At the heart of wellbeing is recognising the holistic nature of how children come to learning – including their physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual selves.
We are committed to the promotion of positive and reciprocal relationships within a holistic framework. This is where everything starts and ends for us as a team. We focus on building a connection with each child and family from the very beginning of our relationship. This means listening and understanding the individual needs of each person, responding to cues as well as the natural rhythms for each person.
Being seen, heard and responded to with sensitivity builds a strong foundation of belonging and opens pathways for children and families to express themselves authentically.
We believe in the importance of being ‘present’ and slowing down time. Our routines are viewed as rituals and happen in an organic way which allows for smaller groups, responsiveness to preferences and enjoying the company of one another.
Supporting children’s emotional health builds layers of protective factors in children that contribute to their ability to be resilient and develop pro-social behaviors. We offer a holistic approach to nutrition balanced with plenty of physical activity. We work closely with families to support each child’s wellbeing so that they are able to reach their full potential.
Respecting Children’s Rights to Play and Learn
Play is best engaged when it is unstructured and children can freely imagine, be creative and investigate. Our play-based program is responsive to children’s natural curiosities and as such the way we use time and the environment supports as much uninterrupted time for play and exploration at a pace that works for children.
We recognise that when children initiate their play they are more motivated to learn and develop positive dispositions toward learning. Our team focuses on supporting children’s play through sustained conversations and extending their thinking and problem-solving abilities. It is important to us that we foster a love of learning not just impart knowledge.
We believe in the importance of learning through nature, a natural and accessible resource that provides open-ended real-world learning. We regularly visit our local beach and bush so that we can connect to country and community in ways that we cannot in our own environment. Whilst we believe that technology has its place we work hard to keep technology to a minimum. We will use technology in natural ways to document, research and enrich any project with children but we always pay attention to this being an active process not a passive one.
Engaging with Environmental Education
We aim to engage children in a natural environment both indoors and outdoors so that they are able to observe and notice the natural changes that occur around us. We raise children’s awareness of the natural world, life cycles and sustainability opportunities in a way that promotes inquiry, curiosity and responsibility. We are passionate about children learning in an environment that is sensitive to the impact of human activity and in particular to our oceans and bush on our back-door steps.
We engage in regular walks to the ocean and bush so that children can have regular time in our local environments. This often acts as a catalyst to explore wider environmental issues as part of our educational programs.
We encourage children’s observation, anlaysis and theories about the world around us as a way of inspiring confidence in their abilities to make a difference and an impact.
We promote upcycling, recycling, eco-friendly products, sustainably-made furniture and throughout all this we also support local business.
Embedding Cultural Perspectives and Inclusion
Cultural competence needs to be supported during the early years and we are committed to promoting a generation of culturally aware, respectful and inclusive perspectives. Our local Indigenous culture Wadawurrung people offer a rich basis for us to explore our history and current context. Our commitment to connecting children to the local Indigenous culture and perspectives is based in authenticity and spills into all areas of our programming. We are heavily influenced by the eight ways aboriginal pedagogy and rather than teaching about Local aboriginal perspectives, we try to LIVE them. We do not relegate Indigenous education to special days, although we do celebrate special events, but we embed it every
We also value, honour and celebrate the cultural perspectives that the children and families bring with them every day. We want to know who you are but we also want to know and hear your stories of where you come from. We believe this exchange enriches our perspectives and helps to position education and learning in our local context and local way of being. In a broader sense culture shows itself through the general passions and commitments of our families and what they celebrate in their local context.