This page is to give you some additional information about our preschool and how we support children’s learning.
What is our Curriculum
The “curriculum” is the term that we use to describe all of the activities and routines that are planned and unplanned during your child’s day e.g. daily routines, the physical environment, , experiences, and interactions. Parents and careers are encouraged make suggestions about experiences that could be helpful to their child’s education and care.
Marks Point Preschool implements a curriculum supporting the image of the whole child, believing that children play and learn through a flexible child centred program, interactions with others and their environment. Our curriculum is engaging and unique to our service. It incorporates our belief in the value of play, the environment as the 3rd teacher and the National Early Years Learning Framework. Curriculum planning is underpinned by the theoretical approaches identified as informing our educational practices – Reggio Emilia, Vygotsky, Piaget and Bronfenbrenner being our main influences.
Our curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs and interests of each child it is flexible, recognising the need for each child to develop at their own pace. The national ‘The Early Years Learning Framework, (ELYF) Belonging Being and Becoming’ is the curriculum document that Marks Point Preschool is guided by and sets out principles, practices and outcomes that form the foundations for educators. This ensures educators curriculum decision to ensure quality teaching and learning outcomes for each child are met. The framework also focuses on building relationships and working in partnership with families through play based experiences. These outcomes cover all developmental areas for young children through to their transition to formal schooling. Copies of this framework are available for families to view at preschool or available online at here.
What is the Early Years Learning Framework – Belonging, Being and Becoming. (EYLF)
The Early Years Learning Framework is a national curriculum framework that guides educator in developing quality early childhood education programs. Having this national framework helps consistency in the delivery of learning programs to young children around Australia. The framework describes three key elements - principles, practices and outcomes to support young children's learning and then transition onto school, educators to reflect on their work and plan appropriate programs for all children in partnership with families.
The Early Years Learning Framework promotes childhood as a time of belonging, being and becoming:
Being - Being in the here and now is significant to children’s self-discovery. Childhood is a special time in life and children need time to just ‘be’—time to have fun playing, try new things, making friends and enjoying the moment.
Becoming – the changes different experiences and circumstances in one’s life bring, help to shape one’s future. As children grow, learn and develop from their experiences they extend their understandings and building relationships which shape the type of adult they will become. Becoming emphasises learning to participate as active and informed citizens in society.
The Early Years Learning Framework – Principles
The principles within the framework underpin practice and reflect theorists, values and beliefs that guide us in progressing children towards achieving the Learning outcomes. The five principles are the following –
Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships.
High Expectations and equity
Respect for diversity
Ongoing learning and reflective practices
The Early Years Learning Framework – Practices
Practices guide educators how Principles are put into action working with children, their families and within our community. These practices set out a selection of pedagogical practices that help educators decide on the best delivery methods to help to learn in a way suited to them. These practices are outlined below.
Responsiveness to children.
Learning through play
Continuity of learning and transitions
Assessment for learning
The Early Years Learning Framework Learning outcomes
These outcomes are what the children work towards developing as they grow through to their transition to school. These are:
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators
The curriculum in practice at Mark Point Preschool.
For each child, preschool will mean being in a group of children who are all reasonably similar in age and capabilities but with unique personalities. We value diversity and encourage children to respect the differences as well as similarities along with developing resilience. We encourage children to take turns, be kind, honest, and to respect the property of others while leaning to take responsibility for their actions.
A “child’s work is play” therefore our curriculum is implemented through a hands-on, play-based approach. As children learn in different ways and at different times this approach allows children to have fun while organising and making sense of their world, developing their skills and knowledge at their own pace. It is our goal to empower the children to develop skills and strategies for successful learning and love of learning they can carry into the future. Thus, educators strategically set the environment to extend these play opportunities through thoughtful intentional teaching practices.
Learning experiences that are provided to foster learning include:
Social skills/ independence, confidence, self esteem
The Creative Arts – Music, Drama, Visual Arts
Physical education/fundamental movement skills, outdoor games
These activities are based around children’s choices, current interest and skill levels. Activities are delivered in a variety of way, such as, teacher lead small or large group, free exploration and experimentation, specific learning stations, peer lead games and activities. Within our large group of children, we have 3 small age/stage groups – Gumnuts, Wattles and Banksia’s these groups will spend a short time each day with a focus educator who will develop age/stage specific sessions for their group.
Older groups engage in different phonic programs and develop early -literacy and numeracy skills building a special workbook of their emerging letter and number development over the year as part of our school readiness program, while younger groups engage in more age appropriate activities in their workbooks.
While curriculum areas are diverse depending on the needs and interests of our preschool community, we also endeavour to cover road safety, water safety, sun safety, healthy bodies and eating and child protection annually. We incorporate these important issues into emerging related interests such as children’s holidays to the beach or riding bikes. This enhanced throughout the year with visits from families who choose to become involved and with community workers such as firemen, police officers, dental nurses etc. Other specialist visitors to the preschool will include performance artists, live theatre, reptile shows, science shows, puppetry and storytellers.
Another big factor supporting our curriculum and learning is our excursions out in to the community particularly to the local primary school as part of our transition to school/ school readiness program. All children regarding their age participate in our excursions.
During the year children, will also learn the importance of supporting others when they plan, help and host special events at the preschool, such as our annual Biggest Morning Tea, Art display afternoons, parent evenings along with our Grandparents and Grandfriends day.
Parents can read about our daily experiences in our day book each afternoon. Parents are encouraged to add input and comment on our day.
Focus Teachers and groups
Each child is allocated a small group to be a part of which has a focus teacher who is responsible for working/ interacting closely with your child. These groups are age based so that teachers can focus intensively during small group time in age/stage developmental outcomes. This educator also ensuring our programs cater for your child’s needs and interests. Although your child has a focus group all educators contribute to your child’s Learning Journey documentation throughout the year. Your child’s focus teacher will be the best educator to share information and their achievements and progress with you during the year, however all educators will know your child.
The underpinning theories at Mark Point Preschool
Recent research on children’s brain development and current theories on how children learn and develop have enhanced our understandings. These theories are regularly reflected on by educators and intentionally incorporated in our teaching practices and linked with our documentation.
Educators view the child as having strengths, abilities and interests and learning through positive relationships. Educators assist children to develop relationships and promote children working together to determine their learning experiences and outcomes. We value the importance of the connections between peer relationships and learning, believing in Vygotsky’s theory “what we do in collaborations today we can achieve independently tomorrow”. Indoor and outdoor curriculum decisions, reflections this where many small and large group experiences and activities are planned to support strong social and peer to peer collaboration.
Educators preplan intentional experiences and spend a great time and care to ensure the environment and materials are set out to empower children to be interested and curious. Our environment is viewed as the “third” teacher and the wonder of new beginnings (Reggio Emillia) and we also believe in Bronfenbrenner’s connections where “the environment influences the child and the child influences the environment”. Children are then able to explore, develop ideas and work collaboratively with educators and peers on solving questions and develop projects.
We believe in providing sufficient space and time to allow for activity, reflection and revisiting. Educators ensure that equipment is accessible and suited to children’s learning, their physical and emotional needs met and they have access to inviting physical environments that allows them choice of experience to engage in, this planning in done partnership with children. With children, as co-creators of the curriculum it supports Piaget’s views “children learn best by discovering for themselves,” respecting and celebrating the individuality and uniqueness of each child as capable learners who are active participants in their learning, decision making and their community. We respect that “play is the answer to how anything new comes about.” (Piaget) and educators will decide when to intervene and the best times for ‘teachable moments’ and learning opportunities.
Displaying the children’s work at the preschool also reflect our theoretical beliefs where presentation is considered very thoughtful by educators. Children’s rights and decision to display or not to display their work will be considered and respected. We see “Every child as an artist” (Picasso) so place emphasis on the creative arts as it offers children the ability to express learning, thoughts and feelings through multiple languages, “the hundred languages of learning” (Malaguzzi). The displays/ wall stories become part of the learning process and are arranged aesthetically and respectfully in places accessible to children and families. All children’s work no matter quality or ability is respected and thought highly of. Reflection on prior work is highly regarded and encouraged.
Portfolio Documentation – Learning Journeys
During the preschool day educators spend time documenting and recording observations on children interactions, learning, their interests, likes dislikes and strengths. As these are compiled a child’s learning journey is created. These learning Journey’s or Portfolios contain photos, observations and work samples, that show children’s learning, progress and achievements over their time at preschool. educator’s use this documentation as a basis for decisions about programming for each child’s individual development and educational needs. From these records information is obtained on individual’s development, growth, and learning and developmental summaries and transition to school statements completed. These Learning Journeys are available for Parents to access at any time and educators will be happy to arrange a time to discuss your child’s progress if you have any concerns or want to know how they are going.
Sunday 19 November 2017
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