In our Kindergarten, we believe that children learn best when their individual needs are identified and addressed in a nurturing, supportive and encouraging environment with positive role models.
Learning: Early Learning Centre
Being a happy and fulfilled person is important and essential to a child’s engagement in learning. Each child is first and foremost a member of a family. Parents and other significant family members are a child’s first and most important teachers. At Christ Church Grammar School, we have been cherishing families since 1898.
All children begin Kindergarten with their own learning styles, culture, passions and interests. We believe every child is competent and curious, capable and motivated to learn about their world through play, active exploration and questioning. Active play and social interactions help children make sense of their world and develop social and emotional understandings and self-regulation.
Children develop confidence and a sense of self as they gain independence, competence and feel heard and accepted for who they are right now. We guide every child towards developing the resilience needed to deal with life little bumps effectively. We focus on children’s holistic development and strengths encouragement of persistence and a positive mindset is vital for success.
We support children to value differences and the richness that a diverse community and other perspectives can bring to us. We believe all children have the right to a high-quality early childhood education. We value participation, inclusion and equity for all children and their families and this is incorporated into our policies and practices.
Our environment plays an important role in encouraging children to be independent and capable problem solvers. Teachers create a comfortable and home like environment that provides choice within predictable, yet flexible routines helping each child find a sense of belonging and ownership. We create learning environments incorporating multi-sensory spaces that offer natural materials and open-ended experiences.
We follow the Early Years Learning Framework and are inspired by a holistic approach including emergent curriculum and inquiry learning. We are beginning to implement the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment program into our four year old program to enhance children’s intrinsic motivation, encourage them to welcome challenge and develop thinking and lifelong learning skills. We seek to provide a strong foundation of dispositions, values and skills which will allow for a seamless transition to formal education.
Literacy and Numeracy
The foundation skills in literacy and numeracy skills are embedded into our everyday programs and intentional interactions. Educators help children apply these skills in meaningful experiences and projects.
Phonics Program-Little Learners Love Literacy
Learning to read is a complex task but Milo the Monkey and his friends introduce children to the letters and sounds providing a simple, fun and engaging approach. The program is developed from evidence based literacy research with an emphasis at the first stages, on explicit teaching in the following developmental areas:
Phonemic awareness and Phonics
Little Learners also includes the teaching of handwriting as an integral part of teaching literacy.
The Importance of Phonemic Awareness in Early Reading Development.
Phonemic awareness is the ability to pick out and manipulate sounds in words. Learning to speak is natural, but learning to read is a skill that must be learnt. Explicit teaching in phonemic awareness assists children in making the link between sounds and letters.
With our littlest learners, literacy teaching is woven into our play-based program to ensure that our children are engaged in learning skills that are developmentally appropriate. In 3 year old kindergarten, every child will get to know Milo the Monkey and his friends making for a smooth progression to the next stage of development. With a focus on developmental stage rather than age, teachers will incorporate children into the program when they feel they show signs of readiness.
Teacher Professional Development
A growing body of research establishes a direct link between teacher quality and student learning early years staff at Christ Church Grammar School, form part of a professional learning community engaging in research, committed to best practise and ongoing improvement of themselves as educators. Evaluation and self-review enables us to continuously improve our policies, procedures and practices. This contributes directly to improved learning outcomes for all children. Planning and assessment is a team effort that follows a cycle of data collection, analysis and goal setting and is driven by children’s interests and skills developments.