Our Kindergarten play space consists of a spacious indoor environment including a bathroom with toileting facilities. Our Kindergarten room caters for children aged between 3 years to 6 years with a ratio of 1 Early Childhood Educator to 10 children. Our wonderful Educators consist of a team of two Teachers who are both 4 year trained Early Childhood teachers (Bachelor of Early Childhood Education), both having extensive experience working alongside children within formal education from Kindergarten to year 3 and are mothers themselves.
Kindergarten operates between 8.00am to 3.30pm but you can access care from the hours between 7am to 5.30pm like the rest of our service.
Parts of the day are spent interacting within their group, this includes arriving, morning greeting, group discussions and activities, intentional teaching sessions, sleeping/resting and meal times. Other parts of the day allow children the opportunity to explore both indoors and outdoors at their own pace.
Our environments both inside and outside are planned to support children across many interests, to provoke thinking and to support various types of play. We have many stable and large learning zones, full of numerous open ended materials that can serve multiple purposes in play. These environments build on the learning that occurred in the younger rooms but are extended to support goals for Kindy age children.
We carefully consider and adapt our environments as we see what children are focusing on and the development we wish to promote. We strongly believe that long exposure to areas and materials give children a sense of security, it is also a way to encourage deep investigation, imagination, creativity, problem solving and social skills. Large quantities of open ended materials which we call ‘Loose Parts’ are to be found in most areas of the center. These unstructured materials are open to the interpretation of the children.
Some of our environments that we plan for include:
- Visual art spaces where we offer a large array of materials including paint, collage, play dough, drawing.
- Roleplay spaces where children can develop understandings of community and the world around us.
- Large natural play spaces include, Large fort, Passionfruit hut, Cubby house, Bamboo garden, Sandpit, Mud Kitchen, Veggie/Fruit patch and Animal housing.
- Physical play spaces like bike paths, large climbing zone.
- Construction spaces including blocks, materials for structure and manipulative materials.
Kindergarten age children are developing understandings of themselves and their environment at an incredible rate. They are striving for independence, have immense curiosity about the world and are developing their social identity. Three to five-year olds are rapidly developing a more complex understanding of concepts and are highly motivated to explore and set challenges for themselves. We view these children as competent individuals who are developing their understanding of citizenship and finding their agentic voice. They have a desire to make connections with others and to research and wonder about the world around them. We support their development of questions and help them seek solutions, encouraging them to theorise and test out ideas. We help children develop a cooperative culture in the rooms that supports taking risks and expressing ideas.
We place high value on the consideration of relationships and understand that young children’s burgeoning independence needs to be carefully supported. Educators act as a consistent connection and safe space to be a springboard for children to engage in many experiences.
Kindergarten children need opportunities to explore and develop a wide range of skills in physicality, language, numeracy, socialization, emotional and cognitive development. It is important that we provide high quality arts experiences in both materials and skill building. We believe that children are constructing understandings and concepts, as they use the arts as a vehicle for self-expression and representation of the world around us.
Our curriculum is built with an understanding that learning occurs for young children in a way that builds upon previous learned experiences and skills in a comfortable and familiar way, with people that are important to each child. We create opportunities for exploration and creativity in a variety of planned environments and experiences. This supports development across many learning areas in both small and large groups.
Our Kindergarten classes use the Western Australian Kindergarten Learning Guidelines (WAKLG). These guidelines provide advice for planning, interacting with children, monitoring and assessing, and sharing information in a Kindergarten context. The WAKLG extends and elaborates on the concepts in the EYLF.
Embedded learning is created as we recognise the need for consistent yet flexible routines and rituals where children can predict the daily rhythm of life at the Centre. With these rituals, we have many opportunities for the embedded learning of language, literacy, numeracy, social skills, sustainability and social justice, through rich interactions and ongoing shared responsibilities of children and educators. This building of social skill and emotional regulation are supported through both planned regular experiences and spontaneous moments, with goals for individual children. Within the regular rhythm of the day children will experience times to come together socially at meal times, periods where they can rest or participate in other experiences, as well as real life experiences such as gardening and cooking.
Times for more formal group meetings of reflection and discussion are daily occurrences and help form part of the identity of each separate kindergarten group. Sessions in music, Literacy and numeracy occur at regular times each day.
We also support the Abecedarian approach where all children are given opportunities to engage in learning games, conversational reading and embedded language experiences.
Our program is based on observations of the capabilities and interests of each child. It is a strongly emergent curriculum where children become co constructors of the world around them. This means that educators observe, support and facilitate learning in areas that the children are interested in extending and thinking about.
Educators use the learning outcomes in the Early Years Learning Framework to plan for and implement learning goals as children play in our large learning spaces. Play is supported in many ways across our day as it is children’s way of refining skills, expressing ideas, investigating, interpreting and exploring the world around them.