Our Educational Program
St Mary's Community Preschool’s Educational Program is guided by the outcomes, principles and practices outlined within the Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) for Australia. This nationally approved learning framework has been in operation under the NQF since 2012 and shapes curriculum decision-making, assisting the educators in planning, delivering and evaluating a quality program.
Following a process to refresh the national framework, an updated version of the national approved learning framework was released in early 2023 and will come into effect from 2024. The EYLF has been designed to support educators to develop working partnerships with children, families, other professionals, schools and community members to inform the educational program and practices that are place-based and relevant to that community.
At SMCP the educational program is led by the Educational Leader, Gerty Mitchell. Gerty is responsible for overseeing the program and supporting our team of educators to also continue their journey as learners. The program is a fluid document that changes across weeks, terms and years in response to the contributions and learning intentions of our preschool community. Literacy and numeracy are embedded into our everyday interactions as tools to scaffold children’s interests and thinking.
Wellbeing and emotional resourcefulness are championed as children learn to navigate the social constructs of play. We advocate for selfcare and mindfulness, knowing that the foundations we lay now will travel with each child into adulthood, benefiting not only their academic success but also their mental health. We know that children are smart, we are here to nurture their potential and walk alongside them as they grow as learners.
As educators we know that play and learning are not exclusive. Educators carefully curate environments that prioritise each child’s right to play, building strong learning dispositions that children draw from as they navigate their world. At SMCP we recognise that children have different ‘languages’ of learning, which means that learning looks, sounds and feels different for each child. It is our job as educators, to work with families, to understand and plan for the many languages that live within the classroom.
Download the current EYLF Framework PDF here -> EYLF-2022-V2.0.pdf
What Does Learning Look Like At SMCP?
Learning looks like educators and children engaged in robust interactions that challenge children to be brave, negotiate, think big, collaborate and explore new ways of doing. It looks intentional in the way that materials and resources within the environments act as invitations for play. It reflects the people that inhabit the space – the educators, the children, the families and our community. Learning is not reserved for indoors only, learning happens outdoors too! The balance between give and take is remains in our gaze.
What Does Learning Sound Like At SMCP?
Learning sounds like laughter, like a collaborative hum of ideas and it sounds like the voices of children carry just as much weight as the educators. It sounds like dancing, singing, constructing, modelling, painting, story-sharing and gardening. It’s sounds like questions being pondered, getting answered and the beginnings of new explorations.
What Does Learning Feel Like At SMCP?
Learning feels unhurried and playful. It welcomes kindness, empathy and respect into our hearts and minds. It feels safe to be yourself, while strong connections to people and place ground authentic relationships. It feels open and accessible to all children. The freedom to play, be and connect underpins the flow of learning.