Meet the Kinder Teacher:
"Hi my name is Rita, I have been working as an Early Childhood Teacher for almost 5 years.
I believe it’s our role as an educator to challenge and support students according to their needs and strength, and provide that opportunity for them to extend their knowledge. I recognise children as capable learners, therefore, children in my class will actively explore meaning through play, engage in critical thinking, and construct their own experiment. They will also learn from their peers as well as their educators through meaningful discussions.
As an Early childhood educator, we need to ensure that learning is relevant and meaningful to children. By using children’s interest as the basis for our curriculum, (DEEWR, 2009, P.15) we can enhance children’s engagement as well as their motivation to learn. I also believe learning should also be fun and engaging for children. Therefore, in my emergent kindergarten curriculum, I often include excursions, incursions, cooking experiences, as well as messy play to ensure children are learning and having fun at the same time.
Even though I’m the teacher in the classroom, I believe that we are still learning something new everyday. Whether it is learning about the children in the classroom, or finding a new improved method to teach effectively, we are constantly reflecting on our practices each day to provide a high quality curriculum to our students.
I believe environment plays an important part of children’s learning. The setup of the play spaces for the children will play a big influence in their learning. Therefore, the setup of the environment should be healthy, safe, engaging, empowering, engaging, welcoming, comfortable, and encourage collaboration.
Family plays an important part in the child’s development. I believe they provide vital information of the child. So regular communication between staff and families are essential. It would allow the teacher to become more approachable for parents. If they have any concerns for their child, they would be able to seek assistance.
I believe that diversity is an asset to every learning environment. Promoting diversity within the centre allows for teacher, students and parents to learn from each other in a respectful attitude. Everyone would feel safe and respected within the centre, this will allow all member to feel welcomed.
I believe community engagement is an important element towards a quality curriculum. Through children’s interactions within the community, it will assist children to develop connections to our society, and to develop understandings of how society works, and to feel recognise and understand the shared values that underpin our society."
Why is Kinder Important?
Kindergarten helps with transitioning to Primary School. We focus on making this transition as smooth as possible and giving your child important skills to help them enter school with confidence.
At this time of your child’s life he or she is busy exploring new friendships, learning to make decisions and becoming more aware of his or her own unique talents and abilities. For this reason their kindergarten experience will lay an important foundation for their future. Providing a stimulating and nurturing environment is vitally important.
The Kindergarten program is designed to improve your child’s development in the following key areas:
• Social skills - how to play with other children in a calm, sharing and rewarding way.
• Self-awareness and respect for others.
• Emotional skills - understanding their feelings and the feelings of others.
• Language, literacy and numeracy skills, such as reading stories and counting objects.
• Ability to make new friends.
• Exposure to new ideas and concepts
Kindergarten helps introduce children to some of the social expectations that they will encounter at school such as, putting their hands up to speak during group times.
Kindergarten is an important Introduction to learning for your child. They will gain a sense of belonging as a member of a group and be able to engage in play and experiences in small and large groups.
What can I expect from the program?
Kindergarten education aims to give each child a broad and rounded experience by providing the opportunity to develop all of the above plus more, such as extending their communication skills, beginning to understand social studies and science, using technology, developing skills that assist with reading, writing and maths, building confidence, learning to be creative and most importantly, learning to be engaged and effective learners. Skills that are important in school, work and life.
Below are the learning outcomes from the National Quality Framework. We are required to follow the Framework as part of the Early Childhood Regulations. This will help you have an understanding of what is involved with your child’s education.
EARLY YEARS LEARNING FRAMEWORK OUTCOMES
Outcome 1 -
Children have a strong sense of identity
1.1 Children feel safe, secure, and supported.
1.2 Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency.
1.3 Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities.
1.4 Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect.
Outcome 2 -
Children are connected with and contribute to their world
2.1 Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation.
2.2 Children respond to diversity with respect.
2.3 Children become aware of fairness.
2.4 Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment.
Outcome 3 -
Children have strong sense of wellbeing
3.1 Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing.
3.2 Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.
Outcome 4 -
Children are confident and involved learners
4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.
4.2 Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesizing, researching and investigating.
4.3 Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another.
4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials.
Outcome 5 -
Children are effective communicators
5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.
5.2 Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts.
5.3 Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media.
5.4 Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work.
5.5 Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking.
NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD
As an Early Childhood Centre we are required to follow the National Quality Standard for all Early Education and care.
The framework replaces the old accreditation system and the regulations and gives us new improved guidelines. The quality Standard compromises guiding principles, quality areas, standards and elements. The seven quality areas aim to capture aspects critical to quality Early Education and Care.
There are 7 quality areas containing 23 standards. The quality areas are:
Quality Area 1 – Educational Program and Practice
Quality Area 2 – Children’s Health and Safety
Quality Area 3 – Physical Environment
Quality Area 4 – Staffing Arrangements
Quality Area 5 – Relationships with Children
Quality Area 6 – Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
Quality Area 7 – Leadership and service management
How will the sessions be structured?
Kerri Anne will develop a routine which suits the group’s goals and needs.
The children control which direction their learning takes them, allowing them to build their own curriculum.
For example – A child may come into kinder talking about how they helped in their vegetable garden at home.
Kerri Anne would then use this interest to extend on the child’s development by incorporating this topic into the day. She could do this by taking the group into the yard and gardening with them, or by reading stories about pollination and gardening.
Parents and family members are encouraged to join in with their child’s learning by providing any information such as activities that have occurred over the weekend or a special family event.
Kerri will also incorporate intentional teaching activities that will include letters and numbers but will also reflect the children’s interests.
Not all of the day will be structured. There will be parts of the day when the children are encouraged to play and explore both inside and outside.
Why is play important?
- Play is a vital tool for children to use to support their emotional, cognitive and physical development.
- Through play, children can use the skills they have already mastered to extend their knowledge and understanding of the world.
- Children feel comfortable and confident when they are playing and consequently feel able to experiment, take risks, question and explore.
- Through their exploration, children are making connections and building up ideas, concepts and skills
- Through play children can gain a sense of achievement, thereby developing self-esteem
How can I be involved in the program?
Our doors are always open to family members to come in and join us in the kinder room. You may wish to bring your own skills and knowledge into the program. For example – you might be able to play the guitar and wish to share this with the group.
We also strongly encourage you to read your child’s portfolio and the room’s daily book to get a great insight on activities that have been occurring in the room. We love your feedback!
What does my child need to bring to Kinder?
Each child should bring along their own bag every day.
This is important encouraging their independence skills and responsibility for their own belongings, a vital component of school readiness.
Your child should bring the following:
A drink bottle clearly labelled with their name.
A complete change of clothes, including underwear, socks etc.
Sometimes children have accidents, even those who are well and fully toilet trained. They often engage in messy play activities such as water play and even when wearing a smock, they can become wet or dirty and require a change.
Even in winter we will venture outside so it is important that children are able to dress appropriately for the weather with a warm jacket or coat. We also encourage children to wear or bring in gum boots on wet days. In summer the children need to be in Sunsmart clothing, eg; no thin strappy tops and a wide brimmed hat is essential, also covered sandals or shoes is essential.