"Think left and think right
and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up
if only you try!"
- Dr Seuss
Our program is influenced by a variety of pedagogical influences (Reggio Emilia, Steiner, Montessori) and theorists (Vygotsky, Gardener, Piaget), collaborative relationships with families, community, the Early Years Learning Framework, the National Quality Standards and Child Safe Standards (2022).
Our program, philosophy and practice links to the Early Years Framework … “Being, belonging and becoming”.
Our Centre believes that all children, families and educators play a vital role within the kindergarten. Our preschool is a place where we can grow, contribute, evolve, question and share ideas. Our focus is on respect for others and connecting with each other. This includes our Acknowledgement to Country and teaching of Australia’s First People. We discuss our history in the belief that all children are able to express their culture and that our past and present unites us and makes us stronger. We actively facilitate participation and inclusion for all children and their families.
Our reflective practice means we have an ongoing review through which current practices are examined, outcomes reviewed and new ideas generated.
Play is the basis of our program. Through play the children learn how to experiment, problem solve, explore, hypothesize, discover, test their ideas, modify their ideas, apply and communicate their understanding.
We encourage children to become a team of learners (community) by developing socially co-operative behaviours through guided play using the zones of regulation and role plays to help children recognize others feelings, demonstrate empathy, negotiation and collaboration through team work and sharing in decision making within a group setting.
Oral language and communication are critical factors in children’s learning, and in their development of play. By creating an environment that is ‘language rich’, we enable children to acquire and utilize both verbal and symbolic language in a meaningful way, through play and a variety of activities, with more mature children scaffolding younger children in their learning. We plan for both work and play, as they are interdependent and we believe that learning should be fun. S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) are areas that are explored meaningfully within our programs.
At our pre-school we believe that children are capable and competent. The children are encouraged to ‘listen’ (the child’s agency) to each other’s ideas and to respect each other’s learning and differences within our pre-school community. We encourage children to demonstrate care and respect for themselves, their environment, for each other’s work and each other. We encourage children to interact with others with care, empathy and respect. The children are exposed to a great number of experiences and outcomes in preparation for community living, not just school.
These are essential skills to create life-long learners within our preschool community and beyond.
We believe in creating an aesthetically pleasing and inviting environment for children to explore and learn in, in an environment that respects that all children are unique and are valuable members of the group. Each component of our preschool; our inside Kinder area, the outdoor Kinder area and Bush Kinder components weave together to create similarities and differences in our beautiful learning spaces.
At Yarra Warra Preschool we see families as rich resources and we encourage families to share their knowledge to collaborate in the children’s learning. We value an environment that promotes partnership, embracing and acknowledging that diversity exists within the community, we value the skills, insights and knowledge of family members whose participation enriches the program, and our understanding of partnerships with families.
We value open ended experiences and also activities that are outcome focused. Independent learners are resourceful, respectful and work co-operatively (collaborate, negotiate, share strengths, teamwork, contribute and communicate). Critical thinkers make choices, hypothesize, experiment, explore, modify ideas, communicate their understanding, problem solve, reflect on problems, which empowers children as learners. Educators focus on children’s skills and setting objectives, with a strength-based approach. Intentional teaching and children’s ideas are woven together to create our program with a focus on slow pedagogy and floor documentation. Our two-year curriculum ensures a shared outlook.
Our governance ensures all aspects of the child safe standards (1-11) are incorporated into our programming and practice.
Journals are used to record each child’s journey and experiences during their Kindergarten year. We document the children’s learning in our group documentation folder as a link between home and Kinder, and collaborate with families and specialists to ensure the best start for all children with regular Kinder News via email, phone consultations and meetings with parents to ensure positive communication between home and Kinder.
At the end of their four-year-old Kindergarten year children will receive a transition statement to link with their school.
Our philosophy is to be reviewed annually.