The philosophy of the Early Learning Centre (ELC) is based on an image of the child as strong, capable and inquisitive. To realize the potential of all children, the ELC provides a nurturing, secure and stimulating learning environment, one that promotes happiness and a desire to learn. The primary aim is for children to increase their understandings of the world in which they live through development of broadly based knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable them to take the prerequisite steps in preparation for lifelong learning. Highly qualified teachers design, implement and evaluate innovative and challenging programs that reflect the most contemporary early childhood theory and research and Australian Government curriculum guidelines including the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Victorian Early Years learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF).
Within the philosophy the arts play a central role in helping children to be involved in independent decision-making, expressive and aesthetic communication and collaborative learning. Sensory rich learning environments are established to stimulate curiosity and a sense of wonder. Also the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) are linked to arts-based learning, with teachers prioritizing learning 'in, about and for the environment'; the aim being to connect children to the natural world and to their responsibility for maintaining the health and beauty of their kindergarten, local community and in turn the planet.
One of the central philosophical beliefs that underpin the program is that the child is intrinsically motivated to explore and discover the world by actively employing a complex network of abilities, interests and symbolic languages. Through engagement with the arts children are given the opportunity to experience learning from multiple perspectives. Teachers employ project based learning to support creative thinking and problem solving with many opportunities provided for in-depth inquiry into areas of study that are initiated either by the children, the families, by the teachers or through involvement with the wider community.
The ELC's philosophy recognizes that children mature at different rates and have preferred styles of learning. It also emphasizes the importance of holistic learning with special attention paid to the establishment of an emotionally secure foundation to support each child's developing sense of self and empathy for others. Relationships between children and children, children and teachers and teachers and families are nurtured, with the aim being to establish a community of learners who embark on a mutually beneficial learning journey. Teachers employ a range of assessment tools to ensure that each child's growth and development is systematically monitored over the course of a year.
The Early Learning Centre provides a dynamic teaching and learning environment, one that gives each child a chance to play, discover and to grow in an atmosphere of care and mutual respect; children, regardless of race, gender, age, ability, social status or family structure are able to participate in all aspects of a challenging and unique educational program. Teachers value the learning spaces for their capacity to organize, to promote choices and deep involvement and to support the development of respectful relationships between individuals and materials. Learning experiences, routines and resources are presented in such a way so as to stimulate sensory perception, encourage creative thinking and enhance opportunities for collaborative learning. Materials from the built and natural world are carefully selected for their capacity to excite open-ended play; mirrors, stones, colored glass, precious objects are provided to stimulate sensory perception and imaginative thinking.
Please Note: The ELC Philosophy is a shared statement that evolves according to the beliefs and values that are collectively held by the ELC staff and families. On an annual basis ELC staff and parents are given the opportunity to review the statement and changes made if deemed appropriate.
The ELC's curriculum is aligned with Australia Government, Department of Education & Training's Early Years Learning Framework, “Belonging, Being & Becoming”. For more information, click here.
Children are placed at the Centre of curriculum negotiations, the belief being that they learn best when their interests are acknowledged as worthy of investigation. Adopting a child-centred approach that employs materials from the child's culture and family history to illustrate concepts and principles, results in an authentically responsive curriculum model that ensures a dynamic and vibrant teaching and learning environment.
The curriculum is designed to help children to:
- Develop positive attitudes to the self and to others through the achievement of individualized personal and social goals.
- Develop positive attitudes to learning, including the development of problem solving and critical thinking skills.
- Develop concentration and observation skills.
- Develop independence and an understanding of the need for self-discipline.
- Develop concept knowledge through experience in language, mathematics, science, music, art, dance, drama, literature, social and cultural studies and technology.
- Develop core age-appropriate literacy and numeracy skills.
- Develop effective language, collaboration and communication skills.
- Develop fine and gross motor skills.
- Develop learning through the use of technology-based tools and information systems.
- Develop respectful and caring attitudes to the environment.
- Learn about sustainable living practices such as composting, energy saving, water usage, recycling and to 'take action' in support of these practices.