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Pre-School Programs

As preschoolers gain more self-esteem, they may feel ready to take on the world. Our Preschool programs, developed by Early Childhood Trained teachers, aim to help children become problem solvers and lifelong learners.

Through independent exploration, structured activities, and hands-on learning, children learn early literacy, math, science, and social skills.  A healthy dose of running, jumping, and dancing keeps them active, too.

The strength of our Preschool Program is based on three fundamental elements:

 

1. Adult-Child Interaction

Effective adult-child interaction is essential to any successful early childhood program.

We place a strong emphasis on creating a warm and nurturing environment in the preschool rooms, not only because this helps children form trusting relationships with others but also because of its impact on learning in all areas.  We believe that when the social climate is positive and supportive, children are likely to become engaged and motivated learners.


The staff are skilled at encouraging children to use problem solving skills to come up with answers and to provide just the right level of assistance to master a skill. Rather than statements that evaluate or judge, staff make objective, specific comments that encourage children to expand their descriptive language and think about what they are doing.  When children have social conflicts, staff stay nearby to be ready to offer support as needed (but intervene immediately to stop hurtful words or actions).


2. The Environment

Our Preschool Rooms are divided into interest areas stocked with a stimulating range of materials designed for specific types of play: dramatic play area, art and crafts area, block and building area, puzzles and games area, computer area, reading area, writing area.  Materials are arranged in consistent places and the shelves are tagged with child-friendly labels so that children can get out and put away materials themselves, thus increasing the sense of independence and self-regulation.


3. The Daily Routine

Our daily routine provides a consistent framework for the day with a balanced variety of experiences and learning opportunities. Children engage in both individual and social play, participate in small and large group activities, develop self-help skills, and exercise their small and large muscles.  The routine is flexible to accommodate spontaneous learning opportunities.

What are the areas of development in our preschool program?

Social & Emotional Development

Because we believe social competence and emotional security are the foundations for each child’s future learning, our preschool program places a strong emphasis in developing these two areas.

A preschool environment provides an ideal opportunity for children to develop positive social skills and friendships with others.

We deliberately create a preschool environment which encourages children to communicate, cooperate, negotiate, share and take turns.  Some of the skills that we aim to develop include:

    •    communication skills (saying what they want and feel, asking questions, inviting other children to play);

    •    skills that help regulate emotions (recognizing their own emotions and those of others, controlling emotional outbursts, dealing with frustrations);

    •    skills that support conflict resolution (controlling aggressive impulses, suggesting alternative solutions, compromising);

    •    cooperation skills (taking turns, imitating, reacting positively to others, adapting to the others point of view); and

    •    Independence and self-help skills.

Early Numeracy Skills

Children acquire mathematical skills and concepts through adult-guided experiences which respect children's concrete thinking and need to learn through exploration.
Through exploring their environment, children start to notice relationships that are the foundations for math. To encourage this understanding we provide activities that allow children to count, sort and match things, to recognise and arrange things in simple patterns, to measure and weigh things so that they begin to grasp the meaning of words and phrases like "more," "less," "a lot" and "the same as” and to develop a sense of spatial awareness as they put together puzzles and build with blocks.

Language and Literacy Development

One of the most important goals of our program is for young children to understand and become aware of printed material and to enjoy the use of language and reading.

We provide an environment that is rich in print. There are words next to visual clues, alphabet charts displaying the NSW foundation script, labels for items around the room, children’s name labels on display in numerous places, teachers modelling writing by transcribing children’s thoughts and ideas and books available both in the reading corner and in other areas (e.g. recipe books in the home-corner, construction books in the block corner).

The writing centre is stocked with a wide range of writing and drawing materials. Staff encourage and support children to practice correct pencil grip and to fine-tune their hand-eye coordination skills.

As well as providing an environment that encourages literacy and language development, we also teach preschoolers phonemic awareness (letter sounds and recognition) through planned activities that are fun and interesting. Among other things, we sing songs that rhyme with letters, we play games to find things that begin with a certain sound, we trace the sounds in sand and paint and we match pictures with alphabet sounds.

Science and Nature

Young children are experimenters and testers from birth. If we observe young children as they explore their world, we will see them using the following processes:

    •    Observing

    •    Classifying

    •    Experimenting

    •    Predicting

    •    Drawing conclusions

    •    Communicating ideas

Like adult scientists, preschoolers wonder how things work and what makes things happen. They are intent on exploring the properties of the living and nonliving things they encounter in their daily lives, but preschoolers' investigations are more random and spontaneous than those of "real scientists" and are influenced by their concrete thinking and limited range of experiences.

Preschool scientists, like their adult counterparts, are eager to communicate their discoveries and share their explanations. They do so using their emerging skills in language, literacy, math and representation.

Our staff are trained to recognise and build on the science behaviours that naturally arise as children play and explore indoors and outside. They also promote science by planning and carrying out small and large group activities. These activities are structured around the concepts of science as well as children's personal science interests. For example, teachers may plan a related group activity when they notice that children are interested in the seeds in their morning tea fruit, or they might plan an activity that teaches children concepts around floating and sinking.

Creative Art Expression

Creative art expression is an integral part of our program. Artistic experiences not only contribute to children's artistic and creative development but also to a wide range of skills in other areas, including perceptual, cognitive, language and social skills. We focus not only on providing children opportunities to create art, but also teach children to appreciate art in all its form. This includes appreciation of work created by their peers. Staff ensure that children’s work is displayed around the room with care and respect.

Music and Movement is part of our creative art expression.  Music experiences include moving to music, exploring and identifying sounds, exploring the singing voice, developing melody, singing songs and playing simple instruments. Opportunities to integrate movement and music with literacy, maths, and other areas are included throughout the daily routine.

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