The Yarralumla Preschool Philosophy builds upon our school's vision statement and the principles of the Early Years Learning Framework.
At Yarralumla Preschool we build secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships with all members of the community. We ensure that the interests, abilities and culture of every child and their family is understood, valued and respected.
We support children in their development of a strong sense of identity. We believe in providing a preschool program and atmosphere in which children feel safe, secure and supported in all aspects of their day, as we initiate warm, trusting and reciprocal relationships with children.
We recognise that children have come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences so we build on children's prior learning and experiences. We value their growth in terms of independence, resilience and initiative, as they become more confidently involved in both individual and collaborative pursuits.
We encourage, nurture and scaffold caring, empathetic and respectful behaviours and respect the views and feelings of each child. We aim to encourage a sense of fairness in the preschool setting through positive role models and jointly constructed and revised rules to keep everyone safe and happy. This sense of respect also extends to the outside environment as we dedicate designated time to the gardening and recycling program both at the Preschool and in the Primary School garden.
We develop partnerships with families which support the learning and development of all children. This partnership is formed at the commencement of the school year during parent/teacher interviews when the interests and needs of the child and family are discussed and recorded. These interests and needs are then reflected in the curriculum throughout the year. We provide families with information about their children's learning and development, as well as what they can further do to support their children. We believe in the value of children being connected with and contributing to their world of learning, as they develop a sense of belonging to the preschool group and the wider community of the primary school. We play an active role in ensuring that children are prepared for their transition to primary school as they familiarise themselves with Kindergarten routines, staff and facilities. Opportunities are provided for children to develop relationships with both Kindergarten peers as well as supportive buddies in years four and five in the mainstream part of Yarralumla Primary.
We strive for high expectations and equity for all. At Yarralumla Preschool our educators establish high expectations of children's learning and social and emotional development. We support this learning through a combination of child-led and teacher-led play based learning activities with an equal focus on indoor and outdoor activities. We expect that children will grow as effective communicators during their time at Preschool, both verbally and non-verbally. We also put equal emphasis on listening and speaking as we model good practice and provide children with many opportunities to revise and improve these skills.
We believe in engaging children with a range of written texts for a variety of purposes as they develop early reading and writing strategies. Focus is also placed on assisting children to express their ideas through a range of media including painting, personal diaries and by using the large interactive plasma screen. Symbols, patterns, numbers and letters are introduced through literature, information technology, co-operative games, song, music, dance and storytelling with puppets and props.
At Yarralumla Preschool we also support children in developing responsibility for their own health and well-being in terms of exercise, fine and gross motor skills, healthy eating, drinking, hygiene, safety and relaxation habits.
Yarralumla preschool staff enhance the learning and development of all children by engaging in ongoing professional learning and reflective practice. At Yarralumla Preschool our educators gather information that supports and informs decision making about future effective professional practices. Staff continually improve professional knowledge and skills (particularly with reference to the early childhood National Quality Standards) to enable them to provide the best learning opportunities for all children.
Staff support children in their journey towards being confident and involved learners. Our program is designed with activities and experiences to promote learning dispositions such as curiosity, creativity, persistence and enthusiasm. We establish connections between learning experiences. We encourage children to develop skills and processes such as problem solving, experimentation and inquiry. We provide a wide range of experiences to achieve this such as natural and processed materials and a variety of visitors and excursions.
We have respect for diversity in our learning community. Our educators recognise bi- and multi-lingualism as an asset and support these children to maintain their first language and to learn English as a second language. We build on children's interests, abilities, cultures and previous learning to develop in our program a broader understanding of our land and the land of others.
As our school, Yarralumla Primary is an Italian bilingual school, we value the development of early Italian listening and speaking skills in the preschool year through input from other staff and community members who are native Italian speakers. The belief behind effective bilingual language learning is that children should be immersed in the language in an engaging and active way. In the early years of learning children learn languages most effectively and enjoyably through song, rhyme, movement, dance and games.