OUR PHILOSOPHY (Updated June 2016)
The early years are the most important years in a child’s life. Preschool is the continuation of the early learning that has started at home
At Ringwood Uniting Church Preschool we believe:-
- Children learn best when collaborative partnerships exist between Educators, children and Families.
- Every child has the right to access high quality care and education that is guided by the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia and Child Safety standards
- In a holistic approach which (that?) attends to children’s physical, cognitive, personal, social and emotional learning, as well as their spiritual wellbeing.
- Children are capable and curious learners with different backgrounds, experiences and strengths, all of which shape their learning and development.
- It is vital for children to be provided with long periods of play time in order to practice skills, extend learning as well as to promote good mental health.
- Play- based activities complement and enhance intentional teaching and planning.
- The environment plays an integral role in a child’s learning and wellbeing. A quality learning environment promotes a sense of belonging, independence, social interaction, exploration and self-expression.
- It is important that our centre reflects the diversity of the country in which we live. We respect our own heritage with regards to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and welcome those from other lands.
- Ongoing professional development is important in order for Educators to access current research on best practices for children’s growth and development. Opportunities to liaise with other early childhood professionals are also vital for the ongoing development of our Educators.
- Children need to spend extended periods of time outdoors involved in free play, during all months of the year.
- Free play is play that comes from the ideas of the child/children involved rather than created by adults
- Educators /Adults have a role in children’s play that is not intrusive. Sometimes it is simply to observe, monitor, reassure and to assist if necessary.
- Educators may extend or stimulate play by offering and introducing children to a wide range of resources that they can utilise to facilitate their play
- The outdoor learning space provides an abundance of sensory experiences, greater diversity of gross and fine motor challenges, varied open ended materials and endless opportunities for imaginative play. All of which are crucial to all areas of a child’s development.
- In ensuring common links and flow between the indoor and outdoor space to accommodate the different learning styles of the children. Some children are more relaxed and open to learning opportunities when experiences are offered outdoors. Others enjoy the freedom to move between the two areas as often as they choose during a session.
- In helping children to develop a sense of wonder and respect for nature , particularly with the increased availability of screen devices to children
- In the benefits of experiencing the natural environment for its many positive impacts on mental health and wellbeing as well as the physical benefits.
- In participating in and promoting interest and engagement of children, families and staff in the Achievement Program which has a high focus on Active play to promote stronger mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Our philosophy is influenced by the Early Years Framework for Australia and the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child. We are committed to providing a Child Safe environment and as such, we reflect on our practices and policies with the Child Safe Standards 2016 as a guide. We promote these standards with all visitors, parents, staff and other members of our wider organization and within our local community.