In the Preschool Room we have three core values: Caring for ourselves, caring for others, and caring for the environment. These values underpin the daily program, our room goals and the expectations we reinforce with the children.
We believe that early childhood education should not only prepare children for school, but for life. The life skills we strive to foster are:-
- Self-help skills, independence, and being able to vocalise feelings and needs.
- Open ended discovery. We provide stimulus and tools and encourage the children in chartering their own direction.
- Pro-social skills.
- Emotional regulation skills.
- Confidence in themselves so they are willing to try new and challenging tasks.
- Problem solving, creativity, imagination and independent thinking.
The organisation of our indoor learning environment reflects what is known about how young children learn, which is through play. The environment is safe yet challenging, and has numerous resources, places and spaces to use, interesting things to see, hear, and do. Arrangement of the learning areas allow children to move freely, select activities, and use a variety of materials on a variety of surfaces. The program allows children time to practice and achieve competence through familiarity. There is a balance between individual play and small group work and types of play that are child or educator initiated. Language, music, and movement also form an integral part of the daily program. Numeracy and literacy are incorporated on a daily basis through play based activities and through structured group/mat times, encouraging all children to join in.
We believe it is important for children to have time and space to develop their play skills supported by educators when needed. This is why we choose to have two smaller groups within the Preschool Room. The higher staff-child ratio enables us to have two educators with each group of 14 children, for the core part of each day.
Individual and group experiences are based on observations taken of each child and the group. Goals are set and experiences intentionally planned which are then included in the weekly program for all children to participate in. Our program is planned and evaluated weekly, and reflects a balance of all aspects of development. Children in the Preschool Room are always encouraged to discuss their interests. These interests are then investigated and incorporated into the educational program. There are numerous ways in which families can contribute to our program and we appreciate the input. Educators ensure there is an emphasis on sharing children's learning and their experiences with the families through room documentation, centre displays, individual learning stories, and the weekly reflection.