3-year-old kindergarten is both an exciting and nerve racking time for parents and children. It is a fun time where new friendships are formed, on many different levels. Some families remain friends for life, as do some of the children’s friendships. It is also the beginning of your child’s formal education.
Our service is a place where children and their families can feel a sense of belonging to the kindergarten community. We encourage parents to be active participants and in doing so visibly demonstrate an environment of teachers, parents and children working together collaboratively. In order to form a strong sense of self, children need to build secure relationships first within the family and then with caring, attentive adults in other settings.
Children's positive experiences of relationships and places support their understanding of themselves as secure, significant and respected individuals. A positive sense of identity strengthens children’s interest and skills in being active participants in their communities.
Underpinning our pedagogy and practice is a clear understanding of the Early Years Learning Framework(EYLF), the UN convention on the rights of the child adherence to the Early Childhood Code of Ethics which governs our professional conduct and responsibilities in relation to children, families and each other.
The EYLF provides the guiding principles for encouraging and celebrating diversity, respect and fairness for all. We respect and acknowledge that the Indigenous people are Australia’s first people and we aim to instil in our children authentic and sincere respect for Australia’s indigenous people and a deep sense of intercultural understanding. We want to ensure that even after they have moved on, our children have been provided with the tools to become caring, responsible and compassionate global citizens.
Our educators are in a privileged position to impact young children’s lives. They actively embrace each child’s culture, their unique abilities and interests and use this to inform a child-centred play-based curriculum that fosters a sense of inquiry. Recognised as a fundamental right of the child, it is through play that children construct meaning and make sense of their world, while contributing to their social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.
Play is essential for healthy physical and emotional growth, for intellectual and educational development and for acquiring social and behavioural skills. Play may or may not involve equipment or a dedicated play space and may or may not have an end product. Children play on their own or with others, their play may be boisterous and energetic, quiet and contemplative, light-hearted or very serious. Children’s own culture is created through play.
Talbingo 3-Year-Old Kindergarten Inc. promotes play-based learning as it is an essential part of every child’s life. It is integral to their enjoyment of their lives, their health and their development. In early childhood, children begin to take the initiative by asking questions and attempting small investigations. With support, children begin to reflect on their achievements, acknowledge the value of persistence and enjoy their accomplishments. Active involvement in learning builds children’s understanding of the concepts, creative thinking and inquiry processes necessary for lifelong learning. They can challenge and extend their own thinking and that of others through interactions and negotiations. Children’s active involvement changes what they know, can do and value, and transforms their learning.
Incursions are carefully thought out and planned throughout the year and play an important part of our curriculum planning. The teachers take into consideration the children’s interests as well as our units of inquiry. We have had visitors from African drumming, Henny Penny, Animals of Oz and Paul Saddler swimming school.
By setting up the room or outdoor setting in different ways this attracts children, invites them to learn, teaches without an adult having to be directly involved. Equipment and materials we provide for children have endless, open ended possibilities. Sand, water, clay, play dough, blocks, rocks, buttons. Things that can be manipulated and created differently every time they are used. Very little of our furniture is fixed allowing us to create different play spaces. Outside our playground climbing equipment too is not fixed and can be moved often allowing for the stage of the children, to create interest or more challenge.
So on face value it looks like our educators are just having fun with the children for the 2.5 hours which they do. However, they are also observing and taking photos of your children as well as asking them questions to document their learning. Documentation is the process of recording the children’s ideas, thoughts and the processes they work through to come to new understandings. It can include samples of the children’s work at different stages of completion, photographs, showing work in progress, comments written by the teacher or other adults working with the children and the children’s dialogue, comments and explanations of intentions about the activities. High quality documentation of children’s work and ideas contributes to the quality of an early childhood program as well as relationships with families. Our curriculum program can be accessed at any time by parents located outside in the foyer and is updated fortnightly.
Individual portfolios are created for each child and will reflect the child’s individualised program and reflects all areas of development and curriculum through the year. Parents and children are welcome to observe their portfolio any time by accessing them online.
Kindergarten is an amazing place full of capable children exploring their world. We are honoured every day to see the joy and achievement and development of each child. We invite you to join our Talbingo family.