At Wiggles and Giggles, Wentworthville our programs are age / stage appropriate in terms of development, based on the child’s present knowledge which is derived through, individual child observations in accordance with recent researches in early childhood. We work in partnership with families to help identify each individual child’s needs and interests. Programs are designed to engage all children actively in learning.
All early childhood services across Australia are obligated to follow the National Early Years Learning Framework, a Curriculum framework that outlines the key learning outcomes for children prior to school. The Framework outlines the key practices that support the best outcomes for young children.
The outcomes are:
- 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.
The outcomes are broad and observable. They highlight the fact that children can learn in a variety of ways and vary in their capabilities and pace of learning. Each child is unique and learns at different paces. At Wiggles and Giggles, Wentworthville, our environment gives each child the opportunity to learn in their own time. Over time children engage with increasingly complex ideas and learning experiences, which are transferable to other situations.
Learning in relation to the outcomes is influenced by:
- Each child’s current capabilities, dispositions and learning preferences
- Educators’ practices and the early childhood environment
- Engagement with each child’s family and community
- The integration of learning across the outcomes.
Children’s learning is ongoing and each child will progress towards the outcomes in different and equally meaningful ways. Learning is not always predictable. Our educators plan with each child with the outcomes in mind. In our learning environments your child will have opportunities to engage in a variety of learning experiences.
Learning through play– Through play young children explore and learn to understand the world they live in. They also begin to communicate, discover, imagine and create. When children play they are showing what they have learned and what they are trying to understand. This is why play is one of the foundations of the Early Years Learning Framework. A play-based program does not mean that children just do what they like all day. In a play-based program there will be times when children come together as a group, listen when others are talking, follow the rules of group living and begin to take responsibility for their actions and their environment. Children are offered choices that reflect their developmental stage. The choices are determined by the educators and are provided within limits of safety and within the group setting. Our educators continually evaluate children’s play to discover what it is children are learning and then help to shape and extend this learning.
Our planning process consists of various areas such as:
Science and Maths– Within the curriculum, science is an important area, as it allows children to begin to understand the world they live in. Science promotes process skills such as observation, investigation, verification, comparing, creating, prediction, classifying, explanation, analysing and communication. Through science the children are exposed to early examination of biology, chemistry, physics and geology concepts.
Number, shape, size and form all are important parts of our maths program. Early exposure to these concepts develops better understanding when it is revisited in the future and lays the ground work for more complex and abstract concepts to be understood at a later date.
Art – Within each room various art activities are set up on a daily basis enabling children to express and develop their creativity. Each day various stimulants are on display to help with the process.
Language – The ability of communication and the ability to assign symbols to thoughts is an amazing process – especially when you consider the age of the child and the amount of input they have received when they start to communicate with you. Language is one of the most important facets of a child’s development. We believe in providing opportunities to imitate and model appropriate communication techniques and this is done through providing verbal and physical feedback and providing frequent opportunities to experience language in a variety of forms such as spoken, written, etc. Our educators always use open-ended questions encouraging children to talk about what they are doing or what they have created. We have an engaging children’s library where the children enjoy opportunities to tell, read and make up stories. We enjoy sharing experiences. We also use photo’s, video, scrap books, posters, puppets, told stories, show and tell, role play and drama, to aid in language development.
Music – Music within the curriculum allows children to experience many things such as pleasure, joy and creative expression. It allows us to release and show emotions, to explore movement, and it also has therapeutic values and enhances our self-worth. Within the Centre, music is used in a variety of ways, to enhance the environment, create moods, for therapeutic uses and it offers opportunities to move, sing, dance, play and explore. Children are exposed to music from all over the world, from a variety of cultures and styles. They experience and develop an awareness of musical contrasts, respond to different rhythms, have the opportunity to sing a variety of songs and also to have heaps of fun.
We believe that for a child, feeling good about themselves is very important. If they feel valued, they achieve and they mostly behave in an appropriate and responsible way. It is also a learning process, it takes time and lots of input from those around to allow a child to develop a positive self-image, but while it may be hard work, the benefits are many.
We believe that by working in partnership with you, the parent, we can build in the child a positive and responsible young citizen, a person who feels confident, stable, who enjoys life, friendships and who enjoys learning. To create this person we use lots of praise and positive feedback about what they achieve, we provide a warm and loving environment that allows a child freedom to explore. As part of our program on self-esteem, we expose the children to physical characteristics, about how their body works and about the differences and similarities between people. We also take in to account nutrition, health care, safety, where people live, communities, neighbourhoods, families, employment, different likes and dislikes during the process.
We hope to be flexible within our programme ensuring we give importance to spontaneous events which may arise from the children’s interests or families input. This is displayed in our weekly evaluation and reflection. The program is planned in complement to the Centre’s philosophy and goals. It reflects the needs, strengths and interests of the group and also each individual child. Each child’s portfolio will have samples of their drawings, artwork, photos and observations which will be available to parents at all times.
The program incorporates learning experiences appropriate for each child, smaller groups of children and the whole group. It provides activities and experiences for the children which enhance all the developmental areas such as physical, intellectual, social, emotional, language and self-help skills. It also fosters their security and increases their sense of trust and encourages independence.
Portfolios are maintained for each child to provide evidence of the child’s progress in learning and development and are readily available to parents and guardians. The program is designed in a manner that allows each child the opportunity to make choices and to take on new challenges while exploring their world.
Children’s suggestions and ideas about material and activities are regularly incorporated into the programme embedding a sense of belonging in the children. We encourage children to appreciate the capabilities and limitations of children with additional needs and to actively support them. It encourages cross-group friendships (age, gender, cultural background etc.) and gender equality using a non-biased and stereotypical approach. The program will provide a balance of daily activities for children to develop gross motor as well as fine manipulative skills, both in and outdoors.
Children are given time to express themselves in one on one interactions and in group situations. This encourages language development by creating opportunities for children to communicate about daily events, experiences, objects and people that are of interest to them.
The program will be evaluated for the inclusion of children with additional needs upon acceptance to the Centre. Collaborative consultations with the parents, relevant resources, professionals and organisations, if warranted, will be conducted allowing (within the capabilities of the staff and Centre) for various modifications if required to accommodate such needs.