“High quality care in an educational play based environment”
To ensure education, care, curriculum, practice and decision making at the Tatura Children’s Centre reflects the following fundamentals:
Reggio Emilia- Inspirations, Practices and Principles
The National & Victorian Early Years Frameworks- Practices, Principles and Outcomes
Education and Care Services National Regulations and National Law
We implement an emergent curriculum and provide exceeding quality programs for children from birth through to six years of age. We acknowledge the important role the educators, family, children, environment and Community plays in our service. We are always striving to improve to ultimately facilitate a high standard of early childhood education and care for our Community. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land and we pay our respects to the elders, past, present and emerging by embedding Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander practices, policies and activities within TCC.
The below principles are used to guide our programs and curriculums.
Emergent curriculum & Project work:
An emergent curriculum is one that builds upon the interests of children. Topics for learning experiences are captured from conversations with children, through community, or family events, as well as the known age-appropriate interests of children. We view all children as competent, resourceful individuals who are encouraged to direct their own learning. Projects are the emergent, ideas and interests which arise from the children. Projects may last one week or may continue throughout the year. Throughout a project, educators help children make decisions about materials needed and the direction of the experience. Through our emergent curriculum children are learning what they want to learn with the help of their parents, educators and community.
Collaborative group work, both large and small, is considered valuable and necessary to advance cognitive development. Children are encouraged to talk, compare, negotiate, hypothesize and problem solve through group work. Within the Reggio Emilia approach, different approaches toward the same investigation are all valued, and thus children are given access to many tools and media to express themselves. The relationship and collaboration with home, the Centre and community, we believe, all supports the learning for a child.
Teachers as Researchers:
The role of the teacher is that of a learner alongside the children. Within a teacher-researcher role, educators carefully listen, observe, and document children’s work and growth and provoke, co-construct and stimulate thinking and peer collaboration. Educators are also committed to reflection about their own teaching and learning. Each learning environment has an Atelier, which is a common space where children can work on projects involving clay, playdough, drawing materials or paints. The Ateliersista (the educator) sees these materials as languages that children use to construct many kinds of knowledge, even before they can speak. It is through these discoveries the children’s learning is documented in Portfolios.
Partnerships with Families and Community
We encourage strong partnerships and collaborations with our families as we view the family as being an essential resource to their child’s learning. We actively encourage families to participate in our daily curriculums and this often creates learning opportunities for the children within our community. Collectively we are all learners alongside the children, and we as Educator’s advocate for professional partnerships as this creates mutual respect and gives everyone a sense of belonging.
Documentation communicates the life of the Centre to those visiting, including family and community stakeholders. It also provides opportunities for children to revisit the experience. Documentation is a process that involves observation, reflection, collaboration, interpretation and analysis. Portfolios include photographs, learning stories, pictures of constructions, interactions, friendships and relationships, developmental milestones and work samples. While Individual portfolios are one instrument to help us observe a child’s learning another is the use of Reflection journals which are visible in all rooms. Documentation is used as an assessment of learning as well as advocacy.
Our environments are considered to be the “third teacher”. Educators carefully organise the space to create a shared responsibility and are intent and purposeful when considering the environment, allowing the children to develop a sense of agency. We provide resources, materials and equipment that allow for multiple use, are sufficient in numbers that enable every child to engage in play -based learning.
Relationships with Children:
Developing positive relationships with the children is done by responding sensitively and appropriately to their needs. Conversations and positive interactions encourage communication and our environments reflect the cultures of the children. We encourage and promote positive behaviours, social and language skills and work in collaboration with children about their play experiences, routines and learning opportunities.
We believe at the Tatura Children’s Centre that children must have some control over their learning, be able to learn through experiences, be given the opportunity to learn and explore with other children and have endless opportunities to express themselves. The concept ‘children learn through play’ is accompanied within the 3 main fundamentals of our philosophy.
Source: (a) Documentation and the Early Years Framework using Reggio Emilia approach book. (b) Victorian and National Early Years Learning Framework Documents
(c) National Quality Standards, Education and Care Services Regulations & National Law (d) TCC’s RAP and Reconciliation Australia