At Robina Scott Kindergarten we are committed to providing a program that reflects the services philosophy, is age appropriate and based on the individual needs and interests of each child, During indoor and outdoor play children are offered a wide range of learning experiences. The children choose their own activities and move freely between them. They are encouraged to make independent decisions and develop problem solving skills. The experiences provided are generally open ended to encourage creativity and imagination as well as promote independence and self worth.
Children learn through play and although this environment may appear unstructured and sometimes interpreted as chaotic, each learning station is designed purposefully and play a part in working towards optimum development of each child. This environment aims to promote children’s desire to learn.
Theme related days and special days/nights that involve families or special friends are included as part of the program each year. A copy of the fortnightly program for each colour group will be on display for you to view at all times.
Kindergarten Session Outline
The services four year old kindergarten program will consist of three sessions totaling 15 hours per week. Generally the children will spend some time indoors and outdoors during each session. They will also participate in snack time and mat time which often involves music, movement, show and tell and the sharing of stories.
The three year old sessions run in a similar manner with the only difference being shorter hours which are spread over two days.
The general flow of the session is flexible to accommodate the children’s special interests, moods or weather. To enable sharing of the yard with other colour groups we alternate inside first, outside first on a weekly basis.
At Robina Scott Kindergarten, all children have their own digital learning portfolios (SEESAW) which documents individual experiences, development and learning over the year. Portfolios can include observations, photographic records, learning stories, conversations, reflections, artifacts, descriptions, questions and analysis. We use these portfolios to reflect, evaluate and communicate about your child’s experiences and their discoveries.
We encourage family members to add to their child’s digital learning portfolios. For children and families, portfolios can offer the chance to become part of a collaborative process and add to the understanding of children learning in family and community contexts.
Digital learning portfolios encourage a comprehensive and in-depth reflection of your child’s learning journey, from a holistic perspective. Portfolios portray possibilities and future pathways that provide opportunities to scaffold, transform, monitor, review and evaluate learning and development in partnership with others.
Celebrations, Holidays and Special Occasions
Rituals or traditions, experiences shared regularly, contribute to a sense of community and belonging, as do celebrations that are handled sensitively. These can be valuable for children, families and educators. Both the planning and preparation and the events themselves can be satisfying and pleasurable experiences.
While it is important to acknowledge holidays in kindergarten there are a number of issues to be aware of. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays. Christmas and Easter for example, have their origins in Christianity and are not universally observed. Some families may acknowledge the secular aspects of Christmas and are happy for their child to participate in the celebrations in the service.
Among people who celebrate the same holidays there is usually variation in how they celebrate. We avoid stereotypes that assume conformity where it does not exist. Exploring different ways families celebrate holidays and their rituals can be a very interesting and meaningful way for children to learn about similarities and differences. They are likely to be fascinated by differences in how people live.
Being sensitive to other issues such as family composition is crucial. Acknowledging Mothers Day and Fathers Day needs to be done with care, with sensitivity to the composition of each child’s family. Again, dealing with that in a way that doesn’t single a child out as different is important.
Many holidays and celebrations have a strong materialistic component – typically a focus on gifts. In fact, an appropriate emphasis is the opposite – that is, viewing a holiday as time to think about doing something kind for others, giving instead of receiving. Keep in mind that, particularly with major holidays such as Christmas, there may be a lot of focus on the celebration with preparations being made at home and in the community. The excitement and anticipation can wear thin with some children, who may be grateful for some respite.
Celebrating Special Occasions
In general, it is often more valuable for the service, children, families and educators to create their own celebrations rather than focusing a great deal of attention on holidays. A special occasion worth celebrating can include a new child in the service, an achievement such as learning to swim etc. Our intent is to focus on milestone in children’s and educators lives and the life of the children’s service.
Events in the community can be the focus of celebrations. The changing of the seasons lends itself to celebrations, as can the build up to the AFL Grand Final. These kind of celebrations can help children tune in to the world around them. We also encourage children to suggest causes for celebration.
We involve children in planning and preparing for them. Keep in mind that low-key celebrations are good – the feelings and spirit that characterises them matter much more than how lavish the celebrations are. We consider ways to involve children with different skills and talents in preparations for a celebrations.
We make sure to document celebrations so that everyone can recall and relive them. They become part of the record of the life of the service, the child and their family.