The 3 – 4 Year Old Program is often an introduction to formal education for children. With this in mind, we believe the main objectives of 3 – 4 year old kindergarten to be:
These broad term goals, along with those outlined in the Victorian Early Years Framework, make up the Long Term Goals that teachers strive towards with the children.
We provide fixed learning spaces within our environment including: free collage, play dough, easels, messy art, sensory and role play trays, home corner, block corner, book corner, construction area, puzzles, and turn taking games. The props and the games within these areas change over as the children require them to.
We also believe in the children having ownership of their program, so children's ideas, and interests are recorded in the group program and in each child's individual observation book, which is a lovely reminder for children and families of their kinder year.
The 4 – 5 Year Old Program values and respects individuality, diversity, community, family, and the importance of children's part in society.
In reflecting these values the teachers ensure the children and families are involved in the planning of the program, therefore making the kinder program a relevant and interesting part of you and your child's life.
Valuing families: One way we do this is by inviting families to join our sessions and to work with the group sharing special interest, cultures and various professional traits (e.g. doctor, musician, art, cooking).
Children's Portfolios: Throughout the year we also compile individual children's journals/ portfolios which are a record of your child's year. It includes photos of everyday activities and special events, artwork, observations, documentation of children's learning and reflections of friendships made along the way. Children are encouraged to look over these journals throughout the year and they are given an opportunity to reminisce, reflect and make comments.
Teacher / Parent Partnership: We also encourage both the children and families to have regular meetings with the teachers to further discuss their development and interests.
Learning: Teachers recognise that children learn when they are interested, stimulated and having fun therefore we do not run the same curriculum each year, rather we watch, listen, and encourage suggestions from children to help us chart the direction of the program so it truly meets their needs for a developmentally stimulating and emergent curriculum.
Emergent curriculum involves the children exploring their world and evolving their ideas and interest. However as teachers we plan intended learning outcomes for children as a group and as individuals, consistently working to scaffold their learning on every opportunity that arises be that in a formal activity or play-based learning.
Lots of fun: At kinder we do building, constructing, exploring, discovering, painting, drawing, creating, designing, singing, dancing, expressing, communicating, drama and doing – among other things.
Special visitors: We encourage involvement of extended families, friends, and the local community by going on outings/excursions, inviting visitors to our kinder (such as local school children and grandparents), and being involved in community activities, e.g. Queenscliff Music Festival, Children's week and sharing with the three local primary schools.
The most important aspect of the program is to ensure it is FUN!
Our Kindergarten teaching staff are committed to ensuring that our programs meet the needs for the children as a group and as individuals. We follow the National Early Years Learning Framework (Being- recognising the significance of the here and now, Belonging- knowing where or with whom they belong, and Becoming-children's identities, knowledge, understandings and capacities)
Our Programs are designed as an emergent curriculum- meaning that it comes from the children's ideas and interests but will also include adult directed teaching (what is it we would like to teach the children). Some of these adult directed learning experiences include:
Within our program the teachers will compile a range of information about each child through observation and discussion with other teachers, the child and his or her families. This information is documented in photos, learning stories, work samples (art work), videos, anecdotal observations (short written reflections), individual developmental summaries and documentation of group activities.
From these, individual learning visions (goals) are set and may be worked on over a period of weeks/ months. Throughout the year we will observe and continue to document each child's changes in development as they work towards achieving their goal/s.
To illustrate the learning that takes place, photos of the children will be taken and displayed for families, children and staff to view. Accompanied with each picture will be a short description of what was taking place which will be linked to the Early Years Learning Framework Outcomes.
The reasoning and result of teacher directed learning is also displayed for families to view
For more information on the National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) please clink on the following link:
In December 2009, all Australian Governments agreed to a new National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care. This means that all Australian children, regardless of their location, will get the best possible start in life through high quality early childhood education. This Framework will help us to improve our services in the areas that impact on children's development and empower families to make informed choices about which service is best for their child. This was implemented at the beginning of 2012.
As part of this process we are required to review our policies, practices, service and education in relation to:
1. The National Quality Standards,
2. Education and care services National Law and
3. The regulations
We are then assessed and given an appropriate rating. We are yet to be booked in for this but once we do our rating will be displayed for families to consider.
The National Quality Standards has been divided up into 7 areas:
1. Educational program and practise
2. Children's health and Safety
3. Physical environment
4. Staff arrangements
5. Relationships with Children
6. Collaborative partnership with families and community
7. Leadership Service management.
For more information please click on the following link: http://acecqa.gov.au/national-quality-framework/information-sheets/