Our Program is based upon the ‘Early Years Learning Framework’, a national early childhood curriculum whereby the daily program and activities are driven by the children’s interests, strengths and needs. Educators are encouraged to move away from pre-planned programs to planning more spontaneously and provide playful experiences and child-centred learning activities in response to these interests, strengths and needs. To do this most effectively, our role as educators is very much one of observing, listening to and interacting with children as well as regular communication with families in order to gain a more in-depth and holistic understanding of each child. We always value families’ input, ideas and suggestions for their child’s experience at kindy and use the online platform Educa to communicate with families on a daily basis.
We use the online platform, Educa, to program for and document children’s learning and communicate effectively with families. It is a free, user-friendly, visually appealing and family-oriented system that was developed in New Zealand - a world leader in early childhood education. Educa essentially acts as an online portfolio system, providing us with a more environmentally-friendly form of documentation – this has long been a goal of ours as part of our Sustainability Policy.
Through Educa, we have been able to better involve families in the programming and documentation of their child’s learning and development throughout their time at Kindy. Daily photo-filled newsletters show families all of the playful activities and learning experiences their child has been involved in each day.
There is also a section for individual portfolios where individual and group observations of each child are collected to create a record of their learning, development and growth throughout their year at Kindy. Families are always invited to share their thoughts or any ideas to extend their child’s experiences through the user-friendly comment boxes. Families are also encouraged to share their experiences outside Kindy – family outings, special events, holidays etc. - by posting photos and/or stories onto their child’s individual portfolio.
About the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)
The framework for the curriculum is based upon the following beliefs and understandings:
- Curriculum is what actually happens in an educational environment, not what is planned to happen.
- Everything and anything in our world that interests the children is curriculum for young children.
- Young children learn through play, inventing and organising their own learning all the time.
- The desire to learn and to try new things comes from being interested in what we are doing.
- Young children are active learners who learn through experience and opportunity.
- All curriculum planning is tentative and flexible, and modified by the children’s response.
- All curriculum planning relates to identity, connection with the community, personal wellbeing, confidence as a learner and effective communication.
- Fostering positive self-concept and self-esteem.
- Developing social,personal and interpersonal skills.
- Encouraging children to think, reason, question, challenge and experiment.
- Promoting language and communication.
- Enhancing physical skills (fine motor, gross motor, psycho motor skills).
- Encouraging and promoting general life skills such as keeping safe, making healthy lifestyle choices, and becoming part of a community
- Enhancing creative expression and appreciation for the arts.
- Respecting and promoting diversity and difference.
…so that the children can become confident, self directing and continuous learners who are well equipped to handle both themselves and society.