Our Vision in Practice
At The First Friends Preschool we want to positively influence the lifelong outcomes of every child.
Each child is seen as capable, first and foremost, having unique needs, strengths and interests. Our Educators observe the child within its family unit and the community to build on this capacity through intentional teaching.
It is our belief that all children are proficient learners who bringing their unique skills and knowledge to our community. Our programs are child focused, child initiated and inspired by children’s curiosity and imagination designed to nurture the developments and promotes growth of each child.
Programming is based on observing children on a regular basis, evaluating their needs and interests and planning future activities from these observations. We aim to develop programs to meet the children’s needs and therefore enhance individual development. Programs are evaluated on a regular basis by staff and management.
The developmental skills our curriculum is based on are:
- Social – cooperation, sharing, turn-taking and problem solving
- Emotional – self-awareness, self-control and self-discipline
- Moral and spiritual – empathy and social justice
- Physical –
- Fine motor – small muscle development e.g. cutting, drawing
- Gross motor – large muscle development e.g. running, jumping
- Cognitive – thinking, listening and resolving conflict
- Language – communicating and self-expression
The Centre follows the national Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and this framework forms the basis for our unique curriculum. Our curriculum, educational programs, goals and philosophy are evaluated on a regular basis and all staff are trained and personally consulted with any new developments.
Daily activities are intended to extend, challenge and stimulate the children’s curiosity; these activities are viewed not only as a series of activities for children, but rather as an extensive range of experiences and opportunities to develop each child holistically. Staff will observe a child’s play and listen carefully to their questions to support emergent projects and creations the come directly from the children instead of the staff.
Opportunities will be made available to parents throughout the year to learn more about the educational programs, however if you would like more information at any time regarding our Centre philosophy, educational programs, activities, developmental goals or how we plan to achieve projected outcomes for your child, please speak to your child’s teacher or for a more formal meeting we invite you to make an appointment with the centre director.
Photos are taken throughout your child’s day to document their learning experiences. These photos are displayed in the Daily Reflective Diary in each studio and although these remain the property of the centre, you will receive copies in your child’s portfolio which are available for parents viewing at all times. Photos will only be released to social media and marketing platforms with express parental permission.
Each child attending our centre will be given a portfolio at the end of the year documenting their individual learning journey. These books are a special collection of photos, diary entries, artwork, observations and records of their individual experiences. Parents are encouraged to add to their child’s portfolio by emailing or brining in family memoirs, photos, and favourite recipes or just to peruse and discuss their child’s experiences at the Centre. Many parents find the centre’s closed Facebook page a convenient way to share information. Parents input and communication is encouraged and valued when planning for specific needs of each child.
Early Years Learning Framework
Our program supports the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). The Framework recognises that early childhood is a vital period in children’s learning and development.
EYLF embodies the idea of ‘belonging, being and becoming’:
‘Belonging’ is all about children’s relationships with the people and communities around them. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and wider community. This sense of belonging forms the basis of a child’s sense of identity. This requires our staff to recognise and integrate the uniqueness of each community into the centre’s daily practices. It also means working with families to ensure children’s needs are met.
‘Being’ simply means allowing children to be children. It is about the present and children learning about themselves, engaging in all the experiences life has to offer and meeting everyday challenges. At our centre, this means we help your children to explore the world around them, take safe risks and make mistakes in order to learn valuable lessons.
‘Becoming’ focuses on children’s growth and development in these early years. It is these formative years in which children’s identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships change and evolve depending on surrounding events and environments. In an early learning setting, this means providing a nurturing and stimulating environment that helps children learn about themselves and the world around them.
At the heart of The First Friends Preschool’s program is “Belonging, Being and Becoming”, the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) for Australia. This is the Australian government’s national framework for early childhood education, and a key component of the National Quality Framework (NQF) for early childhood education and care which is designed to encourage continuous improvement of education and care services across Australia. The EYLF defines the principles, practices and outcomes essential to every early learning program and is designed to ensure all children, from birth to five years of age, receive high quality learning experiences.
The framework has a strong emphasis on play-based learning and aims to achieve five overall Learning outcomes:
- Children have a strong sense of identity
- Children are connected with and contribute to their world
- Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
- Children are confident and involved learners
- Children are effective communicators
You can find more information about the NQF at http://acecqa.gov.au
You can download the Early Years Learning Framework Families Guide at http://education.gov.au/early-years-learning-framework