Learning at OAEEC
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
Learning Journey at OAEEC
Open Arms EEC embeds a philosophy that strongly bases itself around family and community and their interactions with the centre. We believe that it is important that educators gain a sound understanding of the children and their family’s interests as a basis for our program planning . We do this during our Enrolment process where families complete a series of paperwork regarding their child and fill out an ‘all about me’ page for educators to have on file. We also offer a ‘Parent’s Voice’ section on our program’s which allows us to record parents comments and interests.
We have a strong community base through our closed Facebook group which allows our parent’s to see daily posts, view comments, interact with other parents, receive memos and also comment on our ‘Weekend Diary’ Facebook post. This encourages communication between families and the centre.
We strive to embed ‘Belonging, Being and Becoming’ into every aspect of a child’s journey at Open Arms. We observe our children through Learning Journey’s. This format ensures that we are embedding children’s choice in our program, following their strengths and supporting their needs. Educators observe ‘WOW’ moments as they happen which reflect in our ever-changing learning program. Photographs are used to showcase 'WOW' moments and displayed for children to observe and be proud of. Educators will enhance the experience by offering extended opportunities to further each child’s learning. Educators can also document conversations between themselves or with peers, write meaningful questions and extensions and add in parent’s voice to their program adding substance to a child’s learning journey.
We focus our learning environments strongly around children’s choice and ensure that they are rich with opportunities for children to select and change the activities, develop relationships with their friends, play in combined or solitary play and also extend their learning. Our first goal for any new family and child is to ensure they gain a sense of belonging to our Open Arms family. Our families quickly become a part of our community, have access to events and family support and also make connections with other families.
A child’s learning journey is documented through Xplor. This is able to be accessed by all families; promoting a sense of open communication between home and the centre. Learning journeys are filed monthly in each child’s portfolio, which is freely accessible to families at all times. Portfolios are an exciting personal gift given to each child; showcasing artwork, personal learning, group learning and events.
NQS 1.3.1.Each child’s learning and development is assessed and evaluated as part of an ongoing cycle of observation, analysing learning, documentation, planning, implementation and reflection.
The Early Years Learning Framework
The EYLF is linked to and embedded in the National Quality Standard. It guides educators to develop quality programs for young children. It also describes the early childhood pedagogy and the outcomes that provide goals for young children's learning.
The aim of the EYLF is to extend and enrich children's learning from birth to five years and through the transition to school. It assists educators to provide young children with opportunities to maximise their learning potential and to establish the fundamental basis for future success in learning. The EYLF draws on conclusive international evidence that early childhood is a vital period in children's learning and development. The Framework forms the foundation for ensuring that children in all early childhood education and care settings throughout Australia experience quality teaching and learning.
The EYLF has a specific emphasis on play-based learning and recognises the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development as priorities for young children's learning. It has been designed for early childhood educators, working in partnership with families – children's first and most influential educators.
The Early Years Learning Framework Practices are linked by our educators to ensure that we are working within every subheading to enhance children’s learning.
Our educators draw on a rich repertoire of pedagogical practices to promote children’s learning by:
· adopting holistic approaches
· being responsive to children
· planning and implementing learning through play
· intentional teaching
· creating physical and social learning environments that have a positive impact on children’s learning
· valuing the cultural and social contexts of children and their families
· providing for continuity in experiences and enabling children to have successful transition
· assessing and monitoring children’s learning to inform provision and to support children in achieving learning outcomes
The Early Years Learning Framework Principles underpin practice that is focused on assisting all children to make progress in relation to the Learning Outcomes.
Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
High expectations and equity
Respect for diversity
Ongoing learning and reflective practice
Learning through play
Children of all ages learn naturally through play. It’s how they explore, make sense of the world, express their curiosity, and have fun.
Play-based learning is the foundation of our approach to early learning. Understanding play-based learning helps parents better engage with teachers and educators and stay connected to their child’s development, as well as empowering them to extend learning during play at home.
What is play-based learning?
Play-based learning is a simple concept but because so many of us are accustomed to seeing learning occur in formal settings, it’s easily misunderstood. Play-based learning is all about the process that children embark on, rather than achieving a specific outcome. It’s an approach that is led by the child and supported by teachers and educators by recognising ‘teachable moments’ during play, or by carefully planning play experiences that open up opportunities for learning.
When children engage in play, they are more motivated to learn and develop positive feelings towards learning. By drawing on their natural desires, play-based learning is perfect for young children.
Play is important for babies
Babies learn through experience and observation. They rely on all their senses as they explore their surroundings which is why our nursery rooms are rich in colours and textures, sights and sounds. Beyond their five senses babies also need to develop body awareness and balance, so we spend time on the floor with them - rolling, crawling, climbing and cruising – helping them to move independently and build their sensory systems. Play gives babies a reason to experiment, discover, explore and problem solve. Just like learners of all ages, as long as there is an interesting, engaging and fun question they will strive to find the answer.
Learning through play is natural for toddlers
A child’s curiosity really ramps up in their toddler years, and there’s no better way to capitalise on their growing interests than through play-based learning. Toddlers use play based learning to foster the development of a range of important foundational skills which they’ll build on as they enter kindergarten or preschool and get ready for primary school.
3-5 year old learn best when playing
The first five years are when children form their neural pathways and connections. Through play and active exploration, children’s brains are shaped and designed and many skills are developed such as creativity, communication, problem solving, resilience, emotional regulation and relationship building. These are all critical skills needed for school and adult life, and quality play-based learning is the best way to develop them in 3-5 year olds.