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    Philosophy

    Wyndarra Children’s Centre values and embraces that every child is unique and important.  We encourage each child to grow and learn in a fun and educational setting.  We provide a warm, loving, nurturing learning environment that fosters the individual needs of each child linking families with our community.

    Wyndarra’s philosophy and associated practices is evidence based upon the following key processes.

    1. Shared values of educators, parents and community at Wyndarra Children’s Centre;
    2. Identified theories and educational perspectives that support early childhood education;
    3. Associated practices that reflect the values, theories and educational perspectives of staff, parents and community.

    Key Elements of the Wyndarra Children’s Centre Philosophy and Practice

    1. Developmentally Appropriate Practice

    Children learn at their own rate, in their own time. This is supported by evidence from a range of perspectives including neuroscience, cultural and social environmental influences, child development theories and psychological perspectives. Wyndarra CC respects the psychological, physical and neurological developmental stages of the child and how this impacts on understanding, thinking and language. Wyndarra CC uses and embeds developmentally appropriate practice as the foundation of all work with children.

    Associated practices include:

    • To work towards developmental outcomes for children that are realistic and suited to the individual ability of the child based on the Developmental Stages theories of Jean Piaget (four stages of development theory) and Lev Vygotsky (Zone of Proximal Development Theory)

    • Providing a range of experiences that support each child to explore and investigate their learning environment in ways that reflect their stage of maturity, and reflect their culture and family environment.

    • Educators model socially appropriate behaviour, build upon children’s self- image, independence and confidence by encouraging each child in a positive approach, to learn a sense of responsibility, self-discipline and self-esteem.

    • Educators attend professional learning related to developmental appropriate practice, intentional teaching and neuroscience.

    2. Open ended, creative and imaginative experiences are the basis for how materials are presented to children

    Evidence based practice reflects that children require opportunities to explore the properties of, to create and perspective take, to refine and develop skills through open ended experiences rather than closed, stencilled or colouring in type activities.

    Open-ended learning experiences dominate the learning the environment to support and scaffold individual children’s learning. Materials, experiences and equipment, and blocks of uninterrupted time allow for discovery, creativity, social interaction, and problem solving.

    3. Sustainable and environmentally friendly practices are an important and integral element of Wyndarra CC

    Research reflects that children learn in the early years through modelling, through example and experience. The community of Wyndarra CC has a commitment to caring for the physical environment with an emphasis on natural and sustainable resources that reflect the local community and families of Wyndarra and to embedding this into everyday experiences with the children.

    Associated practices include role modelling a sustainable environment:

    • Worm farm
    • Plants & Herb garden
    • Water tanks & water saving taps
    • Families recycled donations
    • Communication with families and children about how we support sustainability.
    • Using fewer resources where possible
    • Recycling resources.
    • Recycling bins in all room

    4. Relationships with children

    Educator’s relationships with children are the strongest predictor of a high quality early education program. In addition attachment theories and interactions between adults and children promote a range of significant aspects of life and learning (Attachment Theory – John Bowlby).

    The ability to model language, to scaffold learning, to motivate and engage children, to develop and promote trust are all aspects that are facilitated through authentic relationship and interactions between staff and children and staff and families.

    Wyndarra CC is committed to strengthening and deepening relationships with the children (and families and wider community). Relationships and interactions are the highest priority between educators and children.

    Associated practices include educators using a range of communication skills to facilitate relationships:

    • Reflective listening
    • Focus children using a non-deficit model
    • Assertion
    • Paraphrasing
    • Eye contact and getting down to the children’s level
    • Develop an intrinsic motivational attitude towards learning. (Motivational Theory)

    Continuity and consistency of care and practice is embraced by all educators and embedded in all daily practices to provide a sense of security and belonging. Associated practices include:

    • Continuity of educators and routines.
    • Warm and genuine welcome and communication with children and families.
    • Individual observation record is used in all rooms
    • All educators attend professional learning related to understanding children behaviour and proactive behaviour guidance

    5. Communication with parents

    Families play a vital role in the development of their children. Evidence reflects that parents and educators working and sharing information together will produce the best information and outcomes for children.

    Wyndarra CC is committed to developing healthy and supportive relationships between families and educators to better support the children’s development. We view the centre as a stepping-stone in the journey of increased influences a child will draw upon. These influences form the idea of nature and nurture using inside and then outside influences for a holistic approach to learning and development. (Ecological Systems Theory – Urie Bronfenbrenner). Associated practices include:

    • Working to support families in their parenting role and share with them information and resources that benefit their child’s development through, communication and Individual observation planning records.

    • To be responsive and aware of parent’s communication information regarding the child or other needs at onset of care. This is done through the orientation process, child information documentation, family handbooks, policies and procedures and communication amongst educators and families.

    • Developing a collaborative partnership with families to provide quality care and an educational program within a warm and secure environment. By setting out expectations, and establishing communication with families on the onset of care. Encouraging families to contribute aspects of individual cultures, events, ideas and outings to the statement of intent displayed in each room.

    • Daily reflection board for families “What have we learnt today” and “what have we experienced”. As well as individual weekly reflections to support the learning which has occurred within the room.

    6. Equality

    Wyndarra CC reflects beliefs and associated practices that actively promote respect and promotion of acceptance of and inclusion of a range of – abilities, and equality of gender, race, language and culture.

    Associated practices include:

    • Materials, books, experiences provided throughout the Centre reflect gender and cultural inclusivity at all times.

    • Culturally and developmentally appropriate practice and open ended play experiences embedded across the Centre provides opportunities for all every child’s previous opportunities, abilities, interests and culture.

    7. Working together and alongside each other

    Wyndarra CC recognizes child development research that highlights that children require time to work and play alongside each other as well as times to work independently. Routines, predictably and times to work and share together as well as times to make independent choices are provided for the children under the direction of the Educators. Educators scaffold and support children in all areas of learning and encourage their independence through routines and allowing choice. (Self-actualisation Theory – Abraham Maslow).

    Associated practices inlcude:

    • Negotiated play (as example kinder children record their own choices about what they want to play.

    • Lunch times (as example At Lunch everyone eats together and shares conversation and learns to come together as part of the community, children who are capable serve their own meal deciding on portion size and food choice.)

    8. Teaching and Learning through play

    Evidence comprehensively demonstrates that children in the early years make sense of their world, develop their social and emotional skills and strengthen their executive functioning skills through open-ended exploratory play experiences.

    Wyndarra CC reflects a play-based curriculum whereby educators provide a range of indoor and outdoor learning experiences. These are intentionally based upon the acquisition of skills, social interactions, language development, thinking and problem solving, motor control, literacy and numeracy, dramatic play, sensory experiences, construction, reading, and embed children’s interests and culture within them. Educators pro-actively plan for individual children to extend learning, skill and conceptual understandings through the learning experiences and children’s interests.

    References:

    1. Copple, C., & Bradekamp, S. (2009). Developmentally Appropriate Practice.
    2. Feldman, J., & Mulle, K. (2007). Put Emotional Intelligence to Work. USA: American Society of Training and Development.
    3. Medina, J. (2012). Brain Rules 12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home and school. Brunswick, Victoria Australia: Scribe.
    4. Medina, J. (2014). Brain Rules for Baby. How to raise a smart and happy child from zero to five. Brunswick, Victoria, Australia: Scribe.
    5. OECD. (2015). Skills for Social Progress: The Power of Social and Emotional Skills. In O. S. Studies (Ed.). Paris.
    6. S, E. A. The Intentional Teacher: Choosing the Best Strategies for Young Children’s learning.
    7. TBC, R. t. Canadian Early Years Study.
    8. TBC, R. t. The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education Project
    9. TBC, R. t. High Scope.
    10. University, C. o. t. D. C. a. H. (2011). Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function: Harvard University.
    11. DECD Early Learning and Curriculum 2011.
    12. NQS PLP “What have theories got to do with it”.
    13. “A basic introduction to child development theories”. NSW Office of Child Care (Dept of community services)
    14. “What’s the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation” Kendra Cherry, Psychology Expert, About.com.
    15. Attachment theory. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    16. Urie Bronfenbrenner. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    17. Maslow’s Child Development Theory and Perspective by Martin Malcolm, Demand Media.
    18. Frameworks for Learning and Development, Karen Kearns 2010.