Our Program & Kindy Club
Our fabulous open plan house and gardens allow us to create an awesome play based program that supports and inspires all of our Small Friends to feel confident in both play and learning.
Our unique space means we can run a free flow playschool where all of our Small Friends play and learn together, and have plenty of room to explore our inside and outside spaces throughout the day, with staff guiding and encouraging them to make choices and decisions on the activities they wish to explore and engage in.
Children will be encouraged to learn for themselves using touch, sight, sound, taste and smell. The activities will be varied and designed to spark their interest, with learning areas corresponding to a child’s development levels. Our learning centres are set up so that the children decide what to make or do. In our program there is no ‘right way’ for a child to produce a piece of work, and they will be encouraged to decide for themselves what the finished piece will look like.
Drama activities are included within inside and outside areas with role play a major focus as this is where language, social and creative learning through play is best developed. Music is played throughout the day too, and we encourage our children to sing and dance as much as they like!
The outside play area is a large learning space where all their developmental skills are planned for. Each area has a different level of activity where children can choose to engage in quiet play or more active activities. Our giant rabbits live in our yard and the children love to watch and follow them around the playground, and our guinea pigs love being cuddled by all of our Small Friends.
If you wish to see what a day at Small Friends looks like, you are more than welcome to stop and spend a bit of time in our space!
Kindy Club (Small Friends 3 Year Old Program)
Once your child turns 3 they join our Kindy Club and we will be expecting more from them as far as communication, cognitive and physical skills, and behaviour are concerned.
All of our 3 year olds are part of our Kindy Club, and as they get older it means that we will be expecting more from them as far as communication, cognitive and physical skills, and behaviour are concerned. All Kindy Club team members are expected to not only participate in all routines, structured activities and mat sessions, but to engage with a good level of independence in all that we do throughout the day. This includes news telling, language, drama and music activities and all 6 mat sessions which focus on the social, communication, and emerging numeracy and literacy skills they need for them to have a good start at Kindy. They are also expected to sit with their friends at meal times as they will when it's time to head for "big school".
A Kindy Club team member is observed and evaluations are made on what “they do know” and “can do” based on developmental expectations for children under the age of 5 which will cover cognitive, social and communication skills. There is also an expectation that this team of children become positive role models for their younger friends in learning and play.
Early Years Learning Framework
Play to Learn and Learn To Play At Small Friends we embrace the concept of play based learning which is the basis for the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), and with the release of the Australian Curriculum in 2011 we now see Kindy classrooms taking on the same ideology that Small Friends staff have been working with for years. Our programming supports the EYLF which recognises that early childhood is a vital period in children’s learning and development. EYLF embodies the idea of ‘belonging, being and becoming’.
Belonging is all about children’s relationships with the people and communities around them.
Being simply means allowing children to be children.
Becoming focuses on children’s growth and development in these early years.
All children at the Centre will be observed by Small Friends staff for programming and/or training purposes.
Outcomes set by the EYFL are :
Outcome 1 : Children have a strong sense of identity.
Outcome 2 : Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Outcome 2 : Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
Outcome 3 : Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
Outcome 4 : Children are confident and involved learners.
Outcome 5 : Children are effective communicators.
Our learning and play programs are guided by the outcomes, and are developed to assist with each child’s development no matter their age and observations and evaluations are done accordingly.