The first eight years of a child’s life is when they do their most important learning. This time should be full of play and opportunities to explore the world around them. Our program is based on “teaching through play” as endorsed by the National Framework ‘Belonging, Being & Becoming’ and the Victorian Early Years Framework
Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. A supportive environment is provided where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking.
Intentional teaching involves educators being deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in their actions and decisions. Much time and care is taken by teachers to provide a stimulating learning environment. Learning “spaces” are set up which reflect the identities of children and families, and are responsive to the interests and abilities of each child. They cater for different learning capacities and styles.
Ringwood Uniting Church Preschool follows the National Framework ‘Belonging, Being & Becoming’ and the Victorian Early Years Framework.
Both frameworks identify 5 Outcomes for all children birth to eight years:
· Children have a strong sense of identity (Identity). In order to form a strong sense of self, children need to build secure relationships first within the family and then with caring, attentive adults in other settings.
· Children are connected with and contribute to their world (Community). Over time and with opportunity and support, the ways in which children connect and participate with others increase. Participating in their communities strengthens children’s sense of identity and well being.
· Children have a strong sense of well being (Well being). During early childhood, the foundation for social, emotional and spiritual well being are laid. Well being includes good mental and physical health, feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
· Children are confident and involved learners (Learning). When babies and young children are relaxed and involved they express wonder and interest in their environments. When they are encouraged and supported to be curious and enthusiastic participants in learning, they begin to develop positive dispositions for lifelong learning.
· Children are effective communicators (Communication). Children communicate with others from birth. They begin by using gestures, visual and non-verbal cues, sounds, language and assisted communication in forming relationships. Over time, communication becomes more intentional. Maintenance of first language is important for children’s identity, well being, communication and learning.
Children learn at different rates, in different ways and at different times. Their development is not always easy or straightforward. For some children and families, learning and development involves considerable struggle and requires much perseverance.