At Pope Road Kindergarten we embrace early childhood experiences that reflects the children, their families and the community in which they live and learn.
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as our nation’s first people and that our kindergarten is on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people. We believe children and their community have the right to know the stories of the original custodians of this land of Australia. Our daily practice reflects core aspects of reconciliation; relationships, respect and creating opportunities. We advocate for and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, through education and example. We aim to inspire our kindergarten and wider community to contribute to reconciliation and break down stereotypes and discrimination.
Learning and teaching at Pope Road Kindergarten is influenced, informed and provoked by the experiences and approach to early childhood education of Reggio Emilia, in Northern Italy.
The development of positive relationships is central to our philosophy and practice, underpinning all that we share. Educators respect and know children as individuals, supporting each child to develop a positive self-image, sense of identity, place and belonging, within the context of the group. Each child is supported to weave their own story. Of equal importance are the relationships children share with one another and those between the teachers, families and the wider community. We recognise and respect families as children’s first and most influential teachers. A culture of ‘open door’, open communication and co-participation is nurtured. We celebrate the diversity of our community and promote each child’s right to thrive. Pope Road Kindergarten has a zero tolerance of discrimination.
We believe in children’s competence and potential and embrace children’s curiosity, sense of wonder and joy. We recognise and value the many ‘languages’ children possess to process and express their thinking, theories, enquiries, discoveries and learning.
We believe learning is authentic when shared within in meaningful contexts. We listen closely to and value children’s ideas, interests, perspectives and enquiries: these are the catalyst for the evolution of our program. Children are supported to be researchers, independent thinkers and co-constructors of knowledge, and children’s agency and right to contribute to matters that affect them is respected and promoted. Educators work collaboratively with children to extend their learning and provoke new questions and enquiries. The process of children’s learning, through the strategy of play, the reciprocity of relationships and the co-construction of knowledge and learning is a major focus and we value documentation of this cycle as a way of making thinking and learning visible.
The physical and natural environment is respected as a teacher and crucial part of teaching and learning experiences. A sustainable environment that is rich in beauty, supportive and interesting arouses children’s curiosity and fosters the development of creativity, imagination, meaningful learning and self-identity.
As educators, we too are ongoing learners. Reflective practice is paramount, with educators reflecting individually and collectively to re-evaluate practices with children, families and the community. Ongoing professional development for educators is valued and supported and the kindergarten is committed to ongoing quality improvement of all aspects of our community service.