Teaching through gentle humour

Narre Warren Early Childhood Educators follow the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (1989). With increasing pressure on children to be high academic achievers and the busy nature of many childhoods, the Convention confirms that play is important for children’s wellbeing and learning.

Narre Warren Early Learning Centre is a small, family orientated Centre located in an established estate near Fountain Gate Shopping Centre. We are also in close proximity to City of Casey parklands. It’s a few minutes short stroll to Maramba Primary School, which helps to enable the Centre to build relationships with, and engage with the local community. (Quality area 6: Collaborative partnerships with families and communities).

We acknowledge that the traditional custodians of the land where our children play are the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation and as such we acknowledge them through teaching our children to learn about, respect and reflect upon many cultures including those of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

We value the connections we make between the Centre and the local communities. We will work collaboratively with not only the local schools in the area, but with local Government, other education services, universities as well as tertiary services with the provision of opportunities for them to further their studies at our Centre.

We believe play is critical to the development of all children. It encourages children to imagine, explore, experiment, communicate, reflect, co–operate, problem solve and actively engage in their environment to promote learning. Our program is shaped by our understandings and observations of the children and mirrors our National Quality Framework as well as the Early Years Learning Framework which sees each child reaching their full potential through “belonging”, “being” and “becoming” Our educators will predominantly follow the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework as well as “My time, our Place”, the framework for school aged children in Australia.

The focused learning outcome areas are:

  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 wellbeing.
  4. Children are confident and involved learners.
  5. Children are effective communicators.

We believe that children should be encouraged to exercise their independence and choice as well as be encouraged to have the confidence to try new things and be positively guided by others. Our programs provide teachable moments that are adult led, and often referred to as intentional teaching, as well as opportunities for the children to initiate their own play and experiences to learn from. Parents are also encouraged to share information about their children and family lives so that educators can plan experiences around these interests as well.

We value an environment that promotes calmness and respectful interactions with the natural world. The use of natural materials will be included in our children’s programs regularly and children will also learn to increase their understanding of sustainability through learning to care for their environment by composting, worm farming, edible gardening, recycling to reduce our rubbish as well as wise water usage We believe that the inclusion of animals into the Centre not only helps to promote a sense of awe and wonder into the children, but also helps children to have a sense of regard and responsibility for all living things.

We value outdoor play. Outdoor play is important at all ages but “children are not born knowing about the world in which they will live. It is only through playful contact with the world that they can create the learning experiences that allow them to make the world their own”. Some of the learning from outdoor play is interactions, spontaneity, risk taking, exploration, discovery, empathy and respect for our environment and a connection with nature, as well as good old fashioned fun! Who doesn’t look fondly back on their own childhood memories of mud pies, sand, water and other forms of messy play!

We value an environment of respect.

We value a strong team environment where educators work well with each other and understand and embrace each others strengths and weaknesses, as well as their similarities and differences in personal philosophies. We believe that our role as educators is to communicate, advocate, nurture, teach, observe, monitor and evaluate.

We value and respect parents for the knowledge they bring to us about their children. Parents always know their children better than anyone else, and therefore their voice should always be listened to. Our role as educators is to support parents, and never take over from or challenge their role in any way.

We ask parents to respect the role of our educators and teachers in their children’s lives and to encourage their children to not only respect each other and the environment they live in, but to also have respect for themselves.

We value ongoing professional development for our educators. We support educators with their ambitions to further improve their education, as well as providing them with opportunities to increase their knowledge via educator meetings, or through mentoring with more experienced educators or teachers. In – Service training opportunities will also be made available to them.

We value and encourage educators, families and management to be involved in the development and ongoing evaluation of the Centre philosophy, policies and procedures. The Centre philosophy should be read in conjunction with the Centre policies and procedures book.

Through the gentle use of humour, the feeling of acceptance, the respect we are all encouraged to show each other, as well as hopefully a life long love of learning, we thank your family for choosing our Centre family to give your child a positive start in life.

Tania Mamea & Gill Marsden

Centre Directors.