Little Scooters Early Learning Centre and Kindergarten lay the foundations for lifelong learning skills which prepare children for a life beyond just going to school.
Our programs are designed by our educators to meet the individual needs and interests of children and families within our rooms. Through these programs, all areas of development are supported in our unique, fun, supportive and educational environments. We focus on interest and skill based learning experiences to encourage curiosity and confidence in everyday learning opportunities.
Just as parents rely on Little Scooters for feedback and guidance regarding their child’s development, we too appreciate your contributions to further build upon and strengthen our teaching perspectives to ensure we meet the needs of your child. We look forward to working alongside you and your family in preparing your child and supporting their transition to primary school and beyond.
National Quality Framework – A National Change in Early Childhood
Research shows that a child’s experience in their first five years leads to better health, education and employment outcomes when they are older. The early years are critical for establishing a positive self-esteem, resilience, healthy development and an increased capacity to learn.
In acknowledgement of this, The Australian Government, together with all state and Territory Governments, has made necessary and important changes to early childhood education and care in Australia to ensure that all Australian children get the best possible start and this is being achieved via the National Quality Framework (NQF).
The NQF puts in place the National Quality Standard which ensures that high quality of care and education is consistent across early childhood education and care across Australia.
The NQF is comprised of three parts
- National Quality Standard – which gives families clear information about the quality of early childhood education and school age care services they can expect to receive.
- A National Quality Rating System – consist of five levels, including a quality rating for seven key areas of childhood development
- An Early Years Learning Framework – forms the foundation for ensuring that all children in early childhood education and care settings experience quality teaching and learning.
National Quality Framework
|National Quality Standards||Early Years Learning Framework Outcomes||Quality Rating System|
|1. Educational Program and Practice||Identity||Excellent|
|2. Children’s Health and Safety||Community||Exceeding|
|3. Physical Environment||Wellbeing||Meeting|
|4. Staffing Arrangements||Learning||Working Towards|
|5. Relationships with Children||Communication||Significant Improvement Required|
|6. Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities|
|7. Leadership and Service Management|
Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)
The EYLF consists of the following five learning outcomes –
|Children have a strong sense of identity||
|Children are connected with and contribute to their world||
|Children have a strong sense of wellbeing||
|Children are confident and involved learners||
|Children are effective communicators||
Planning for and Assessing Learning
Little Scooters educators plan and program both interest based and intentional teaching experiences daily to promote appropriate skill development among the children in their room.
Little Scooters educators assess children’s learning and development in several ways:
- Storypark Portfolios – allows educators to assess, document and track individual children’s learning and development over an extended period.
- Individual Observation and Planning Records – a table on the Storypark software is visible for each child and tracks their development against the 5 learning outcomes and milestones allowing educators and parents to determine which areas of learning have been improved or achieved by the individual child
- Reflections – allow educators to focus on what learning is occurring on a daily/monthly basis and to reflect on that learning to make the correct changes or extensions to experiences in the room.
- By corresponding – with your child’s educators on a regular basis, you will be able to form an understanding regarding your child’s learning and development in an educational setting; please bear in mind that this may differ slightly from your observations of your child in the home setting.
What will my child learn whilst attending Little Scooters?
A common question we are asked by parents is what will my child learn? What follows are some examples of the common elements that your child will be learning in their first year of school as well as the programs that Little Scooters have in place for your child to get them ready for primary school and beyond.
The main areas of our focus are Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Community and the Environment, Creative and Expressive Arts, Personal Development and Health, Fitness and Physical Education. Through these programs Little Scooters plan to promote skill development across all the following areas to create a ‘bridge’ for a smooth transition from room to room as your child grows and then to school.
Language and Literacy
Literacy is most commonly understood as reading and writing. But before children can read and write, they need to learn about sounds, books, words, language, and stories. The use of language in all its forms is vital for literacy development. Singing, talking and reading with babies and toddlers, as well as older children, is crucial.
The more children hear language used, and the more opportunities they can use it themselves, the more they learn and understand about how it works. When the time comes for them to read and write, this understanding of oral or spoken language is invaluable.
During these experiences the children are exposed to letters, numbers, different forms of media, different languages, how language varies according to context and how to communicate to a range of audiences for different purposes.
Little Scooters provide resources such as books and other forms of text to encourage children to explore language and literacy. Our educators scaffold children’s understandings of print and how it works by sharing a range of oral and written texts, including rhymes, poems, signs, posters and digital texts.
Pencils and paper promote language and literacy skills among children whether it be drawing and verbalising their creation or experimenting with writing letters. Computers or similar technology allow children to experiment with sounds, letters, words and promotes turn taking and problem solving amongst peer groups.
Receptive language is promoted when educators encourage children to follow directions or tasks throughout the day.
Mathematics develop children’s – thinking, understanding, competence and confidence with numbers, shapes and measurement. Little Scooters provide children with a range of resources to promote the development of mathematical skills and understandings.
Puzzles, matching shapes and other problem solving tools allow children to challenge their thought processes in order to manipulate the items to place them in the correct places.
Rote counting experiences, such as counting markers, encourage children to count through and verbalise a number sequence. Learning about Sequencing is important because it teaches the children about how a series of objects, or time, or an event can occur in a specific and logical order, this is especially helpful when teaching the children about stories as the content in stories appear in a specific order.
Sequencing is achieved in many ways; e.g. through the patterning of beads, even getting dressed or making a sandwich or cooking to a recipe, these experiences require items to be placed, put on or used in a specific order
In preparation for school, Little Scooters runs to a time table consisting of indoor/outdoor times, group times, meal times etc. This allows children to become familiar with routines in reference to time.
Whilst role playing (such as ‘shops’) is a lot of fun, it is implemented for the purpose of educating children to problem solve with a number of items, buying and selling and becoming familiar with money and its value in our everyday lives as well as teaching them how to negotiate different roles with other children.
Science and Technology
Science and Technology develops children’s skills in thinking, investigating and problem solving. It gives them the knowledge and skills in scientific investigation, design and applied technology.
Little Scooters provides opportunities for children to work together within their peer groups to experiment and problem solve.
Drawing stations are set up with a variety of materials (pencils of differing thicknesses, textas, crayons, rulers, scissors, tape etc) to stimulate creative expression through thoughts and ideas and theories.
General experiments such as ‘floating and sinking’ and ‘mixing colours’ allow children to investigate, theorise and form conclusions relative to the learning experience. Children discuss their thoughts and ideas, sharing their knowledge and skills.
Technologies such as computers, cameras, IPad (kinder) and music players promote independent and group exploration and learning. Educators and children explore the concept of ‘how things work’ by taking them apart and studying it bit by bit, then discussing and theorising together. It’s easier to work something once you know how and why it works.
Educators and children discuss topics such as the weather, clouds, rain, day and night etc. with a view to expand the children’s thinking.
Community and the Environment
In this area children investigate their personal and community identity and gain an understanding of their nation and its place in the world. They learn to participate effectively in maintaining and improving the quality of their society and the environment.
Little Scooters value the link between the community and the environment and our everyday lives. At Little Scooters, we strive to create natural learning environments and encourage children to view these as a space for everyone, a place to be respected and cared for and a space for all children to feel safe, supported and valued as an important member of our community.
Experiences, such as gardening, tending to the worm farm, sorting food scraps for the compost and recycling and repurposing allow children to develop an understanding for the world around us and allow them to care, nurture and own a sense of responsibility for other living things.
Highlighting the connections, we have to the community, and making them visible for children, is an important way to help them understand the importance of those connections—involving children wherever possible in these connections makes the experience meaningful in the child’s eyes.
Role playing experiences encourage children to explore roles and cultures through cultural or community dress and drama. Little Scooters values and encourages the implementation of shared special events and cultural traditions within the centre. We invite families, friends and members of the community to share these meaningful experiences with us throughout the year.
Educators work on family related experiences to stimulate curiosity and encourage conversations among children regarding cultural difference and equality within our communities.
Educators in the kinder room teach the children Japanese twice a week using the Early Learning Language Australia program. This ties in with the local schools as the majority in the schools in the area also teach Japanese, this allows the children to transfer and adapt what they have learnt in Japanese and about the Japanese culture to what they will learn and experience when they go to school.
Creative and Expressive Arts
Creative and Expressive Art gives the children experiences in the visual arts, music, drama and dance. They have opportunities to explore their creativity in each of these areas. They learn to appreciate the meanings and values that each art form offers. They perform and express themselves through visual arts, music, dance and drama.
Creative arts are activities that actively engage children’s imagination through art, dance, dramatic play or theater, puppetry, and music. The creative arts engage children across all domains—cognitive, language, social, emotional, and physical.
It is promoted and implemented in a wide variety of ways and should not be limited to just drawing and painting. The following experiences are just a small insight into creative art experiences.
Creative art stations, like the drawing station and the construction table are supplied with a variety of different utensils to stimulate creativity. Thick and thin textas, pencils and crayons are supplied to strengthen and develop fine motor skills. Whilst manipulating rulers, scissors, hole punches, staplers and tape, children are developing control as their fine motor skills strengthen.
Different types of paper (rough, smooth, coloured, thick, cardboard, newspaper, etc.) are also used to allow children to explore texture and thickness while experimenting creatively. Clay, play dough, plaster and other construction mediums make it fun for investigation and exploration as well as building up strength in the children’s little hand muscles and tendons, making them ready for pencil and scissor control later on.
Music and movement experiences encourage children to experiment with instruments; investigating tone, beat and rhythm while expressing themselves through movement and vocal play. Dramatic role play areas provide children with props, stimulating children’s participation in drama and allowing them to role play a variety of roles and scenarios with their peers.
Dramatic play is a type of play where children accept and assign roles, and then act them out. It is a time when they break through the walls of reality, pretend to be someone or something different from themselves, and dramatize situations and actions to go along with the roles they have chosen to play. It allows children to develop skills in such areas as abstract thinking, literacy, math, and social studies, in a timely, natural manner.
Box and block play construction is also a form of creative arts, allowing children to explore, design concepts, and construct large scale building formations. When working alongside peers, these experiences may also aid the ability to adapt to team work.
Personal Development, Health, Fitness and Physical Education
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives. Children learn about the importance of good food and regular exercise. They learn how bodies grow and change over time. They learn skills to play individual and team sports and the value of sportsmanship and teamwork.
Little Scooters values educating children about physical development, health and physical education with the goal being to assist in helping them form a positive understanding towards physical health and nutrition. An Active Start Sports program is implemented for the over 3’s on a Tuesday morning and is an excellent way to aid the children’s development in this area.
Educators engage in meaningful, positive communication with children throughout the day, especially during meal times, to enlighten children with nutritional information relative to their nutritional meals.
Educators plan and create outdoor environments to stimulate and challenge the gross motor skills of children, encouraging children to engage in regular physical activity and the development of fundamental movement skills.
Little Scooters educators value the importance of children developing an understanding of the community within our society. Visits from community helpers such as police, fire fighters, dentists etc. provide children with a broader understanding of these important roles within society.
Road safety experiences provide children with the skills and understanding to judge safe and unsafe road practices; an understanding of road signs, markings and simple road rules allow children to be cautious and aware. Each year the older children participate in a Road Safety Magic show which further reinforces the importance of road safety.