Curriculum

What are the children learning?

In Australia we have Universal Access – the aim of which is to have every 4 year old able to access a teacher-led kindergarten program like we have at Ashgrove Memorial. There is a national framework called the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Queensland implementation of this for kindergarten-aged children called the Qld Kindergarten Learning Guidelines. Our very experienced staff have enthusiastically implemented this into the program at Ashgrove Memorial.

The curriculum is all the interactions, experiences, activities, routines and events, planned and unplanned, that occur in an environment designed to foster children’s learning and development.

 

The curriculum is based on:

Belonging:

Having a secure sense of belonging is the basis for living a fulfilling life. “Children feel that they belong because of the relationships they have with their family, community, culture and place.” Being:

is about enjoying and exploring the present and being accepted for who you are and supported to meet challenges. A 3 year old is not half a 6 year old.

Becoming:

is about how children change and grow and learn to participate fully and actively in society. “Children start to form their identity from an early age, which shapes the type of adult they will become.”

Curriculum Information for Families: http://docs.education.gov.au/node/2636

Principles underpinning Effective Practice:

Secure, consistent, respectful and reciprocal relationships between children, staff and families.

High expectations for all children’s learning.

Communication with families, who are involved in decision-making about their child’s learning.

“We are the experts on learning, you are the experts on your children.”

Learning experiences that are relevant and contextual.

Assessment:

is the process of gathering and analysing information as evidence of how children feel, what they know, can do and understand. Knowing each child well is vital, so observations and an excellent understanding of child development are used for planning and assessment purposes.

An example:

At kindy, spilling the paint is not an interruption to the program but an important part of it. How the staff respond to this incident can empower the child and instill in them self-confidence, purposeful assertiveness and a sense of themselves as a competant and capable individual.

 

Daily Routine

(Add 15 minutes for the 8.45 session)

(Times are flexible to cater for children’s interests, engagement and physical needs)

Kindergarten Session:

  • 8.30    Indoor Play – free to choose settings, equipment and activities, children are guided and scaffolded in their learning.
  • 10.10   Group Language session – this could be a book, puppets, pictures –  relevant to their projects and current needs. One of dozens of musical transition games, usually maths based, are played to go to the bathroom, with supervised hygienic toileting practices.
  • 10.30   Morning Tea – at tables to stimulate conversations and social learning, the staff eat with the children. (Of course, those children who are hungry earlier, can eat as needed.)
  • 10.45    Outdoor Play – there are many ‘rooms’ in our outdoor classroom – the digging patch where they make rivers and dams with water from our tanks, the vegetables gardens, the large open lawn space, the rock pool, large sandpit, large openplan fort incorporating climbing structures… visit our Gallery for photos.
  • 12.30    Group Music & Movement inside – the teachers use over 200 fingerplays, songs and games to encourage a love of music, fine motor and co-ordination skills and expressive dance. The piano and recorded music is used to accompany movement and the songs and fingerplays are mostly sung, as unaccompanied voice is the most effective way to develop tone, pitch, melody, volume, and keeps the engagement with the children constant. Then, another transition game.
  • 12.50    Lunch
  • 1.15    Rest time. We are extremely sensitive to children’s needs and to families’ needs in this regard. The staff remain constant so there is no need for 2 hour enforced resting, and those children who don’t sleep are free to leave their beds and engage in quiet activities such as puzzles and drawing after 30 minutes. This 30 minute period ensures their bodies are recuperating and their minds are free to process – we read them stories (without showing pictures, to develop their imagination) and play quality music. We follow parents’ instructions on their child’s sleeping needs.
  • 1.45   Quiet activities – puzzles, drawing, small manipulative equipment.
  • 2.15   Learning Discussion – the teacher guides the children’s discussion of their learning during the day and discusses how they would like to continue the next day. Preparing for home or After Care.
  • 2.30   Close (or After Care) – those children not collected at this time are brought to AC by the teacher who communicates information about their day to Amy, our AC co-ordinator.

 

After Care:

  • 2.30  Outside Play
  • 3.45  Afternoon Tea
  • 4.00  Indoor Play
  • 5.00  Home

 


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