St Mary’s Preschool Philosophy
‘Fostering a Love of Learning’
St Mary’s vision is for all children to experience play based learning that is engaging and builds success for life. When children play they are showing what they have learned and what they are trying to understand. Our educators will guide your child’s play experiences by carefully designing learning experiences and activities exploring the foundations of the Early Years Learning Framework.
Much of a child’s learning is intangible. Learning in relation to their feelings and ideas cannot be assessed or measured. Therefore, our emphasis is not on a child reaching a specific level at a given stage, but rather assisting each child to have a sense of belonging, becoming and being which underpin the Early Years Learning Framework.
- Children should feel that they BELONG because of a relationship they have with their family, community, culture and place.
- Children start to form a sense of identity from an early age, which shapes the type of adult they will BECOME.
- Children need to just BE: time to play, try new things and have fun.
With this in mind, our philosophy has recently been updated (2016) after consultation with staff, parents and the committee of management.
Our image of the Child:
- Every child has their own unique development path.
- Children come from diverse backgrounds and communities, and bring with them their own values, beliefs, experiences and identity.
- Children develop confidence and positive self esteem through a supportive and secure environment.
- Children are capable and resourceful learners who are active contributors to their own learning
- Children learn through play
Our Learning Environment:
- We strive to make St Mary’s a fun and happy place to be, where children can share humour, happiness, develop friendships and foster a love of learning.
- Our learning environment helps children feel safe and supported, and creates opportunities for emotional, social and physical growth.
- Our curriculum emerges from the interests of the children. The children’s interests, ideas and experiences are valued, listened to ,and acknowledged. Through observation and documentation our educators are able to further extend each child’s knowledge and skills.
- We encourage children to be active participants in their own learning, they are empowered to make their own choices and direct their own play. To enable this we provide open ended materials for the children to explore, experience, create, imagine, experiment, problem solve, express themselves and learn from.
- We teach children to understand that everyone is special and have their own special talents. Children learn to be inclusive and appreciate individual difference.
- Through creative activities such as art, construction, music, dance and drama, we support children’s development of self expression and communication.
- Literacy , numeracy and science skills are naturally interwoven into the daily program.
- We teach our children to respect their learning environment, and the world in which they live. Teaching them sustainable practices.
- The promotion of healthy eating and enjoyment of physical exercise play an important role in our daily program.
Partnership with families:
- We acknowledge and respect that families are the child’s first teachers We aim to build a collaborative relationship with families, so that we are all active participants in the child’s learning.
- We respect and value the individual backgrounds and cultures of our families, and embrace these in our programs.
- We invite families to be actively engaged in our kinder community, and programs. We welcome their interest, ideas and participation.
- We work in partnership with children and their families, to support continuous learning both within and outside the preschool environment.
- Educators believe in the importance of open and constructive communication with our families: through conversation, child portfolios, planning journals, weekly emails, and newsletters.
- Our educators bring personal qualities and experience to the kindergarten environment, such as respect, warmth and a passion for learning
- Educators are partners in the children’s learning process, using tools of listening, observation and flexibility to create the learning space. A learning space that will encourage friendship, communication, co-operation, problem solving and creativity.
- Within this space educators will offer provocations, guidance and insights to extend topics of investigation and encourage problem solving skills
- Reflective practises are used to continuously enhance the teaching program, and ensure the program reflects each child’s interests and abilities.
- Educators utilise multiple forms of documentation to help inform them about the needs and interests of the children.
- Through attending professional development courses, and networking with early childhood services our educators are continually learning, and striving to create ‘best practise’ in all that they do.
At St Marys we recognise and celebrate that we are part of a larger community. We continually strive to develop our connection within our local community, and provide experiences and opportunities for the children to learn from the community in which they belong.
St Mary’s is committed to ensuring our preschool is compliant with the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education, inclusive of the Early Years Leaning Framework. This framework requires kindergartens to meet standards in seven quality areas, namely:
- Educational program and practice
- Children’s health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborate partnerships with families and communities
- Leadership and service management.
St Mary’s has a Quality Improvement Plan that is regularly updated to ensure we continuously strive to achieve the highest possible service in each of these areas. This will ensure your child receives a ‘quality’ educational program. This is our commitment to you!