Our School Readiness Program & The Early Years Curriculum

“The first five years of life are a critical foundation for children’s early learning and life-long develop” (Joyner, S., Theodore, K., 2005) 

At Our Little Friends, our school readiness program starts in the Koalas Room and continues through to the Kangaroos Room. Here is a brief overview of our school readiness program

Language and Literacy skills

In the Kangaroo’s and Koala room we encourage the children to be involved in writing and reading experiences. This is often achieved through identifying the children’s interests encouraging them to print letters, identify letters and sounds about a particular topic of interest. 

The children begin to learn to write their own names as this is often a strong interest point. Each day there is a space set within the play areas where children can visit and extend on their pre-reading and pre-writing skills. The children are offered a range of mediums to create excitement, exploration and extend on their skills.  Through these experiences the children are encouraged to develop their pencil grip and scissor grip which assists their fine motor muscle development preparing them for school. 

Social and Emotional Development 

The development of Meaningful and positive relationships are encouraged and supported at Our Little Friends Kindergarten. The educators abide to the principles of The Early years Framework by fostering secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships with the children and their families. Our preschool environment supports the children to engage in different types of play and play situations which promote their ability to develop secure friendships and bonds with their peers and educators.  

 Development of Mathematical and Scientific Concepts  

The children are encouraged to develop their mathematical understanding through their play, experiments, group times and daily interactions. The children often use and refine their observational, counting and classification skills during play. The environment is arranged so that children have access to an array of equipment and resources to extend on their own learning and investigations. 

Fitness and Gross Motor Development

We participate in the Munch and move fitness program which encourages the children to develop and challenge their gross motor skills while recognising the importance of healthy eating. The children are involved in music and movement experiences on a daily basis to extend on their physical development as well as their creative development. Music and movement also opens opportunities for the children to learn about the world, participate in problem solving and to ‘think with their bodies’.

Language and Literacy Development 

Ants in the Apple program: This program assists the children with letter and sound recognition and also assists the children with their listening, pre- writing, pre- reading skills preparing them for school. It promotes the children’s phonemic and phonic awareness while creating a ‘fun’ interactional learning opportunity.

Phonemic awareness: focuses on recognising sounds
Phonic awareness: Matching letters, letter patterns with sounds, decoding (reading) and encoding (writing)   

Our educator’s qualifications include Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood, Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood, Diploma of Children’s Services and Certificate 3 in Childcare. Their experience is rich with over 60 years of teaching between them. Our ratios of staff to children are high with a 1 to 4 ratio for 2-3.5 year olds and a 1 to 7 ratio for our 3.5’s to 5 year olds. 

Documentation of Children’s Learning/ Individual Portfolio’s

Each child starts with an individual learning program made up by our most qualified and experienced educators and implemented by all. This program is evaluated and extended upon in a cyclic routine throughout the child’s stay here. An individual learning portfolio is part of that program and at the end of the child stay at Our Little Friends Kindergarten, it is sent home as a memento to keep. It captures a snippet of their time here at Our Little Friends for you to reflect on as you wish. 

Early Years Learning Framework

The Early Years Learning Framework- Belonging Being and Becoming  PDF
The Early Years Learning Framework Guide for Families  PDF
Unravelling the essence of the Early Years Learning Framework  PDF 

Our Little Friends educators implement the Early Years Framework. We value and adopt the five principles in our educational program 

1) Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
2) Partnerships
3) High expectations and Equality
4) Respect for diversity
5) Ongoing learning and reflective thinking (Early Years Framework, 2009)

The framework also highlights five Learning Outcomes. It recognises that children are involved, capable learners and children progress towards these outcomes participating in unique and individual approaches (The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, 2009)

The Outcomes are identified as:

1) Children have a strong sense of identity
2) Children are connected with and contribute to their world
3) Children have a strong sense of well-being
4) Children are confident and involved learners
5) Children are effective communicators 

Some examples of how educators at Our Little Friends Kindergarten implement the Early Years Framework

  • The educators implement the practices highlighted in the Early Years Framework to promote the children to reach their full learning potential. Educators use teaching approaches that are relevant and meaningful to the individual child’s learning styles
  • Educators regularly participate in professional development courses to enhance and expand on our skills and knowledge to implement the Early Years Framework and National Quality Framework
  • Educators create a stimulating environment where children are encouraged to explore, investigate and problem solve 
  • Our program is an evolving working document which explores what investigations the children are exploring, how their learning is progressing and the information they are gathering and gaining
  • We document the children’s learning in a variety of ways to capture their understanding, method of learning, exploration and friendships 
  • Educators are responsive to the needs of the children and build respectful, meaningful relationships with children and families
  • Educators practice open communication with families in a respectful and confidential manner

Children thrive when families and educators work together in partnership to support young children’s learning
(Early Years Learning Framework, p.9)

National Quality Framework

National Quality Framework aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement and consistency in education and care services and school age (Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, p.3, 2011) 

A national quality rating and assessment process was carried out in late 2013 at Our Little friends Kindergarten. The service was assessed against the National Quality standards by regulatory Authorities and provided with a rating from one to five rating levels (ACECQA, p.4, 2011)
Our Little Friends Kindergarten was proudly  provided with an Over All Exceeding rating (E) from the NSW Department of Education and Communities.   Read More about our rating & assesment HERE

This rating can be found on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) www.acecqa.gov.au.
Click HERE to view our ratings on “my child.gov.au”.

Educators create meaningful relationships with families and the community and promote consistency between home and preschool life