Our preschool is a 2 unit, community-based preschool, which means we are owned and managed by the local community (via a Management Committee of parents attending the preschool), catering for children aged 3 to 6 years.
We have provided a fun, quality program in a warm and stimulating environment for over 30 years. Our program is child-centred and based around the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).
The Preschool is funded by the Department of Education, attendance fees payable by our children’s families, and fundraising activities.
Statement of Philosophy
At Springwood Preschool we strive to honour children, families and educators in all that we do. We endeavour to provide a service in which our children, families, educators and community feel that they belong. Experiencing belonging and connection – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to our existence and our ability to learn and grow. We advocate childhood as a unique and special time of life in which children have the right to play and enjoy being children. Play is the heartbeat of our preschool. At Springwood Preschool our educators, children and families will have the opportunity to build and maintain relationships through engaging with and sharing life’s joys, discoveries and challenges. Developing secure and respectful relationships is foundational to our service and central to developing a sense of belonging and connection. We believe that we are all (children, caregivers and educators) on a continuous journey of learning. At Springwood Preschool children’s identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships will change and grow on their journey of becoming confident, competent and active citizens.
At Springwood Preschool our curriculum begins as soon as you enter our front door. We aim to provide a curriculum that is exciting, challenging, stimulating, safe and inclusive, that draws upon the interests and needs of our children, families and educators. Our curriculum supports and reflects Belonging, Being and Becoming, (the Early Years Learning Framework) – its outcomes, principles and practices. We provide environments and play experiences that encourage and foster learning and growth in the areas of developing a strong sense of identity and belonging, developing friendships/connections and social understandings, making contributions, developing a strong sense of wellbeing and resilience, becoming confident and involved learners and becoming effective communicators. This encompasses social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.
Our educators draw upon a rich and varied repertoire of practices to promote children’s learning by:
- Adopting holistic approaches – paying attention to children’s physical, personal, social and emotional wellbeing as well as cognitive aspects of learning, and recognising the connectedness of development in these areas.
- Being responsive to children – responding to and valuing all children’s strengths, interests, abilities and knowledge.
- Planning and implementing learning through play.
- Intentional teaching – deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful teaching in which educators use strategies such as modelling and demonstrating, open questioning, speculating, explaining, engaging in shared thinking and problem solving to extend children’s thinking and learning.
- Creating physical and social learning environments – environments that support learning are vibrant and flexible spaces that are responsive to the interests and abilities of each child, that cater for different learning capacities and styles. Outdoor learning spaces are a feature of Australian learning environments. In term 2 and 3 a Bush Preschool program is provided.
- Valuing the cultural and social contexts of children and their families – respecting multiple cultural ways of knowing, seeing and living, celebrating diversity and understanding and honouring difference.
- Providing for continuity in experiences and enabling children to have successful transition
- Assessing and monitoring children’s learning to inform the provision of our program and to support children in achieving learning outcomes.
“Belonging, being and Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework” Pg. 16
- SECURE RESPECTFUL RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIPS – We give priority to nurturing relationships and providing children with consistent emotional support. This assists the children in our care to develop the skills and understandings they need to interact positively with others. We also help children to learn about their responsibilities to others, to appreciate their connectedness and contribution and to value collaboration and teamwork.
- PARTNERSHIPS – we recognise that families are children’s first and most influential teachers and that learning outcomes are most likely to be achieved when we work in partnership with families. Partnerships are based on the foundations of understanding each other’s expectations and attitudes and build on the strength of each other’s knowledge. We aim to foster genuine partnerships with families so we can:
- Value each other’s knowledge of children
- Value each other’s contributions to and roles in children’s lives
- trust each other
- communicate respectfully and freely with each other
- share insights and perspectives about children
- engage in shared decision-making
- HIGH EXPECTATIONS AND EQUITY – we believe in all children’s capacities to succeed, regardless of diverse circumstances and abilities. Children progress well when they, their parents and educators hold high expectations for their learning.
- RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY – There are many ways of living, being and knowing. Respecting diversity means within the curriculum valuing and reflecting the practices, values and beliefs of families. We value children’s different capacities and abilities and respect differences in families’ home lives. In Australia it also includes promoting greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being. We provide an Aboriginal perspective in our curriculum and the children and educators daily acknowledge the Gundungarra and Dharug people, the traditional owners of this land.
- ONGOING LEARNING AND REFLECTIVE PRACTICE – as educators we continually seek ways to build our professional knowledge. We engage in reflective practice as individuals and as a team. We critically reflect by examining aspects of events and experiences from different perspectives. At Springwood Preschool we work hard to maintain a lively culture of professional inquiry in which everyone is involved in an ongoing cycle of review through which current practices are examined and new ideas generated.
“Belonging, being and Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework” Pg. 12, 13