Curriculum

Our Curriculum

Young children have only one go at their childhood. They need an early childhood in which they have plenty of time to explore alongside adults who respect their interests and how they learn. Both the EYLF and the National Quality Standards (NQS) support putting children’s interests at the Centre of any childcare program. At St Simon Peter Early Learning Centre, we encourage child-initiated experiences, where children use their personal choice to direct their own learning.

For young children, this learning will most likely occur through play. This is considered ‘best practice’ in early childhood as it is developmentally appropriate and allows children to be leaders in their own learning. In the ELC, we truly value play and the physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits it provides children. We facilitate many types of play including:

  • Dramatic (eg. pretending to be doctors, using the play-kitchen)

  • Sensory/manipulative (eg. playdough, puzzles)

  • Exploratory (eg. using magnifying glasses to look at insects, treasure hunts)

  • Physical (eg. obstacle courses, running, playing with balls)

  • Rule-based (board games, circle games, outdoor games)

Due to this focus on child-led play, you may discover that your child will not bring ‘work’ home every day. Please do not take this to mean that your child is not learning. Children are constantly learning through their play and interactions. We also find that some children simply are not interested in creating artwork or doing craft. We will never force children to do these activities, as we value the choices they make. Please take time to have a look at our program and web to see what the children are currently exploring.

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The role of the early years educators at St Simon Peter

At St Simon Peter Early Learning Centre, we consider our role as ‘partners in play’ with the children. We are responsible for providing an engaging learning environment, suitable resources and a positive attitude. We engage in play with the children, while still encouraging their independence. As educators, we work daily to ensure that we are supporting play.

We as Educators provide a balance between child-led, child-initiated and educator-supported learning and recognise spontaneous teachable moments as they occur, using them to build on teachable moments. We also believe our role involves encouraging children to share in the decision making and direction of what will happen during the day. You may find that the tables are bare if you are one of the first families to arrive to the Centre. This is because we aim to give children choices over the resources they would like to have available to them.

Our educators are supportive and encouraging, and communicate with the children in a friendly, positive and courteous manner to establish a warm and caring relationship with each child in their care. Each day, the staff member responsible for your child will discuss your child’s day with you. Please take advantage of this time to discover your child’s highs and lows for the day.

You will find your child’s program displayed in their room. We invite you to have input into program development especially in relation to multicultural issues, music and storytelling. Any suggestions you have can be put into the Suggestions Box in the Reception Area or discussed with your child’s educator. We love to hear what is happening at home or the highlights from your weekend so we can include these ideas and expand upon them in our program forming a strong link from home and the Centre for children.

The educators are responsible for creating an atmosphere and environment which is responsive to the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and special needs of each individual child and to the group as a whole which reflects the philosophy and goals of the service. The program is child centred, and takes a ‘hands on’ approach, with educators acting as facilitators who create an environment and experiences which are stimulating, safe, nurturing and fun. The program will include indoor and outdoor learning experiences, quiet and active times, individual, small group and large group times, time for individual educator/child interaction, group interests, children’s special interests, and be flexible enough to allow for spontaneity and the unexpected.

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National Quality Framework

The National Quality Framework aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement and consistency in education and care services through:

  • a national legislative framework

  • a National Quality Standard

  • a national quality rating and assessment process

  • a new national body called the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.

National Legislative Framework

The National Legislative Framework is established through an applied laws system and consists of:

  • the Education and Care Services National Law;

  • the Education and Care Services National Regulations.

National Quality Standard

The National Quality Standard sets a national benchmark for the quality of education and care services. The National Quality Standard is divided into seven Quality Areas:

  1. Educational program and practice.

  2. Children’s health and safety.

  3. Physical environment.

  4. Staffing arrangements.

  5. Relationships with children.

  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities.

  7. Leadership and service management.

National quality rating and assessment process

Services will be assessed and rated against each of the seven Quality Areas of the National Quality Standard and the National Regulations. They will also be given an overall rating. The rating and assessment process aims to drive continuous quality improvement at services and provide families with better information for making choices about their children’s education and care.

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Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)

The Australian Government’s Early Years Learning Framework – Belonging, Being and Becoming describes the principles, practices and outcomes essential to support and enhance young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school.                 

The following is an extract from Belonging, Being & Becoming, The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. “A VISION FOR CHILDREN’S LEARNING”

‘All children experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life.

Fundamental to the framework is a view of children’s lives as characterised by belonging, being and becoming. From before birth, children are connected to family, community, culture and place. The earliest development and learning takes place through these relationships, particularly within families, who are children’s first and most influential educators. As children participate in everyday life, they develop interests and construct their own identities and understandings of the world.’

BELONGING

Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.

BEING

Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world.  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.

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 emphasises learning to participate fully and actively in society.

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