Background

At TCC we believe that play is natural for young children and that children learn best through free play and discovery. It allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.

The Reggio approach has a strong belief that children learn through interaction with others, including parents, educators and peers in a friendly learning environment. Learning is viewed as a journey; and education as building relationships with people (both children and adults) and creating connections between ideas and the environment. Through this approach, TCC educators help children understand the meaning of their experience more completely through documentation of children’s work, observations, and continuous teacher-child dialogue. We use this approach to guide the children’s ideas with provocations. TCC encourages family participation and the community in ensuring children can reach their full potential by learning through play.

Our Service’s Philosophy (as seen below) is based on the Reggio Emilia approach and also values other Philosophers approaches when interacting and devising curriculums for young children.

Our Vision

“High Quality Care in an educational play based environment”

Our Mission

To ensure education, care, curriculum, practice and decision making at the Tatura Children’s Centre reflects the following fundamentals:

  • The National & Victorian Early Years Frameworks principles, practices and outcomes
  •  Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority’s (ACECQA) responsible for regulation and quality improvement of services
  • Reggio Emilia inspirations, practices and principles

We implement an emergent curriculum and provide high quality programs for children from birth through to six years of age. We acknowledge the importance the educators, family, environment and community plays in our service and implements the above practices to build upon our curriculum. Our programs and curriculum are inspired by the above 3 early childhood practices and regulations and we are always striving to improve to ultimately facilitate a high standard of early childhood education within our service and community. The below principles are used as a guide for our program and curriculum.

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.

Collaboration

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 childcare room has an Atelier, which is a common space where children can work on projects involving clay, playdough, beautiful papers, 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.

Children’s Portfolios

Documentation communicates the life of the centre to those visiting the centre 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 is one instrument to help us observe a child’s learning another is the use of Reflection journals which are visible in all childcare rooms.  Documentation is used as an assessment of learning as well as advocacy.

Learning Environments

Our environments are  considered to be the “third teacher”.  Educators carefully organise space for small and large group projects and small intimate spaces for one, two or three children.  Documentation of children’s artwork and collections that children have made are displayed both at the children’s and adult eye level.

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. 

Summary

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.

Sources:

  1. Reflections, Reggio Emilia Principles within Australia Contexts, 2007, Permission Press
  2. Early Years Learning and Development Framework, National Quality Agenda, 17/3/11
  3. Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010, 17/3/11
  4. Reviewed: 10/6/2016

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