Our Unique Educational Curriculum
Our Early Childhood Education Curriculum, covering all ages from Babies to Kindergarten, is unique, and has been carefully crafted to include the best of contemporary educational and care theories and practices. It incorporates many enrichment features. The Curriculum is a balance of a structured Montessori Program and globally recognised excellent Early Childhood Education philosophies and practices. We research current as well as time tested theories and best practices in Early Education and Care, and explore optimal ways to blend them into our Programs.
Our Education program was rated as Exceeding the National Quality Standard in our last Assessment. Our commitment to ongoing quality improvement, through research and staff Professional Development, was praised by the Assessor.
Our Centre Philosophy is the foundation of our Educational Curriculum. Our Educators believe in children’s innate abilities and inborn drive to learn. Our picture of the child aligns with the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Each child is regarded as being strong, competent, full of resources and the constructor and co-constructor of their own knowledge and understanding. We also believe that children are creative, curious and valued members of our centre community.
We utilise the Vision, Principles, Practices, and Outcomes of the Nationally mandated Early Years Learning Framework, when formulating our programs for each age group. The Early Years Learning Framework designates play based learning, which is centred around the children’s interests. It also recognises the crucial role of families in the education of their children. The Framework includes the requirement for intentional teaching, as well as allowing for freedom to follow emerging themes and interests of the children. It specifies a holistic and individualised approach to the care and education of each child. It endorses our belief that the well-being of each child in our care is an essential for their learning. At our Centre children of all ages thrive in the happy, friendly, caring environment.
The Learning Outcomes from the Early Years Learning Program are designed to capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children across the birth to five years age range.
The outcomes are:
• Children have a strong sense of identity
• Children are connected with and contribute to their world
• Children have a strong sense of well-being
• Children are confident and involved learners
• Children are effective communicators
Our Educational Program is additionally enhanced with a Montessori Program, delivered by an experienced, qualified Montessori Early Childhood Education Teacher. Montessori Philosophy also aligns well with our own beliefs and values, and supplies the added value of a structured learning program. Through using specially designed materials, the children gain hands on knowledge of Mathematics, Language, and Spatial Concepts. Practical Life activities, which focus on children’s self help and independence in every day experience, are integrated into the Program of each room daily. This begins with our Babies, and continues throughout the centre. The Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Cultural materials are used by the both the 3 and 4 year old Kindergartens. Montessori Education is integrated into the holistic program.
Our Unique Kindergarten Program is approved by the Department of Education and Child Development and the Universal Access Program. It is delivered by two registered Early Childhood Teachers, with Bethany delivering the Montessori Program. In Kindergarten we have an emphasis on assisting the children with the skills, dispositions, social and emotional attributes which contribute to a successful transition to school. We co-ordinate with local primary schools, and the feedback we have received is that children are “more than ready for school”.
The curriculum includes dance, music, drama, arts and creativity, physical activities, languages, signing, social and emotional development, communication, cultural understanding, environmental understanding, excursions and visits from community helpers such as fire engines, children’s farm, Burns Trust, dental programs and multi-cultural experiences. We have a special music and movement program which is very popular. Babies enjoy learning signing as it helps us to understand their needs.
The three year old Kindergarten offers the same Curriculum as the pre-school Kindy, at an age appropriate level. In the Pre-Kindy Room children are growing more independent, and developing attributes of concentration, co-operation, and increasing their physical and cognitive skills. The close association with Kindergarten means that they learn from their older peers. Self-help is promoted, and they cut their own fruit, and assist with meal serving and clearing. They have regular sessions with the Montessori teacher using the structured Montessori equipment. Excursions and incursions are also part of their program.
We focus on social and emotional well-being, in the Baby Room, Junior Toddler Room and Toddler Room. We nurture children to enhance their feelings of belonging, and trust in our educators. Babies follow home routines as much as possible. We promote self help and physical skills, so children feel self confident and are beginning to learn independence. We also focus on language development, and learning to understand about others, and to play with others. Other activities include art and crafts, music and movement, maths, science and understanding about families, the community, the environment and other cultures.
Our unique outdoor area caters to the developing of the full range of physical skills. The lawn area provides free space to run and play. There is a large area of soft-fall, for safety when climbing and balancing. Extensive bike tracks encourage skill development and social play. The beautiful nature yard encourages exploration, experimenting, sensory experiences and creativity. Large sandpits are popular with all age groups. The extensive verandahs can be used for quiet activities and pretend and role playing.
Crafting a balanced educational program which combines all these elements is a complex task. Our Educators have ongoing professional development at workshops and conferences to enrich their knowledge. All Educators reflect on their practice, and collaborate with each other and families to ensure optimal outcomes for each child. Observations in all areas of children’s development and education are recorded regularly. We have access to external professionals who we can call on if the educator and family have concerns in any area of children’s development.
We aspire to partner with parents and families, in the care and education of their children. We ask for and value parent feedback and comments on our Curriculum and Programs, and their advice to us regarding their own children. We send digital records and photos to parents regularly through the Parent Portal, and give verbal updates on pick-up and drop off. Parents are welcome to book time to speak to the Educators for more information sharing.