Statement Of Philosophy
"A community of jarjums and adults learning together on the land of the Galibal people of the Bundjalung Nation"
NB: the word jarjum is the Aboriginal word for child. Preschool children will be referred to as jarjums on this page.
Our Vision For Jarjums
We want SMCP to be a service that offers high quality, play-based early childhood education. SMCP will be a place where jarjums can spend their time, energy and efforts playing and in pursuit of those things that capture their hearts and minds.
We want jarjums to have a sense of their full humanity. Though young, they each have inherent value, rights agency and their own perspectives. Just like adults, we recognise that jarjums benefit from belonging and connection, opportunities for self-mastery, creative self-expression and to discover meaningful ways in which to contribute and influence the world around them.
Our Vision For Families
We recognise that families play a substantial role in the lives of their jarjums. Learning begins at birth and families are their jarjums’ first and most influential teachers. They know their jarjums intimately and can share valuable insight to their family’s unique cultural contexts.
Families deserve to feel empowered, safe, seen and supported. As allies and partners with educators, families are willing to engage with the preschool in respectful, reflective, kind and courageous dialogue designed to bring about the best and highest outcomes for the jarjums.
Our aim is to build strong connections between the home and preschool so we can work together in ensuring children have positive transitions between these two significant places.
Our Vision For Educators
Guiding and nurturing young minds is a privilege and a big responsibility. It is both mentally and emotionally rigourous. It not only requires willing hands, but also strong backs, open minds and brave hearts. We want educators who teach at SMCP to have high expectations of themselves and of their jarjums. We want them to be curious, convicted and committed to their own professional practice and motivations in working with young minds. SMCP teachers need to realise, believe in and take advantage of their capacity to make a positive difference on a local and global scale through the education of the very young.
Values At The Heart Of Our Program For
Children, Families, & Educators
KINDNESS | COURAGE | HONOUR
• Playful learning, learning from and with others
• Trust and high-expectations relationships
• Thinking, critical reflection, questioning, considering multiple perspectives, and embracing uncertainty and not knowing
• Art, process over product, the hundred languages of children
• The role of the physical environment to inspire and influence the heart and mind
• Respectful dialogue and listening with the intent to learn
• Indigenous ways of being and knowing
• Shared decision-making and strong partnerships
• Diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice
• Awe and wonder, the joy of being fully present in any given moment
• Children’s safety and wellbeing
• Nurturing teacher-learner and teacher-researcher identities that honours each educator’s capacity as lifelong learners and agents of change
Practices That Express Our Values Include
But Are Not Limited To…
• Orientation visits to welcome jarjums and their families and begin transition process
• Establishing routines that promote a sense of safety and rituals that strengthen connection, e.g. brain smart start, meeting times, meal times, relaxation times
• Offering large blocks of time for jarjums to engage in uninterrupted play
• Giving families a “meet the teacher” sheet early in Term 1 to promote connection
• Gathering data on what jarjums know, can do and are curious about as individuals and as a group, following the planning and assessment cycle of observing, analysing learning, planning for learning, implementation and evaluation, and using this to inform the curriculum
• Making visual and written pedagogical documentation to make play, learning and thinking visible to jarjums and their families as well as serving as data for critical reflection on educator thinking and learning
• Including jarjums in curriculum decision-making processes and giving them opportunity to be of service to each other in the classroom
• Inviting families to come to preschool and participate in the program
• Hosting parent-teacher yarns for connecting, planning, goal-setting and information sharing
• Having a variety of ways to communicate with families to suit different communication styles
• Identifying professional learning goals and priorities that help us live in our values
• Allocating necessary time and resources to achieve professional learning targets
• Providing non-contact time to lead educators and teachers for curriculum planning, reflection and pedagogical documentation
• Holding regular staff meetings
• Giving and receiving feedback as a means of professional learning