- Our environment is inclusive of all children.
- Each child is valued and respected as an individual. We promote opportunities for all children to play, learn and grow together.
- We aim to extend and develop each child’s skills, knowledge and interests through successful experiences which encourage the development of a healthy self-concept and positive self-esteem.
- We provide an environment that encourages children to develop their capabilities and interests at their own pace and according to their individual needs.
- As Early Childhood Educators we provide a warm, nurturing, hygienic and safe environment that encourages the development of the whole child.
- Our educational program has a specific emphasis on inclusive play-based learning. Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. When children play with other children they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn.
“Play means you have fun” – Xavier
“Have fun playing in the garden” – Charlie
- As Educators we recognize that families are children’s first and most influential teachers. At Vista Valley Kindergarten, children and families are encouraged to be active participants in learning. We support the kindergarten community in all aspects of each child’s learning and development.
- At Vista Valley Kindergarten, we take a holistic approach, in order to pay attention to children’s physical, personal, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well as cognitive aspects of learning.
- Educators are respectful of multiple cultural ways of knowing, seeing, and living. We celebrate the benefits of diversity and have an ability to understand and honour differences.
- Vista Valley Kindergarten provides equality of access to all members of our community.
- Our kindergarten follows the ‘Go for your life’ program philosophy of: Tap into water. Grow and use fresh fruit and vegetables in snack boxes. Limit sometimes foods. Move and play. Be active and healthy.
- We believe that meaningful teaching methods should embrace a combination of:
a) Child Development Research & Theory (including an in-depth understanding of cognitive, social, emotional, physical, cultural and language development)
b) Relevant Theories of Teaching Practices (including relevant principles from the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia & the Victoria Early Years Learning and Development framework
c) Community Values and Family Involvement (embracing collaboration within the kindergarten and surrounding community)
- Vista Valley Kindergarten provides qualified, experienced and caring educators to meet the needs of all children in our care and commits the educators to further professional development to enhance the quality of our programs.
- The Early Years Learning Framework is developed around learning outcomes that describe the knowledge, skills and dispositions that we want for all children.
The framework is centred around three intrinsic characteristics: Belonging, Being & Becoming
- Experiencing belonging is knowing where and with whom you belong. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.
- Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life. The early childhood years are not solely preparation for the future but also about the present.
- Last of the intrinsic factors from which quality early childhood education programs are formulated, is based on becoming. Children’s identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships change during childhood. They are shaped by many different events and circumstances. Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow. It emphasizes learning to participate fully and actively in society.
- The five Learning Outcomes are designed to capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children across the birth to five age range.
The outcomes are:
• Children have a strong sense of identity
• Children are connected with and contribute to their world
• Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
• Children are confident and involved learners
• Children are effective communicators.
The outcomes are broad and observable. They acknowledge that children learn in a variety of ways and vary in their capabilities and pace of learning. Over time children engage with increasingly complex ideas and learning experiences, which are transferable to other situations.
Learning in relation to the outcomes is influenced by:
• each child’s current capabilities, dispositions and learning preferences;
• the educators’ practices and the early childhood environment ;
• the engagement with each child’s family and community; and
• the integration of learning across the outcomes.
Children’s learning is ongoing and each child will progress towards the outcomes in different, and equally meaningful ways. Learning is not always predictable and linear. Educators plan for each child, with the outcomes in mind.
- Assessment for learning. Assessment for children’s learning is very important as it informs and directs the educational play based program. Educators record observations about individual children, and groups of children, engaged in meaningful play experiences. Educators gather and analyse information as evidence about what children know, can do and understand. It is part of an ongoing cycle that includes planning, documenting and evaluating children’s learning. It is important because it enables educators in partnership with families, children and other professionals, to plan effectively for children’s current and future learning.
Portfolios hold fundamental information about individual children’s learning and development. Parents and families are encouraged to view and reflect upon their child’s portfolio regularly. At the end of the year the portfolio is given to the child as a record of their learning journey at kindergarten.
References (1) Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework: For All Children From Birth To Eight Years.” (2009) (2) Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, “Belonging, Being and Becoming: Early Years Learning Framework of Australia.” (2009)