A flexible, child-centred program is implemented for each group. Each consists of free selection periods of work and play in both the indoor and outdoor learning environments. Group sessions occur at varying intervals during the day, emphasising language development and experience with stories, music and movements. Individualised learning experiences are incorporated into each child’s play in an atmosphere of warmth and acceptance of the individual’s worth. Children will learn by exploration, discovery and play through activities such as:
- Play dough
- Drama/Pretend Play
- Sand & Water Play
- Block building
- Music and Movement
At no other stage of your child’s education will they receive so much personal attention. Challenges are created so your child is able to achieve their full potential.
Making learning fun and meaningful
Our teachers regularly undertake professional development to ensure the most up-to-date research is used as a basis for shaping curriculum decisions.
The curriculum offered is a collaborative venture, negotiated with children and developed by fully qualified early childhood professionals. The physical environments, mood and feel of our kindy are designed to support and enhance your child’s learning. Your child’s curiosity, enthusiasm and love of learning will continually be encouraged by our team. As teachers and children engage in inquiry together, children are learning to observe, ask questions, reflect on their actions and engage in meaningful and self-directed activity.
Gowrie’s well-respected tradition of encouraging family and community involvement ensures that our curriculum:
- supports and affirms parents in their parenting role
- acknowledges the individuality of family aspirations and traditions
- optimises learning for children
- engages parents in cooperative decision making
- is relevant to the children, families and community
- facilitates networking among families within the local community
The essence of our role as educators is to add complexity to children’s thinking by posing a question: “What do you think?” In doing so adults provide the child with a possibility, acknowledge them as a thinker and constructor of knowledge and at the same time, indicate to the child that they are ready to listen.
Carla Rinaldi 2005
Documenting your child’s learning
Our teachers capture your child’s learning and thinking in their individual portfolios. Portfolios are more than a memory or keepsake of your child’s time at Birralee. Not only do they provide an insight into your child’s learning, they also make the quality of our teaching practice visible to you. Portfolios provide children with an opportunity to revisit and reflect on past experiences, record their learning, including their emerging literacy and numeracy skills as it occurs in our rich, socially responsive and interactive learning spaces and provide our teachers with the knowledge they need to ensure your child’s time with us is full of wonder and possibility.
The use of documentation methods, such as individual child portfolios allows teachers to gain an in-depth understanding of your child’s development in action. The use of concrete illustrations through the inclusion of photos and work samples provides a unique opportunity for focused discussion between you and the teachers. This allows for deeper partnerships to grow and for shared goal setting to occur.
Learning through play
“Play based problem solving with other children and an adult is an early learning strategy that has a crucial effect on early brain development and should be the format for children entering the school system.”
Play that encourages problem solving offers children an array of opportunities to explore, discover and create. Play fosters qualities such as curiosity, perseverance and risk taking, to name a few. It is believed these qualities motivate lifelong learners but are difficult to invoke if not self-discovered when young.
If we remove play from children’s lives we remove a possibility for learning.
The role of art
“Rather than thinking of children’s image-making as ‘art’, it may be more helpful to see it in a different light. Just as adults use notes and diagrams to assist understanding, so do children use images to make sense of things and play with ideas.”
Rapunzel’s Supermarket (2001), Ursula Kolbe
Our teaching staff analyse children’s behaviour to attempt to understand their needs. Our practice is guided by our philosophy which is based on the internal control psychology of Choice Theory by Dr William Glasser.
Staff use strategies such as directional language, guidance and behaviour teaching processes to encourage children to understand and choose appropriate behaviour.
The concept of guidance is an important one in the area of behaviour. A guidance approach to behaviour teaching and management requires the interactive participation of the child and adult. The goal of the guidance process is for the adult to interact with the child in a caring and understanding way, empowering and enabling the child to develop self-respect, self-responsibility and self-control. When staff observe challenging behaviours, they make notes for the child’s records so that a clearer picture can be obtained. Staff try to establish reasons for a particular behaviour and plan experiences and activities which will assist the child to:
- meet their needs in other ways
- learn the appropriate behaviour
Families are consulted about any issues or problems regarding their child’s behaviour. Family input is sought, where possible, for a solution in guiding the child.
If very challenging behaviours continue and staff members have demonstrated that all steps possible have been taken to assist this child with their behaviour, then the child’s placement at the centre may need to be reviewed by the director, committee and the Lady Gowrie early education consultant.
For further information, please refer to the Lady Gowrie Behaviour Policy located in the Policy Manual in the centre’s office.
Rest, relaxation and sleep
Our centre is open during Queensland school terms, the centre is closed during the school holidays.
Staff will be in attendance 30 minutes either side of session times.
Session times Koalas
3 day group
Each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
9am to 2.00pm
Session times Kangaroos
Each Thursday and Friday
8.30am to 4.00pm