The educational program at Highmount Preschool is guided by the principles and outcomes outlined within the Victorian Early Years Framework (VEYLDF) and the National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) – Belonging, Being and Becoming. Teachers and educators create an engaging, interactive, inclusive, and supportive learning environment where each child’s learning and development opportunities are maximised through our high-quality play-based curriculum.
Teachers and educators nurture, support, inspire and celebrate each child to develop positive dispositions for learning, social competence, emotional wellbeing, and identity. Children are provided with rich, authentic, and meaningful experiences that support connections with community, culture and nature. Educators facilitate this through positive relationships, intentional teaching, and inspiring and engaging learning experiences.
Our program evolves in response to children’s changing needs and interests, community feedback and teachers’ best practice approach to pedagogy.
3 Year Old Program
The 3-Year-Old Program at Highmount Preschool invites children to discover and foster a love of learning that they will carry with them throughout life. At three and four years old, children love to explore, experiment, create, connect with others and delight in the world around them. They are full of energy and curiosity. Our program recognises these wonderful characteristics and seeks to nurture, celebrate, and develop them.
Through warm and respectful relationships and a supportive and engaging play experiences, we support each child to grow physically, socially, cognitively, emotionally, and creatively. The three-year-old program also places great importance of ensuring each child achieves a sense of belonging. The Early Years Learning Framework explains the importance of belonging:
“Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood, and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.”
We support each child to connect with their peers, teachers, and the preschool community in ways that promote a positive sense of self, inclusion and emotional and social wellbeing.
4 Year Old Program
At four and five years old the children come to Kindergarten with volumes of knowledge, a wide range of skill sets, and lived experiences that will inform and transform their play. They are seekers of knowledge and understanding, risk takers, adventurers, natural scientists, codebreakers, problem solvers, artists, friends, and authors of their own stories. Throughout their kindergarten year they will be supported and encouraged to explore all these identities through engaging, fun, inspiring and meaningful experiences that will help them to become effective and confident learners and strong in their social and emotional wellbeing.
The kindergarten year is a very special year for your child as they meet new challenges, go on adventures, experience new things, and open their minds even further to the possibilities that life holds for them. With this in mind, we know how important our role is in ensuring kindergarten is where they find their love of learning and experience learning as fun. We will nurture, support and inspire each child to show them how capable they are and how amazing the world is when you are a seeker of knowledge and understanding.
Social and Emotional Learning
Social and emotional learning helps children gain the competencies and skills needed to build resilience and effectively manage their emotions, behaviour, and relationships with others.
Through relationships with others, children cultivate expectations and understandings about their world and the people in it and are developing their first:
- Understanding and sense of self and their capabilities.
- Social skills to get along in life with others.
- Emotional skills such as effectively identifying, understanding, expressing, and managing a wide range of feelings.
These first experiences, understandings and skills are crucial, as they form the foundations for children’s ongoing development and impact their mental health and wellbeing, now and into the future.
At Highmount Preschool we support the children to engage in social and emotional learning by:
- Providing opportunities for role play where children can explore aspects of identity, make sense of things they may have seen, and practise social roles and skills.
- Intentionally teaching children to identify their emotions and the emotional responses of those around them.
- Helping children to build and maintain positive relationships by learning about kindness, care, and empathy.
- Engaging children in group projects and play experiences to support their ability to work co-operatively with others.
- Teaching the children techniques for coping with stress and worry.
- Engaging children in regular mindfulness experiences.
- Forming secure and trusting relationships with each child, and modelling pro-social behaviour, problem solving skills, empathy and kindness.
- Using texts and media to support children’s emotional literacy development.
- Inviting the children to walk with us on our journey towards reconciliation. We are committed to reconciliation and contributing to a better Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and all other Australians participate in an equitable and fair society, free from prejudice and persecution.
- Exploring the culture, heritage, backgrounds, and traditions of each child within the context of their community.
- Planning experiences and providing resources that broaden children’s perspectives and encourage appreciation of diversity.