Our Program

Our Program

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:

  • Painting
  • Building
  • Play dough
  • Drama/Pretend Play
  • Books
  • Climbing
  • Cooking
  • Threading
  • Sand & Water Play
  • Block building
  • Collage
  • Music and Movement
  • Puzzles



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 approach to curriculum (educational program) is born out of a long-held tradition of early childhood philosophy and practice and is supported by contemporary international and national research and theoretical perspectives about children’s learning, health and wellbeing. Our children are valued and respected as competent and capable co-contributors in the learning process.  Our teachers work alongside your child to actively encourage and support them in their learning process.

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
When we stop to ask children what they think, the possibilities abound. Not only are they active seekers of knowledge but also ardent, and sometimes surprising, carriers of knowledge.  Through careful observation, teachers gather information to determine the appropriate amount of challenge to offer your child in order to further enhance their skills, abilities and comprehension.

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
Much of the debate in early year’s education focuses on how educators should be teaching our children. Just as a baby has to crawl before they can walk, so too do children have to pay their dues in the “sandpit trenches”. Children must be allowed to naturally progress through their own unique stages of learning. A curriculum that features child-initiated experiences ensures young minds continue to develop. To make sure we nurture and develop our future generations of thinkers, play is an essential component of a quality early childhood educational experience. Research has shown play is the best exercise for the brain because it provides the perfect stimulus needed for brain development. The Canadian Government’s Early Years Study (McCain & Mustard 1999) concluded:

“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.

Carla Rinaldi

The role of art
The visual arts are an essential part of children’s educational experiences and an integral component of the curriculum in Lady Gowrie kindergartens. Offering a strong visual arts program for young children stems from our understanding that the child has an intense desire and will to make sense of their world. Drawing, painting, collage, clay work and construction are some of the most effective ways children have to construct and convey their understanding of the world in which they live.

“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

Behaviour guidance
Birralee Kindergarten and Lady Gowrie have worked with qualified and experienced behaviour change experts to develop our Guiding Children’s Behaviour Policy and staff practices.

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:

  1. meet their needs in other ways
  2. 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.

Birralee Kindergarten actively promotes environmental awareness and encourages children and families to protect the environment through modelling and education. We strive to cultivate a lifelong respect of environmental awareness and care. Native wildlife is treated with care and respect and is allowed to remain free while appropriate observation for children’s information is made. The planting of and tending to trees and shrubs is a valued aspect of our services. They provide us with effective natural shade and maintain habitats for birds and other native wildlife. Where practical and possible, hygienic composting of lawn clippings and fruit waste is practised, along with recycling of plastic, paper, metal and glass materials. Birralee Kindergarten has a policy on “minimising harsh elements in early childhood settings” which encourages hygiene practices without the use of harmful chemicals.
Rest, relaxation and sleep
We believe it is important to incorporate a balance of experiences for your child, including opportunities for rest and relaxation. There are many ways a rest/relaxation time can be incorporated into the day. These may include resting on a bed or a variety of quiet experiences such as reading, drawing, puzzle work, as well as other relaxation techniques. Consideration is given to creating a restful atmosphere which is flexible and responsive to each individual’s needs. You are encouraged to discuss the specific needs of your child, in relation to rest/ relaxation time, with your child’s teacher.

Centre Hours

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 2024

3 day group

Each Monday, Tuesday and alternating Wednesday

8.30am to 2.30pm

Session times Kangaroos

3 day group

Alternating Wednesday and each Thursday and Friday

8.30am to 2.30pm