Early Learning Centre "Wisdom begins with Wonder” - Socrates
The Early Learning Centre is comprised of the Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Pre-Primary students. There is mounting evidence from a broad research base in health, developmental psychology, neuroscience and education, of the importance of optimum family and community experiences for children during the earliest years of childhood and development. There is much evidence that these experiences establish a template that has the potential to play a significant role in later life. Early experiences and the quality of nurturing and cognitive stimulation which children receive in the first few years of schooling may have a big impact on their development and the course they choose to follow in life. We seek to partner with our families to establish an excellent, positive foundation of learning for our very young students. The program will follow the Australian Early Years Learning Framework. It is also very important to have Early Intervention strategies in place at the College, so that we can notify families of any concerns we may have about a student’s development and learning. The Early Learning Centre students wear a different, more casual uniform than the Primary and Secondary students. This allows them to play and learn according to their age group’s abilities and needs.
The Pre-Kindergarten Program is an early childhood play-based learning program for children who have already turned 3 years of age. The program aims to provide children with meaningful experiences that promote spiritual, social, emotional, language, intellectual, creative and physical development. The program operates for 7 hours per week (two half days), 8.35am to 12pm on Tuesday and Thursday.
The Kindergarten Program is a gradual introduction to schooling in a fun, yet structured environment for children who have turned 4 years of age or are turning 4 before the 30th June of that year. In planning a ‘learning through play’ environment for this age group, we aim to take into account the developmental stages of these children. All children are encouraged to develop their strengths in a supportive environment. It was Albert Einstein who said that “imagination is greater than knowledge”. We have a play-based program committed to developing each child’s imagination and personality using a differentiated curriculum. The program operates for three full days per week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Pre-Primary Program aims to continue to develop and foster an enjoyment of learning, while encouraging equity and respect for others in the learning environment and community. It is a program for children who have turned 5 years of age or are turning 5 before the 30th June of that year. During this stage of their schooling, children are given the opportunity to develop essential foundations on which to build their knowledge, skills and values, particularly in the areas of social and emotional well-being, literacy and numeracy. We recognise that children are unique and endeavour to celebrate the individual potential of each child through a curriculum that allows children to explore and discover concepts for themselves with adult guidance. The program operates full-time and is the first year of the Australian Curriculum Learning Program, called ‘Foundation’.
Speech and phonological awareness screening will occur, with parent permission, in the middle of the year in Pre Primary, with a professional speech therapist. Some Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten children are also recommended for this screen. We will follow up students requiring assistance in this area. We offer an ongoing support network, with particular attention to early intervention. Kindergarten and Pre Primary students will also be screened for Perceptual Motor Skills within the PMP program. The PIPS – ‘Performance Indicators in Primary School’ assessment program will be conducted in Term 1 and Term 4 of Pre Primary.
The Occupational Therapist also screens students at our request and with parent permission. The School Nurse checks all Kindergarten students for issues with modalities of ears and eyes, also with parent permission.