THE EARLY LEARNING YEARS FRAMEWORK
The National Quality Standard is linked to the National Quality Frameworks which outlines principles, practices and learning outcomes that guide educational leaders and educators in their curriculum decision-making, and assist them in planning, delivering and evaluating quality programs in early childhood and school age settings.
Under the National Law, services must deliver an educational program to all children being educated and cared for that is:
- based on an approved learning framework
- delivered in accordance with that approved learning framework
- based on the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child
- designed to take into account the individual differences of each child.
Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) V2.0 2022 conveys the highest expectations for all children’s learning, development, and wellbeing from birth to 5 years and through the transitions to school.
- Secure, respectful, and reciprocal relationships
- Respect for diversity
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives
- Equity, inclusion, and high expectations
- Critical reflection and ongoing professional learning
- Collaborative leadership and teamwork
- Holistic, integrated, and interconnected approaches
- Responsiveness to children
- Play-based learning and intentionality
- Learning environments
- Cultural responsiveness
- Continuity of learning and transitions
- Assessment and evaluation for learning, development, and wellbeing
1 IDENTITY – Children have a strong sense of identity
1.1 Children feel safe, secure, and supported
1.1 Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience, and sense of agency
1.2 Children develop knowledgeable, confident self-identities and a positive sense of self- worth
1.3 Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy, and respect
2 COMMUNITY – Children are connected with and contribute to their world
2.1 Children develop a sense of connectedness to groups and communities and an understanding of their reciprocal rights and responsibilities as active and informed citizens
2.2 Children respond to diversity with respect
2.3 Children become aware of fairness
2.4 Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment
3 WELLBEING – Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
3.1 Children become strong in their social, emotional, and mental wellbeing
3.2 Children become strong in their physical learning and wellbeing
3.3 Children are aware of and develop strategies to support their own mental and physical health and personal safety
4 LEARNING – Children are confident and involved learners
4.1 Children develop a growth mindset and learning dispositions such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination, and reflexivity
4.2 Children develop a range of learning and thinking skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching, and investigating
4.3 Children transfer and adapt what they have learnt from one context to another
4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies, and natural and processed materials
5 COMMUNICATION – Children are effective communicators
5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
5.2 Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts
5.3 Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media
5.4 Children being to understand how symbols and pattern systems work
5.5 Children use digital technologies and media to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking
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.
Literacy and Numeracy
Literacy and numeracy are essential skills for all children to develop. At Highmount Preschool we support each child to become literate and numerate through engaging play experience, explicit teaching, real tools, a print rich environment, a language rich environment and a diverse and inclusive understanding of the different ways that humans communicate.
Our program encourages children to connect with literacy and numeracy at their own pace, and to use their knowledge, skills and understandings in contexts that are authentic and reflect real life.
The following experiences and approaches are embedded in our program to support each child’s literacy and numeracy learning and development at Highmount Preschool:
- Engaging children in meaningful and sustained conversations.
- Valuing children’s linguistic heritage and encouraging the use of, and acquisition of home languages and Standard Australian English.
- Encouraging and facilitating communication between peers.
- Dramatic play experience that invites children to use oral language, movement, print and music to express themselves and create scripts for their play.
- Space and materials that support children to engage in mark making and writing.
- Open-ended art experiences that support children to express themselves creatively and use art as language.
- A print rich environment that invites children to engage with text, images and symbols and build their print awareness and visual literacy.
- Spaces and experiences that celebrate books and foster a love of reading and storytelling.
- Interactive story-time experiences that support children to develop emergent literacy skills.
- Access to real mathematical tools and concrete materials that support children to engage with mathematical concepts and language.
- Opportunities to solve problems and use number in creative and meaningful ways.
Developing Skills and Dispositions for Learning
As children engage with our program and the environment at Highmount Preschool they are supported to develop key dispositions and skills for effective learning. Together with their educators they imagine, create, investigate, explore, experiment, wonder and reflect. Each child is supported to be active and confident in their play and to make decisions and share ideas and interests that drive and influence their learning and development. We seek to empower each child to become a highly capable, confident, and effective learner by:
- Inviting children to collaborate with educators when planning experiences.
- Ensuring children have access to high quality resources that facilitate learning through play.
- Using children’s interests as a vehicle for learning and planning for all learning styles.
- Supporting children to explore and connect with the natural world, and to take on roles of responsibility and care as we teach them about sustainable living.
- Providing a high-quality science program that invites children to experiment, investigate and explore through hands-on experiences.
- Taking an integrated approach to learning as we understand that one experience can present many avenues for the development of dispositions, skills, and knowledge.
- Incorporating meaningful service events and excursions in our program that support each child to progress in their learning and development.
Partnerships with Families
‘…Parents’ attitudes, behaviours, and actions in relation to their children’s education have a substantial impact on student learning and educational attainment.’ (Emerson, L., Fear. J., Fox, S., and Sanders, E. 2012)
At Highmount Preschool we work in partnership with families to achieve the best possible outcomes for each child. We make this partnership visible in our program and ensure that families are supported to contribute in meaningful and real ways. Through relationships and partnerships, we ensure that different preferences, perspectives, and interests are heard, valued, respected, and included. Utilising family knowledge and understanding, resources, and strengths assists shared decision making for children in the kindergarten
We support families to be active participants in their children’s learning and development at kindergarten by:
- Asking families to share important information regarding their child, including their interests, strengths, aspirations for their child, family and cultural values, and ways that we can best support their child.
- Seeking ongoing authentic feedback and input regarding our program that will be used to improve outcomes for all children.
- Sharing diverse ways of being and knowing so that we can honour and celebrate the culture, identity, and capabilities of each child.
- Inviting families to share their skills, expertise and experiences in ways that enrich our program.
- Inviting families to support our program as a volunteer.
- Celebrating community events with families in ways that are respectful, inclusive, and culturally appropriate.
- Asking families to share stories. Sharing stories enables us to better know your family and your children and are a springboard for discussion and reflection with your child and others. Shared stories are also a great way to foster the relationship between home and kindergarten and encourage a sense of belonging. They also help to develop language and literacy skills.
Transition to School
At Highmount Preschool we understand the transition to school is an active process of continuity and change that is facilitated by families, the kindergarten, and primary schools, in the context of secure and supportive relationships.
The process of transition occurs over time, beginning in the first term of kindergarten and extending to the first year of school.
Throughout the year we will support each child to make a positive transition to school by:
- Gathering information about each child’s learning and development from a wide range of sources and taking a strength-based approach when analysing and using this data to achieve the best possible outcome for all children.
- Working in consultation and partnership with children, families, and professionals to support each child’s transition.
- Supporting each child to manage change and build resilience as they develop and try out a range of skills and strategies while moving between contexts.
- Facilitating reciprocal visits from Prep teachers and local school children so that transition occurs in the contexts of secure and supportive relationships.
- Ensuring we provide schools with a comprehensive picture of each child so that they can better prepare and plan for their first year at school.
- Supporting each child to develop their social competency, emotional wellbeing as well as key dispositions and skills for learning so that they feel confident to meet the challenges, new experiences, and adventure that primary school has to offer.
- Developing detailed Transition Learning and Development Statements that celebrate the strengths of each child and ensure they are fully supported and engaged throughout their Prep year.
We understand that starting school is a major life transition for both children and their families and we are committed to giving children every opportunity for a positive and effective transition to school