Welcome to Our Kindergarten Room

Guided by the Early Years Learning Framework and our own centre philosophy, our programs acknowledge and reflect the importance of play. It is how children learn to investigate, question, role play, explore, problem solve, strategise, socialise, reason, predict, converse, collaborate, compromise and so much more.

Educational research supports (beyond a doubt) the value of providing open ended learning opportunities that encourage children to test and explore their environment in a ‘hands on way’ that focuses on the ‘journey of discovery’ rather than an end product.

We are seeking to inspire and encourage learning in all that we do but one of our main outcomes is to guide the children and facilitate the acquirement of life skills, that will assist them throughout their educational journey and into adulthood.

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This happens across all areas and stages of development, at an individual and a group level. While here children will be working on:

  1. Social and emotional skills- through sharing, turn taking, role playing, collaborating, negotiating, compromising, listening, empathising, expressing themselves and their feelings.
  2. Physical (fine and gross motor) skills- through opportunities and experiences that develop control, coordination, body awareness, spatial awareness, physical strength, dexterity, balance.
  3. Language and literacy skills- through conversations, a structured phonics program, daily group reading, access to a variety of printed materials, songs, topic specific vocabulary.
  4. Thinking skills- through open ended experience and provocations that encourage problem solving, spark curiosity, require investigation, incorporate number concepts, challenge and build on prior knowledge.

Making Learning Visible

Art (including collage, painting, drawing)

These experiences help children to develop their

  • Creativity and self expression
  • Fine motor skills
  • Appreciation of colour, form and design
  • Hand eye coordination
  • Hand preference
  • Tri grip
  • Understanding of pattern, size, orientation, spatial awareness
  • Imagination

Dramatic/Role Play (including home corner)

In order for the children to take risk and practice real life skills in a safe environment, these experiences are vital for the development of

  • Social interaction
  • Turn taking
  • Understanding the rights of others
  • Rules
  • Life skills
  • Perspective
  • Risk taking
  • Building confidence
  • Encouraging independence
  • Language and communication

Construction (Including blocks and lego)

These areas, which get increasingly challenging as the children age, are a great way to get them working on

  • Muscle development
  • Problem solving skills
  • Mathematical concepts (size, shape, orientation, space, balance direction, area)
  • Concentration
  • Persistence
  • Resilience
  • Hand eye coordination
  • Creativity

Reading Corner & Quiet Area

Successful acquisition of early literacy skills is linked directly to children’s exposure to quality children’s literature and other forms of print, so this area is vital to the development of

  • Understanding the conventions of print
  • Introducing them to symbols and how they are used to communicate
  • Understanding book convention and how we read
  • Listening skills
  • Sharing
  • Focus and attention
  • Language and expanding vocabulary

Writing Table

Access to a variety of writing and drawing tools and paper, allows the children a chance to explore their developing understanding of written language and mark making. It is the first step towards writing. Here they will develop their

  • Fine motor skills
  • Understanding of symbols
  • Understanding of communication
  • Handedness
  • Dexterity
  • Self expression

Playdough

Manipulating materials like dough, clay and plasticine is an engaging way to encourage the children’s

  • Hand muscle development
  • Creativity
  • Mathematical concepts
  • Social skills
  • Imagination
  • Conversation and descriptive language skills
  • 3 dimensional representation

Obstacle Course / Outdoors

Unstructured outdoor play is an important part of our day but not all of it is as undirected as it looks. Our obstacle course, which is completed everyday, is designed to help with the development of

  • Physical fitness
  • Large muscle development
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Strength
  • Risk taking
  • Social skills
  • Turn taking
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Now The Scene is Set

Now the planning has been done, the goals for the children have been set and the learning outcomes have been discussed and woven into our experiences, it is time to let the children choose!

Our day in the kindy room is made up of large blocks of time where the children get to flow freely from space to space and find the things that interest and challenge them. Allowing them this sense of agency, is a key part of our pedagogy. It allows the children the opportunity to make their own decisions and take control and ownership of those decisions that impact directly on them and their world.

This practice reflects the value that we put on each child as a ‘citizen in their own right’. We can facilitate and guide. We can be intentional in our planning and programming by setting the scene to inspire wonder and curiosity but we cannot force learning.

Just like us, each child will possess strengths and weaknesses, a preference for certain things and a natural inclination towards things that they enjoy. We, as educators, must find ways to encourage learning in all areas, by looking at different ways (outside the box) to appeal to each individual child.

Mat Sessions

Our daily mat sessions, which include our morning Davening, are our moments to come together as a whole group. It is a time where there is teacher led, intentional teaching moments, as well a chance for children to share thoughts, ideas and interests with the group. It is a more structured and formal part of the day where children learn the skills of listening, sitting, classroom conventions (raising your hand to speak, taking it in turns to talk) taking instructions and participating as a part of a class community.

Jolly Phonics

Our literacy program is a key part of our learning and something that the children participate in everyday.

It is a multi-sensory program that teaches letter sounds in an engaging and age appropriate way. Phonemic awareness and understanding it, is a building block to successful reading and writing.

“There is strong empirical evidence in support of phonics for the development of literacy, with phonemic awareness (an individual’s ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes) being the strongest predictor of reading capacity.” (evidenceforlearning.org.au)

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Our Class Community

One of the overarching elements of our philosophy and key factors of our kindy vision is to encourage and support our children to be kind and caring citizens, not only of our class but also the wider community and the world.

We use the principles of a 3 C’s approach and focus on ways that they can;

  • Care for themselves (be safe, make good choices, keep fit, eat well etc)
  • Care for each other (use kind words, kind actions, think of others)
  • Care for the environment (respect for nature and all living things, be water wise, re-cylcle, re-use, re-purpose.)

These are a driving force and central to our everyday learning. We strive to find ways to encourage the children to be thinkers, explorers, communicators, carers, risk takers, reflective thinkers and questioners.

Learning to be Independent

Encouraging and developing their sense of independence is another, very important element of our programming and vision for the children in Kindy.

There is a saying ‘if you do it for me, the only thing that you are teaching me is that you can do it better than me’. Children need to have multiple opportunities to try and fail. It makes them more resilient, more persistent and increases their sense of confidence and self-belief.

Children are encouraged to;

  • make choices about what they do and with whom they do it
  • the direction of their learning and where they want to take it
  • where they want to play in terms of environment (indoors or out)

There is also an expectation that they will;

  • take ownership over their toileting
  • be responsible for their belongings by putting them in appropriate, designated places
  • feed themselves
  • attempt to dress themselves
  • follow instructions when required
  • focus for increased periods of time