Children learn by using their senses of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch and the experiences they encounter. Children engage in exploration, experimentation, investigation and imitation in order to make sense of the world around them.
The learning environment (indoor/outdoor) is child centred and provides a mix of explicit instruction alongside opportunities for authentic active engagement in a range of planned and spontaneous play based, meaningful experiences for children. Children are active participants and decision makers in the design of the curriculum; we believe that an emergent curriculum develops a love of learning in children.
We view children as capable, competent co contributors and acknowledge them as active participants in learning. The curriculum will incorporate integrated units, projects, concepts, group/individual work, and hands-on learning; focusing on their individual and group needs, and diverse learning styles, development, culture, interests, ideas, strengths and abilities.
The outdoor environment offers an immense array of possibilities that are not available indoors. Play spaces in natural environments include plants, edible/sensory gardens, sand, digging areas, mud, water and other elements from nature. These spaces invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature.
The curriculum aims to facilitate children’s development in their creative, physical, personal, emotional intelligence, intellectual and social capabilities and their early literacy and numeracy skills.
The curriculum also encompasses the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework [VEYLDF] and the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. The educational program is based on the teacher’s knowledge of child development and the 5 early years outcomes set by the VEYLDF. We aim to achieve optimum outcomes for all and prepare children for a smooth transition to school. You will see references to these outcomes in the educational program, daily reflections, learning stories (portfolios) and transition reports. The educational program is planned to meet the needs of all children/families and the specific needs of individual children.
The teacher’s role is to support, guide, facilitate, scaffold and nurture children’s holistic development whilst being a positive advocate for their rights. An environment is provided which is safe, secure, stimulating, aesthetically pleasing, culturally and developmentally appropriate and which represents children’s diverse home lives and the surrounding community. Research suggests that this approach scaffolds children’s development and provides them with the tools to reach their fullest potential to develop an enthusiasm and love of life-long learning. The teaching practice is guided by the 5 key principles that underpin Belonging, Being, Becoming: the Early Years Framework for Australia (2009).
The 5 Principles are:
1. Secure, respectful, reciprocal relationships
3. High expectations and equity
4. Respect for diversity
5. Ongoing learning and reflective practice.
As well as being guided by to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and Early Child Australia’s ‘Code of Ethics’.