Our Kindergarten Program at Journey Whittlesea
Journey Whittlesea’s four-year-old Kindergarten is located in a long day care setting. The room is run by a qualified Kindergarten teacher Aman, (Master of Teaching in Early Childhood) who commenced as an ECT at Journey Early Learning Whittlesea. The kindergarten program provides a stimulating play-based program with varied structured activities in cohesion with the Early Years Learning Framework.
Curriculum and benefits
The kindergarten program has been designed to support children in gaining the key skills and emotional stability before the start of the school. The research shows that children can learn the lifelong learning skills more proficiently in a socially interactive environment. When the transition begins from 3-year-old kindergarten program to the 4-year-old kindergarten room, children are supported to develop their sense of belongingness within the new learning environment through building connections and extending the positive interactions. The kindergarten program is based upon play-based learning which is crucial to nurture children’s social-emotional wellbeing via learning to be self-confident, respectful, resilient, and responsible. The kindergarten program is also weaved around teaching the significance of physical, psychological, and cultural diversity to children from the younger years of their life. This is incorporated through celebrating different cultural events, adhering to children’s special needs, and being connected to families and respectful to their individual family cultures.
The Journey Kindergarten Program
At Journey, the kinder room is spacious with a variety of learning experiences themed around learning through senses, exploring scientific facts, exercising creativity via constructing and building with blocks, dive into imaginative world through make believe play, critical thinking, and problem-solving opportunities. Along with indoor learning tasks, the children enjoy the opportunity of sharing the yard with younger children from other rooms.
The relationships with families and children are always at the heart of the Journey’s learning program. The parents are engaged in the program as much as possible through fortnightly questions which are themed around getting to know about children’s learning interests, and unique skills which then can be used to extend or update the learning experiences. The children enrolled in the Kindergarten program at Journey also enjoy a number of opportunities to connect with community through visits at nearby Shops, Parks, Gardens, the Post -office and Aged Cares Centres.
We are very closely connected to two Primary schools in our vicinity at Whittlesea, i.e., Whittlesea Primary Schools and St. Mary School. The kinder children get the opportunity to connect with the school children and engaging in a variety of learning tasks as their little buddies themed around different concepts. This experience not only allows children to make them emotionally ready to start the school but also allows them to bloom socially through interacting and following their buddies confidently.
Special projects: Consideration, Communication and Connection
Along with imbibing the ability to problem-solve and critically analyse our observations, generating confidence among young children for interacting positively within a community is an integral part of a Kindergarten Program. The use of extrinsic motivational tasks which were grounded via positive and strong connections among educators and children, regular communication and strong partnerships with parents, as well as modelling of positive and respectful behaviour by the educating team has been successful to strengthen children’s social-emotional wellbeing. The amazing support organised by the management team to build the confidence for an ECT to better understand and support the children with special needs and thereby raising their social-emotional well is commendable.
As Journey strongly follows the standards of connecting and communicating with children, families and special support and the program is designed considering the special abilities, needs and interests of the children as well as the family environments. Throughout the year we initiated a variety of projects for children.
These included, “Aboriginal Acknowledgement”, “Snapshots from Home”, “Making Our Alphabet Book”, “Filling Up The Buckets”, “Science and Discovery Learning” and many more.
The children were scaffolded to pay respect towards the first landowners of Australia with the start of every day. This task was extended throughout the year with setting up masterpiece by educators to offering turns to one child followed by a team of two children to learn social skills of turn taking. For further extension, children were offered the opportunity to say the Acknowledgement as a leader initially as a one and then as a team whereas the rest of the group was encouraged to repeat after them. This supported children’s confidence to the greater extent.
Snapshots from Home
Children were given a special book and a camera and they were asked to click some pictures of their surroundings or home environment and then discussing those pictures with the rest of the group.
Making our Alphabet Book
This project was introduced towards the end of the session where children were supported to analyse their surroundings and search for things with names starting with different letters.
Filling Up the Bucket
This task was themed around helping children to learn social skills through rewarding them a drop(mentioning the reason why they got that) and saying that, “Your Kind Actions Have Filled Your And My Bucket”
“As last year was Skylar’s second year of 4-year-old Kinder, I was very happy with how the kindergarten program was ran, I felt Skylar was given that extra boost to make her as confident as possible before transitioning to Primary School, Aman was always amazing and communicated well with us.” said Carley, a parent from Journey Whittlesea.
Here at Journey, we understand the importance of developing a wide set of vital skills for your child’s first year of school and life. Our Kindergarten program is designed to provide stimulation of growth and brain development, and guided by a qualified Early Childhood Teacher like Aman who inspires and encourages your child.