learning opportunities.
The children regularly engage in inquiry based project work evolving from their interests, knowledge and conversations with educators and with each other. We listen to what families tell us about their children. Our project work enables children to socially construct knowledge and gain an in-depth understanding of a topic that is important to them. Children learn best when they are interested.
There is an emphasis on the creative arts within the preschool program, Our educators research methods of extending children's learning to encompass literacy, numeracy and science. Educators scaffold children's current understandings and develop further knowledge of a variety of topics.
Our environment fosters independent learning and opportunties for group work. Children collaborate with same aged peers, enagaging in planned learning experiences specific to their age and understandings.
We ensure that the resource's and materials we provide are consistent for extended periods to allow children to develop familiarity and build upon previous experiences. We understand that children are developing vital skills and a stable environment is critical to their learning.
Each educator is responsible for a small group of children. They will be there primary teacher throughout their learning journey.
Educators plans for each child and for small groups using the (EYLF) Early Years Planning cycle in which we:
Identify children's strengths and interests through observations of the children at play. We also speak to children's favourite people...their families.
Plan what learning is possible.
Plan for short term and long term learning.
Develop our lesson plan and how we will design the environment for learning. We ensure that the learning is meaningful to the children.
Reflect, evaluate and document the learning taking place to inform what we will do next.
Families are involved in every aspect of their child's learning on a daily basis.
We recognise the connections between children, families and communities and the importance of reciprocal relationships and partnerships for learning.
The Additional Teacher.... Our Outdoor Environment
We view the natural environment as significant to children's learning. We spend time developing the children's curiosity and understanding of nature and it's most precious resources. We go back to basics. It is true, the simple things in life are the best. Nature in it's simplicity offers an abundance of learning opportunities. We challenge the children's current thinking and advocate for children to become divergent thinkers and be knowledgeable about sustainable environments.
At our centre the outdoor environment is reflective of the indoor environment. You will often see a simultaneous indoor and outdoor program daily. This provides children with the choice to work and play in both learning spaces throughout the day.
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the National Quality Standard (NQS) acknowledge the importance of outdoor learning environments in children's learning:
"Outdoor learning spaces are a feature of Australian learning environments. They offer a vast array of possibilities not available indoors. Play spaces in natural environments include plants, trees, edible gardens, sand, rocks, mud, water and other elements from nature. These spaces invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk-taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature. They foster an appreciation of the natural environment, develop environmental awareness and provide a platform for ongoing environmental education" (EYLF, p 16(2009)
Spanish Learning Program
We now offer Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program. Ella is a fun, digital, play based language learning program for children in preschool. It is an Australian governement intiative designed to encourage children to learn a new language.
Learning another language helps with the development of English language in addition to any other home language. Young children are capable of learning more than one language at the same time. Children who are exposed to two or more languages gain more experience in language learning systems. They also gain skills that will help in reading and writing.
ELLA's Key Objectives are to:
Introduce children to words, sentences and songs in a language other than English
Give children opportunties to recognise sounds and concepts of language
Provide children with appropriate experience and practice in the language
Provide engaging and educational play - based language learning experience
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