Our Pre-Kinder play space consists of a spacious indoor environment, a bathroom with change facilities and toileting facilities. The main playroom is filled with plenty of sunlight that shines through the glass sliding door and large window which overlook the outdoor environment that is shared with the Kindergarten room.
Our Pre-Kinder room caters for children aged between 2 to 3.5 years with a ratio of 1 Early Childhood Educator to 5 children. Our wonderful Educators consist of 2 Educators who hold their Diploma of Early Childhood and Care, 1 Early Childhood Teacher and 2 Educators who are working towards completing their Diploma of Early Childhood and Care.
The world is exciting and new for a Pre-Kinder, everything around them is there for testing, wondering about and investigating. It is a time of huge physical and language development. Our image of a young Pre-Kinder is one who is competent, curious about the world and is seeking an understanding of their identity as an individual.
We carefully consider the Pre-Kinder’s need for firm attachment to reliable and secure educators who act as a springboard for exploration. Young children of this age need to know that their educator is available to be with them, while giving them wings to explore on their own. Support and understanding of young children’s emotional regulation is essential to supporting children to manage the immense emotions they may feel.
The Pre-Kinder’s are encouraged to express themselves as individuals, and are also gradually guided towards basic learning including two of the core learning areas: literacy and numeracy. This requires the children beginning to learn about the alphabet, individual letters and numbers 1-10, with the assistance of beneficial and stimulating resources to make learning exciting and enjoyable.
Our Pre-Kinder curriculum extends out of the nursery’s individualised routines to more generalised group experiences that are predictable yet flexible to individual needs. We believe in a ‘Rich normality’ that is long exposure to materials, experiences and interests of children that support investigation, enquiry and cognitive development.
Our curriculum is focused on building both knowledge and processes for learning. We pay particular attention to the following areas when thinking about our younger children’s program.
This is the temporal part of our planning. It includes the way we structure our day, our relationships, care giving times (self-care, mealtimes, and sleep rituals), gathering times when we come together in small and large groups (music, literacy, basic numeracy, games). At this age, the staff begin to introduce basic literacy and numeracy concepts into the daily gatherings, this includes learning the alphabet song and counting numbers 1-10. This provides for the children who are eager to learn and sets them up for a bright, successful future.
Regular planned times support connection to the environment and real life opportunities, such as gardening and helping set up mealtimes. In these times our interactions support many learning concepts including encouraging language, literacy and numeracy development, social interaction and personal support skills.
Our environment is planned to support children with various interests, to provoke thinking and to support many different types of play both inside and outside. For this reason, we have many stable and large learning zones, full of numerous open ended materials that can serve multiple purposes in play.
We carefully consider and adapt our environments as we observe children’s interests 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.
Some of our environments that we plan for include:
Sandpits, mud patches, water stations, sensory trays and light stations support learning in many ways. Props, loose parts and tools are provided according to the differing focus of the space. We encourage scientific enquiry, problem solving, role-play, manipulation and creativity.
Children are offered access to many art mediums and tools. These are offered across the inside and outside environments, as well as with small group opportunities. Experiences may include, painting, drawing, clay and collage. Exploration in these spaces support learning fine motor skills, ways to represent their thinking about the world and creativity.
Riding bikes, climbing, jumping, throwing, catching and balancing are provided within these environments. These physical challenges are important for developing coordination and fitness but also to promote healthy brain development
Arranging spaces where children are encouraged to design, create patterns, compose and manipulate materials to develop creativity and foundation numeracy skills.
In areas, inside and outside we include home corners, cubby houses and small world play. These spaces provide opportunities for appropriate socialization, language development and understanding of one’s identity.