Preparation for School and Life
From the moment our children join our little community as babies they are preparing for school, and ultimately for life.
We pride ourselves in offering opportunities which promote innovative thought, resilience and problem solving; all skills, traits and behaviours which best prepare them for their next adventure. We encourage independence, acknowledging not only our similarities but celebrating our differences. It is through our differences that we learn to come together and support one another, to work and feel valued as a member of a team in order to achieve often a common goal. The Department of Education and Training* acknowledges that a child thrives at school when they have a diverse skill set, this is why we take a holistic approach to supporting their learning and development.
We listen to the child, and through our interactions we learn about their interests. By capturing their attention through their interests we can indirectly support them in developing, extending and further expanding their mastery of skills, knowledge to a deeper level and support them in consolidating their learning. This is when learning becomes more wholesome, more meaningful and effective.
At Fletcher Early Learning Centre the children are invited to be involved in a process from beginning to end. W. Edwards Deming is a well known Engineer who often stated that “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you are doing.” We embrace this concept and this is evident throughout the abundance of projects coming to life, developing and moving in all different directions based on each child’s input. The children within the centre develop the capability to question at a deeper level, to be able to apply knowledge and concepts to a variety of situations and to feel empowered to direct their own learning. These skills are what supports children in the school setting, and ultimately life as they are more independent, resilient and capable to take control of what is happening around them.
In our Preschool Rooms we offer the children the opportunity to engage in Lunchbox Week where they are able to prepare their own lunch and pack it into their lunchboxes. This happens monthly for and entire week at a time.
Each child is invited and supported to make their own choices, being offered a selection of fillings and then guided to make their own sandwich or wrap. They also have an array of ingredients to package their choice of snacks to fill their lunchboxes with. The excitement and sense of pride emanates around the room as they each support one another to carry out the process. However, the value and intention of this program continues throughout the day as they gather for lunch…just like they do at school. The children learn to negotiate the clasps, zippers, and folds of their lunchboxes, packaging and peeling of their own fruit. With this program in place the children are supported and have a positive outlook on this transition as they feel informed and prepared.
Nutrition and Welbeing
Another significant part evident within our Preschool rooms is the embedded practise of our Nutrition and Wellbeing Program. Throughout the week the children are given the opportunity to assist in the preparation of the daily menu, often selecting to prepare the vegetables for lunches, or cooking a vast array of cakes, pastries, sandwiches and much more to share and enjoy for our afternoon tea.
In addition to putting on their chef’s hats each morning, Miss Brydie who is our in -house chef regularly visits all the rooms throughout the centre to support them, sharing her knowledge, experience and passion about cooking and living a healthy lifestyle. By engaging in open discussions and actively working as a team the children are being introduced and able to develop the skills and knowledge which they will take with them as they grow and develop into independent and competent adults; supporting them to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Mathematics and Literacy
We aim to support our children in gaining a working understanding of mathematical concepts and language. We do this by providing them ‘real’ situations, ‘real’ materials and ‘real’ processes to ensure that the opportunities are holistic and meaningful. The daily experiences are purposefully designed based on the child’s interests, however are built with the consideration of how to support the development of reading, writing, counting, classifying, sorting, analysing, problem solving and much more; all of the skills that our experienced Educators identify as a developmental need.
As you read about the Preschool programs mentioned above, each of those have been ingrained with the opportunity for skill development in creative thought, language and literacy, mathematical and scientific concepts, self expression, independence and a sense of self worth for each and every child. The flexibility of our program celebrates each child’s differences, acknowledging that within our little community and as they grow to be a more influential part of society they should each be valued, though will each play their own unique part. Our program supports them in discovering who they are, helping them to devise their own goals and inspire a drive to be able to achieve their dreams! By embracing the spontaneous moments that develop throughout the day we are able to harness the most meaningful opportunities to support, encourage and inspire confidence in each and every child. By being future focused we aim to foster creative and innovative thought in order to prepare our children with the skills needed for them to succeed in an ever changing world. * Translation Services: Department of Education and Training. Learning Potential: ‘Is your child ready for big school?’ Cited on the world wide web at learningpotential.gov.au on 16th June 2019).