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Welcome to Yarra Warra Pre-School
  Philosophy

PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION

Yarra Warra Pre-school

Our program is influenced by our community, other educators in the field (partnerships with other professionals), a variety of pedagogical influences such as Reggio Emilia, Steiner, Te Whariki learning stories, Montessori, our collaborative relationship with our families and the Early Years Learning Framework. Our program, philosophy and practice is linked to the Early Years Framework…

“Being, belonging and becoming”

Our Centre believes that all children and families are able to access, participate and have a place in our Kinder community and play a vital role within the kindergarten, where we can all contribute and share and respect others. Our goal is that every child and family feels a sense of belonging within our community. That we are all constantly growing, evolving, questioning, contributing, being respectful to others and developing to connect within our community. We believe that children have a strong sense of identity, that children are connected and contribute to their world, have a strong sense of wellbeing, are confident and involved learners and effective communicators.

  

Our reflective practise means we have an ongoing review through which current practises are examined, outcomes reviewed and new ideas generated. Play is the basis of our program. Through play the children learn how to experiment/problem solve, explore, hypothesize, discover, test their ideas, modify their ideas, apply and communicate their understanding.

As children mature and move from the more egocentric stage, to parallel play and to the more socially co-operative stage of play learning negotiation, empathy, collaboration, team work, sharing, decision making; which are all pro social behaviours.


Oral language and communication are critical factors in children’s learning, and in their development of play. The child who is able to use good language skills is able to communicate their thought processes, discuss their ideas and share the outcomes of their investigations with both adults and peers. By creating an environment that is ‘language rich’, we enable children to acquire and utilize both verbal and symbolic language in a meaningful way, through play and a variety of activities, with more mature children scaffolding younger children in their learning.  We plan for both work and play, as they are interdependent and we believe that learning should be fun.


At our pre-school we believe that children are capable and competent, and should be supported in their learning. We as staff encourage other adults and the child’s peers to ‘listen’ (the child’s agency) to each others ideas and respect each other’s learning within our pre-school community. The children are encouraged to demonstrate care for their environment, respect for the equipment, each others work and each other. We encourage children to interact with others with care, empathy and respect. The children are exposed to a great number of experiences and outcomes in preparation for community living, not just school. These are life skills paramount to learning and living with others. We believe in creating an aesthetically pleasing and inviting environment for children to explore and learn in, in an environment that respects that all children are unique and are valuable members of the group. Mirrors are used around the room to reflect other possibilities for play and creativity, to see the world in a variety of ways.


We see families as rich resources, and we encourage families to share their knowledge so that as staff we can collaborate with the children in our learning.  In planning our program we utilize a collaborative approach that involves the community, other staff, the child, the family and the teacher. An environment that promotes partnership, embracing and acknowledging that diversity exists within the community, we value the skills, insights and knowledge of family members whose participation enriches the program, and our understanding of partnerships with families.


Our inside and outside room and grounds consist of various designated areas including dramatic play spaces, our bush kinder and building block area. These areas are supplemented by the children's imaginative and dramatic play, and with sensory additions such as pebbles, fabric, natural and non-natural resources.

Puzzles and manipulative activities, story corner, science table and light box, drawing tables, an office play space, painting and pasting and imaginative play areas. These main areas offer a variety of experiences for the children to explore and may change or remain the same. Floor space or table settings may also vary to create different work engagements in a positive social interaction to communication, and to exploring concepts alone or with other children.


Subject areas are used through free play, specifically planned activities and at more formal group meetings (small and large):

ART AREA: Because children are at different levels of the spectrum of verbal and symbolic representation, and in their fine motor skills, children will be offered a diversity of materials and media to encourage painting, drawing, modeling, construction, collage, printing and the other 100 ways for children to express themselves. (see Loris Malaguzzi’s Hundred Languages of children’). Activities offered should be open ended and representative of their ideas and understanding, but there will also be more formal didactic activities offered with a purpose/objective set.


MUSIC/MOVEMENT: Through songs, free play and set group meetings. With the use of props, scarves and a variety of music offered, formally and through play.


SCIENCE: Learning offered through observation and ‘doing’, through play or set activities with plants, insects, bones, feathers, gemstones, rocks and fossil, through the garden and pets or specific planned outcomes, for example ‘scientific’ experiments or other set learning.


LITERACY: Through dramatic play, name cards, our Yarra Warra 'ABC' book, Kinder Kids of the week, documenting children’s work, songs, letter writing, stories, C.D’s, dramatizing set stories, puppets, listening post, journal work etc.



NUMERACY: Through games, songs, set activities, puzzles, block corner, sorting, classifying or counting formally or through free play.



Our pre-school provides resources as tools for children. For example we utilize D.V.D.’s, computers, photocopiers and digital cameras that enable children to work in a positive social interaction, to communicate and explore concepts, alone or with other children.


We have a holistic view of the child as a learner within our group (community); their physical wellbeing, cognitive learning, language and communication, and emotional and social (identity) dimensions as learners. Gross motor skills are developed through obstacle courses, set P.M.P. activities with objectives in place, ball skills, games, hammering, blocks, free play sand-pit etc. Fine motor skills through the use of cutting and a variety of mediums such as paint brushes, pens etc. Social and emotional skills are developed through play, designated activities, and belief that each child is unique and competent. Cognitive learning is via puzzles, games, specifically planned activities, group discussions and encouraging children to question and hypothesize. We offer open-ended activities and also specifically planned didactic activities. We focus on what the child can do and contribute, but at certain times of the year formal assessments such as running records and checklists will be used for the benefit of the child, with additional use of our assessment and documentation based on the process of the children’s learning through photos, journals, portfolios, displays etc.


We value open ended experiences and also activities that are outcome focused. Independent learners are resourceful, respectful, work co-operatively (collaborate, negotiate, share strengths, teamwork, contribute and communicate). Critical thinkers make choices, hypothesize, experiment, explore, modify ideas, communicate their understanding, problem solve, reflect on problems, which empowers children as learners, while staff also focus on children’s skills and setting objectives when necessary. Empowerment and assessment is the strength and focus in the process of learning. Journals are a major part of recording each child’s journey and experiences during their Kindergarten year. At the end of the 4-5 year old Kindergarten year children will receive a transition form to link with their school.


Connie Solty