The Teachers and Educators of Bundoora Pre-school are passionate in their belief that the wonder and spontaneity of early childhood must be celebrated and preserved for all children. Inherent in their practice is the importance of establishing meaningful educator/child relationships as the basis for developing thorough knowledge of each child.
Our Teachers and Educators believe that their ability to work as team, with a shared vision, is of paramount importance in meeting the needs of the children and optimizing their opportunities for learning. The basis of Bundoora Pre-school’s vision for children’s learning is acknowledgment that children’s lives are characterised by ‘belonging, being and becoming’.
Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.
Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world. Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life. The early childhood years are not solely preparation for the future but also about the present.
Children’s identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships change during childhood. They are shaped by many different events and circumstances. Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow. It emphasizes learning to participate fully and actively in society.
DEEWR (2009) Belonging, Being and Becoming: Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.
Our image of the child
- Each child is unique and their life tells a story. This story is impacted by: their relationships; the role of their family in their life; their culture; the physical environment in which they live; their experiences and their individual personality. All of these factors, along with the skills and knowledge that they have accumulated since birth, contribute to a child’s learning disposition.
- Every child learns, but each does so in their own unique way.
- Children construct their own knowledge. A child’s natural curiosity enables them to actively learn from their peers, from adults and from their environment while exploring their particular interests.
- We believe that children are limitless in their capacity to succeed.
- We believe that all children have the right to participate in a happy, secure learning environment facilitated by qualified, competent and compassionate adults.
How children learn
Children learn through interaction with their peers and adults and through the exploration of their environment – this learning is best achieved through play. Play is the most natural learning paradigm of every child.
Play is vital and provides a wealth of learning opportunities. Through play children can:
- explore different identities and points of view to consolidate their own sense of self and
make sense of the world around them;
- expand their thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn;
- make connections between prior experiences and new learning;
- practise social skills: cooperation, sharing, turn taking and respecting cultural diversity;
- develop effective problem solving strategies;
- develop positive relationships with their peers;
- develop communication skills;
- develop coordination and self control;
- develop independence, self reliance, persistence and resilience.
Learning objectives for children
At Bundoora Pre-school, our three-year-old and four-year-old programs are based on achieving a range of learning outcomes, as defined by the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework. Our play-based curriculum is designed to achieve the following learning outcomes:
- Children have a strong sense of identity (Identity)
- Children are connected with and contribute to their world (Community)
- Children have a strong sense of wellbeing (Wellbeing)
- Children are confident and involved learners (Learning)
- Children are effective communicators (Communication)
Working collaboratively with families, a program is planned and delivered based on educators’ effective observations of each child. The program responds to the children’s interests, learning styles and prior learning achievements.
The program incorporates experiences which will enhance learning in the social, emotional, physical, personal, spiritual wellbeing and cognitive domains.
The program encourages the development of positive skills and dispositions, related to learning, in order to ensure that the learning journey is continuous and purposeful for each child.
The program is evaluated, on a continuing basis, for its effectiveness and appropriateness in relation to: the children’s interests and developmental requirements; the cultural context and to the dynamic, ever-changing kinder and wider communities.
The role of our Teachers and Educators
At Bundoora Pre-school the Teachers and Educators will:
- give priority to nurturing relationships and providing children with consistent emotional and physical support;
- provide a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment which encourages each child’s natural curiosity to learn;
- be actively involved in children’s learning using a variety of teaching methods, skills and dispositions to promote the fundamental learning outcomes;
- have high expectations for each child and encourage them to reach their apparent, and hidden, potential;
- acknowledge and celebrate cultural and developmental diversity: the program will seek to promote cultural competence in children;
- through observation and positive interactions with both children and families, develop a program, based on the children’s interests, that builds on the strengths of each child and meets their unique learning requirements;
- use a variety of strategies to collect, document, interpret and assess children’s learning in an ongoing cycle;
- commit to reflecting on their current practice, closely examining all aspects of events and experiences to gain insights that will enrich the decision making about children’s learning. Educators will participate in regular professional development in order to remain abreast of current research and to enhance their skills in all areas pertinent to early childhood development;
- develop a program which provides learning experiences to support sustainability and respect for the environment;
- work in partnership with other professionals to meet the learning needs of all children.
The role of the family
At Bundoora Pre-school, our Teachers and Educators acknowledge and respect that each child’s family is the major caregiver in that child’s life. Our Teachers and Educators believe in the importance of the family being involved in their child’s kinder experience.
Learning is optimum for children when Teachers and Educators work in partnership with each child’s family. This involves Teachers and Educators and parents/carers valuing each other’s knowledge of the child and valuing the contribution that each makes to the child’s life.
The Teacher/Educator – parent/carer relationship involves establishing a trusting relationship; developing and maintaining open and respectful communication; sharing insights and perspectives about the child and supporting each other in shared decision-making.
The Teachers and Educators of Bundoora Pre-school encourage parents/carers to become active participants in the kindergarten program and recognise this as a positive and very valuable experience for all children – and their families.
The role of the kinder community
At Bundoora Pre-School, the role of the kinder community is to:
- acknowledge and support cultural diversity;
- support families and children to participate positively: demonstrating positive community spirit and enthusiasm;
- acknowledge and respect each family’s right to privacy;
- acknowledge and respect the staff as qualified, competent professionals;
- respect the physical environment and assist in its preservation;
- acknowledge and respect the role of the pre-school Committee of Management and, where possible, actively support its commitment to the service.
Note: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework for Children from Birth to Eight Years and the Education and Care Services National Law Act (2010) have informed the composition of this document.
This document will continue to be reviewed in relation to these Frameworks and The Act.