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Welcome to Yarra Warra Pre-School
  Program Overview
The program at Yarra Warra is founded on the notion that children learn and make sense of their world through play. It is through play that children are the most receptive to internalize learning and develop new concepts.



One of the staff’s main goals is to assist the children in their verbal language, which enables the child to make the transition from the egocentric to more socially co-operative play. This emerges at the three to four year old level through stories, songs and interactions with peers and adults. At four to five year old Kinder, the children are exposed to a greater number of experiences and outcomes as part of their preparation for school, and yet more importantly for life and living within a community. The children are becoming accustomed to larger groups and expectations away from home and group living.



General topics and learning are planned at the beginning of the year to prepare for excursions, incursions and the room plan, however it is greatly modified by “ listening to the individual and group need”, (the emergent curriculum and Reggio Emillia)-facilitating the expression of ideas and recording the children’s ideas.



Below is a fantastic example of the emergent curriculum, and where it can take the students and teachers.

The children were independently building the Yarra river outside in the sandpit, and were also creating a bridge inside in the block area. With the staff’s guidance, this developed into an excursion planned with the children, including a study of local maps to identify routes and locations and the path along the Yarra river etc. The group decided to visit the old Kinder site at the Community church (utilized while the centre was being rebuilt), the police station and Warrandyte Primary school. On the walk with individual maps, the children noticed community information and pictures of an impressionist artist called Clara Southern. This later led to the exploration of impressionist’s works by other artists, and the introduction of table easels, oils and palettes, and discussions of impressionist works (French influence) and classical music. This is one of the examples of adults reinforcing children’s ideas, and scaffolding to the next level through observing the emerging curriculum. This then continued, whilst one of the children who learns French, exclaimed “Bonjour Connie”, leading the children to a whole new avenue of interest in French greetings, and other countries such as Italy and Germany and their respective languages.



And so the learning continues to expand and divert! So although there is always a planned program, the staff endeavour to follow the children’s lead wherever they can.

There is a strong focus on team building and group work, as well as encouraging each child’s own individual strengths and self-worth.

The philosophy and ideas of the staff at Yarra Warra is continually growing. Their passion for early childhood education means that they are always at the forefront of new developments, and thus attempt to provide an exceptional program for all children.

Our centre is very much a part of our community, with a high parental involvement. The children from Yarra Warra go on to many of our local schools; St. Annes, Eltham College, Donvale Christian College, Park Orchards and of course Anderson’s Creek and Warrandyte Primary school and others, including Research and Eltham schools. We use our local schools as stepping stones to a terrific liaison between pre-school and school for the staff and most importantly for the children’s transition, and as a place of familiarity and belonging within our community.