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Educational Programs to Inspire

Kindergarten Program

Teachers aim to support every child’s learning and development by offering a high-quality curriculum with practice firmly grounded in the development and maintenance of respectful, responsive and reciprocal relationships with children, parents, families, the community and each other. Our Kindergarten Program focusses on the children’s current knowledge, interests, abilities, ideas, development and culture. Children’s individual learning and development is assessed as part of an ongoing cycle of observation, analysis of learning, documentation, planning, implementation and reflection. Teachers support children to meet the aims and learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework, The Kindergarten Learning Guidelines and work continuously towards quality improvement to exceed the National standards outlined in the National Quality Framework.

The Reggio Emilia Inspired Approach

Kids ELC’s Educational curriculums draw inspiration from the Reggio Emilia philosophy, respectful of Loris Malaguzzi’s “Hundred Languages” through which children express themselves. Our Kindergarten Program fosters the development and maintenance of meaningful, respectful, and reciprocal relationships, supporting the children in developing a sense of belonging. Connections and partnerships with the community are highly valued for supporting the development of children as global citizens with rights. As co-learners, educators support children to become lifelong learners through viewing them with deep respect, listening with mindfulness and upholding a genuine belief in the children’s intrinsic competencies.

Our curriculums strongly reflect the child’s cognitive processes of reasoning, problem solving, investigating, researching, and risk taking, as they challenge their own abilities. Our intentionally designed educational environments create rich learning possibilities with sufficient time for children to express, explore, extend and revisit, while empowering them as the protagonist in their own journey. Children move freely between the inside and outside play environments on their path to learning and discovery. This allows children to make their own choices and further develop connections with the natural environment, while offering greater opportunities for the extension of learning and the scope of teaching strategies that can be utilised in both learning environments. Teachers are co-learners and support the children through the provision of appropriate materials and authentic resources, asking open-ended questions, allowing uninterrupted time for play, mentoring respectful interactions and documenting learning as it occurs for each child.

Pedagogista

In Reggio Emilia, Italy the role of a Pedagogista (Educational Leader) is to support and collaborate with teachers in their daily work with children, their families, and community. The Pedagogista does this by working closely with teachers to observe, document, analyse and interpret the rights and needs of each child and family and then use this knowledge to plan and project responsive learning experiences with children. At Kids Early Learning Centres we believe it is very important to have a Pedagogista mentoring and supporting our teachers in all aspects of their teaching role. Our Pedagogista also assists educators in their professional development, and guides best practise in teaching and learning.

Learning Environments

Behind educators and families, physical learning environments hold the potential to influence what and how children learn. The environment is recognized for its potential to spark imagination, provoke curiosity, support collaboration and nurture relationships. Environments are filled with natural light, order and beauty. Open spaces are free from clutter, where every material is considered for its purpose, every corner is ever-evolving to encourage children to delve deeper and deeper into their interests. The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration, while respecting children as capable by providing them with authentic materials and tools.

Atelierista

Each Kids ELC centre has an atelierista, appointed to the role based on their passion, qualifications and experience in a creative arts background. Atelierista’s are advocates for children, they are responsible for empowering the team to understand the values of process-based play and learning experiences. Our Kids ELC centres have a variety of ateliers for the children to experience the freedom to create and explore. Each centre is unique.

Through encounters with a wide range of media and materials, children become more comfortable and skilled and begin to use the materials to communicate or represent their understandings, emotions, discoveries, and interests.

The Hundred Languages of Children is probably the most well-known aspect of the Reggio Emilia Approach. It is the belief that children use many different ways to express their understanding, thoughts and creativity. Loris Malaguzzi describes the infinite ways that children can express, explore, and connect their thoughts, feelings and imaginings. These languages are symbolic and are open to the endless potentials in children. Children have the opportunity to collaborate, realize new perspectives and deepen their relationships with each other.

Documentation

Rich documentation is a crucial element of our Reggio Emilia inspired programs for capturing the strengths, interests and emerging skills of the children. ‘Making Learning Visible’ occurs in a range of ways with its purpose being to celebrate learning, allow children to re-visit learning and to create optimal opportunities for family contribution to their child’s learning journey. Educators engage in pedagogical discussions and reflections to determine future pathways for individual and collaborative learning. Our daily curriculum is a living document that is responsive to the changing needs of children and families, with a fluidity that allows educators to capture spontaneous teachable moments. Daily documentation is recorded in meaningful ways and is displayed for children, families and educators to view, contribute to and reflect upon. We welcome families to make comments and discuss the documented learning with educators.

Individual Learning Journals

Learning Journals highlight each child’s individual development over the time they are here with us at the centre. They are accessible for children and families at any time, and we welcome family contribution. We believe that through children being able to share their stories with others, it allows them to reflect and revisit prior learning, deepen their understanding and spark new ideas for further exploration. The learning stories, observations, photos, artwork and documented learning also strengthen the child’s view of who they are within their world; allowing them to imagine possibilities for their future.

Project Learning

Collaborative studio project learning is based on the children’s current interests, knowledge, abilities, culture and strengths, are the foundation of our curriculum. Educators observe, listen and document children’s interests and ideas, then plan for possibilities of learning through ongoing projects. Children have autonomy over this learning process allowing them to make decisions as they explore with uninterrupted time and engage with of a variety of intentional resources. Educators are co-learners of knowledge, listening carefully and researching alongside the children. Children’s learning is scaffolded through educators asking open-ended questions, suggesting possibilities or prompting children’s ideas. Educators document the process of learning and development for children both individually and as part of the group. As a team, educators reflect on the project learning, so they can plan for further intentional teaching. Educators create meaningful provocations to extend, strengthen and challenge children’s knowledge while supporting collaborative learning.

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