Environment / Ratio
The children each have a home room where they make secure connections with particular teachers. Parts of the day are spent interacting within their own group, this may include, arriving, meetings, group discussions, intentional teaching sessions, sleeping/resting, meal times. Other parts of the day allow children opportunity to explore both indoor and outdoor environments.
Each kindergarten grouping consists of 22 children with 2 educators. We also employ an additional Outside educator across the three rooms and an artist in residence. There may be additional staffing to support children with additional needs throughout our day.
As these kindergarten programs are Approved Kindergartens under the Queensland Regulatory Authority (we have a 4 year trained Early Childhood teacher in each space ( Bachelor of Early childhood) as well as another educator. We also have an outside educator and other staff members to support the needs of these groups.
We carefully consider and adapt our environments as we see what children are focussing on and what development we wish to promote. We strongly believe that long exposure to areas and materials give children a sense of security, it is also a way to encourage deep investigation, imagination, creativity, problem solving, and social skills. Large quantities of open ended materials which we call “LooseParts” are to be found in almost all areas of the centre. These unstructured materials are open to interpretation of the children.
Some of our environments that we plan for include:
- Visual arts spaces where we offer a large array of materials including paint, collage, play dough, drawing.
- Roleplay spaces where children can develop understandings of community and the world around us.
- Large natural play spaces include dry creek beds, mud patches, rainforest areas, sand pits and mud patches.
- Physical play spaces like bike paths, large climbing zone, natural climbing obstacles.
- Construction spaces including blocks, materials for composition and manipulative materials.
We place high value on the consideration of relationships and understand that a young child’s burgeoning independence needs to be carefully supported. Educators act as consistent connection and safe space to be a springboard for children to engage in many experiences.
Kindergarten children need opportunities to explore and develop a wide range of skills in physicality, language, numeracy, socialisation, emotional and cognitive development. It is important that we provide high quality arts experiences in both materials and skill building. We believe that children are constructing understandings and concepts as they use the arts as a vehicle for self expression and representation about the world around us.
Our Kindergarten classes also use the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines (QKLG). These guidelines provide advice for planning, interacting with children, monitoring and assessing, and sharing information in a kindergarten context. The QKLG extends and elaborates on the concepts in the EYLF.
Embedded learning is created as we recognise the need for consistent yet flexible routines and rituals where children can feel they can predict the daily rhythm of our life at the centre. With these rituals we have many opportunities for the embedded learning of language, literacy, numeracy, social skills, sustainability and social justice through rich interactions and ongoing shared responsibilities of children and educators. This building of social skill and emotional regulation are supported through both planned regular experiences and spontaneous moments with particular goals for individual children. Within our regular rhythm of our day children will experiences times to come together socially at meal times, periods where they can rest or participate in other experiences as well as real life experiences such as gardening and cooking.
Times for more formal group meetings of reflection and discussion are daily occurrences and help form part of the identity of each seperate kindergarten group. Sessions in music and Literacy occur at regular session each day.
We also support the Abecedarian approach where all children are given opportunities to engage in Learning games, conversational reading and embedded language experiences.
Educators use the learning outcomes in the Early Years Learning Framework to plan for and implement Particular learning goals as children are playing in our large learning spaces. Play is supported in many different ways across our day as it is children’s way of refining skills, expressing ideas, investigating, interpreting and exploring the world around them.
Children may also stimulate the introduction of a project through the offering of questions or interest to further investigate as a group.We support their developing of questions and help them seek solutions and encourage them to theorise and test out ideas.
Artist in Residence
In this place children can have meetings away from the larger group, to research particular topics and use digital technologies to support their learning.