Welcome to Pre Kindergarten at St John’s. We look forward to sharing this exciting journey with your family.
The early years of school are very special. Pre Kindergarten is often a child’s first experience in an educational setting and we believe it should be a happy and positive one that fosters a love of learning.
We strive to create a caring, safe, stimulating environment to nurture your child’s disposition to wonder, to explore and construct meaning about the world. We celebrate childhood by providing a developmentally appropriate program that values and respects the uniqueness of each child.
Our program provides a qualified Early Childhood Educator, Mrs Olivia Harnwell, and an Education Assistant, Mrs Marty Singleton.
See our ECE Grounds
See our Classes in Action
OUR PRE KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM
Our Pre Kindergarten program provides an exciting range of developmental experiences to encourage fun and laughter, effort and concentration, outdoor and indoor play and activities, together with peaceful, quiet time amongst the excitement of a busy day. The program caters for solitary, small group and whole group experiences.
Children will learn to:
- separate from parents with confidence
- mix appropriately with other children and adults
- express themselves through language
- participate in movement and art activities
- practice their independence skills such as eating, washing and looking after personal belongings
- share with others and wait their turn
- choose activities for themselves
- listen to others
- follow directions and express their own needs
- explore the learning process in their own time
- co-operate with the Pre Kindergarten routine
- spend some time indoors and outdoors at each session
- participate in shared snack time and eat their own lunch together
- participate in structured, whole group mat sessions.
The aims of Early Childhood Education are:
- To encourage children to become self-reliant and to be able to make choices
- To promote learning in the areas of language use and its associated skills
- To assist each child to develop the appropriate skills in the spiritual, social, emotional, language, intellectual, creative and physical domains
- To provide an environment and educational experience which acknowledges the innate spirituality of every child, fosters the child’s ability to wonder, experience awe, overcome difficulties, to love others and God
- To ensure children develop a strong sense of identity
- To ensure children are connected with and contribute to their world
- To assist children to develop a strong sense of wellbeing
- To encourage children to become confident and involved learners
- To support children to become effective communicators
- To encourage children to develop a positive self-image
OUR CURRICULUM & PHILOSOPHY
Our Pre Kindergarten program covers all learning domains within the “EARLY YEARS LEARNING FRAMEWORK FOR AUSTRALIA”.
Fundamental to the Framework is a view of children’s lives as characterised by Belonging, Being and Becoming.
Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.
Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world. Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life. The early childhood years are not solely preparation for the future but are very much about the present.
Children’s identifies, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships change during childhood. They are shaped by many different events and circumstances. Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow. It emphasises learning to par8cipate fully and actively in society.
Early Childhood Philosophy at St John’s:
A Catholic early childhood program endeavours to provide an environment and educational experience that is concerned with the development of each child as a whole person and which acknowledges his/her innate spirituality.
It seeks also to foster a religious awareness through meaningful everyday life experiences. The religious education experience endeavours to complement and support that which is offered through the home environment.
Early childhood education lays the foundation for further schooling and provides the initial interface between home and school in a child’s life. Recognising parents as the first educators of their children, early childhood education seeks to build upon home learning. In establishing programs for young children it is important to remember that Catholic schooling is intentionally directed to the holistic development of children from within, assisting them to become fully integrated humans.
WHERE IS PRE KINDERGARTEN
Pre Kindergarten is located on school grounds and uses school facilities. Access to the Kindergarten room is via the Church car park, through the gate attached to the presbytery and down the ramp to the ECE Grounds.
Pre Kindergarten operates on Thursdays and Fridays during each school term.
Morning sessions 8:50am – 11:45am.
Full day sessions 8:50am – 2:50pm.
WHAT TO BRING
Named backpack with enough space to hold the following items:
- Change of seasonal clothes including underwear in a reusable waterproof bag.
- One piece of fruit to share with the class.
- A healthy and nut free morning tea
- Named water bottle.
- Named sun hat with a wide brim or legionnaire’s tail.
- Apply sunscreen at home. We will reapply at Pre Kindergarten.
Those attending a full day will also need:
- A packed nut free lunch (separate container from that of morning tea).
- A small muslin wrap or blanket during relaxation time.
Toys: It is best if personal toys are left at home. Bringing toys to Pre Kindergarten may create arguments and the accidental damage or loss of a toy can be very upsetting for your child. We set up plenty of beautiful provocations and play settings for the children.
We recommend packing a healthy morning tea and lunch in separate containers. We encourage options such as fruit, chopped vegetables, cheese, dried fruit, yoghurt or crackers for morning tea. Lunch might consist of a sandwich, roll or wrap. Try to keep packaged and sugary foods to a minimum where possible.
Please note: St John’s is a “nut aware” school. Please remember that many children are allergic to nut products. Food with nuts or traces of nuts should not be brought to our school for snacks or lunch. This includes peanut butter and Nutella.
We understand that not all three year olds are completely toilet trained. We are happy to support the children in this learning process and if children are not completely toilet trained we encourage the wearing of “pull ups” to assist with their independence. Parents will be contacted and asked to attend in the case of soiling.
Children should attend wearing clothes that are weather appropriate, comfortable and that you do not mind getting wet, painted or glued. We use aprons and every precaution will be taken to protect your child’s clothing but accidents do happen.
Please ensure that all items belonging to your child, including shoes, are clearly labelled.
SETTLING IN & ARRIVAL ROUTINE
One of the first things a Pre Kindergarten child needs to learn is how to be away from his/her parents or primary caregiver. This may take a little time for some children. It is very important that each child feels happy and comfortable in the Pre Kindergarten environment. The staff will work closely with parents/caregivers to ensure that your child is given the best chance to settle in at their own pace
At the commencement of each day children place their bag in a pigeon hole in the classroom, including hat, water bottle and lunchbox. Fruit to share is placed in the fruit basket. We encourage parents/carers to complete an activity with their child such as a puzzle or reading a book. We allow approximately 10 minutes settling in time (or as much as you need depending on your child) before a little hand bell is rung signalling the start of the mat session.
If your child is unwell please do not send them to Pre Kindergarten. Coughs, colds and flu can spread very quickly in an early childhood environment.
Please let us know if your child has an infectious/communicable disease so that other parents can be notified. The Public Health Department recommends exclusion from school for many common infectious diseases as listed below:
- Chicken Pox: Until scabs have healed
- Conjunc8vi8s: Until discharge from eyes have ceased
- German Measles/Measles: Until four days after onset of rash
- Glandular Fever: Until child is well
- Hand Foot and Mouth Disease: Until all blisters have crusted
- Head Lice: Until treatment has commenced
- Mumps: At least nine days after onset of symptoms
- Ring worms: Until the day after treatment has commenced
- Scabies: Until mites and eggs are destroyed
- Whooping Cough: For two weeks from onset of illness or five days after starting antibiotic treatment.
It is always lovely to have you join us in class as ‘Parent Helper’. We suggest that this occur once your child is comfortably settled into the class though.
There may be a time when your name is drawn out of a hat (once) for washing the numerous towels and bathroom mats too so we hope you are okay to help out in that regard.
We respect that parents have a lot of valuable information about their child which can help us in our planning. We would appreciate it if you could complete a questionnaire that will be provided in the information pack when you commence Pre Kindergarten and hand it to the teacher as soon as possible. Information provided to us is confidential.
Birthdays are a special time in the lives of young children. To celebrate your child’s birthday you may like to send in cupcakes for each child. Children need to know that there are “sometimes” foods and on special occasions we eat these. In line with this thinking, we are happy to have children celebrate birthdays at schools, but we ask that you only send one treat. It may be a small cupcake or fun-sized chocolate bar. If your child has allergies, could you please provide us with a supply of labelled, alternative birthday treats that can be stored in the classroom.
We will foster independence by encouraging the children to do things for themselves such as packing their bags, unpacking their lunch boxes, opening drink bottles, dressing themselves and using the toilet independently. You can encourage your child to be independent by providing morning tea containers, lunch containers, water bottles, clothing and footwear that are easy for your child to use independently. Velcro is excellent for shoes.
Responsible freedom is encouraged through the development of self-confidence, self-reliance and self-regulation in a safe and secure democratic setting where children have clearly defined limits. Our role is to encourage positive behaviour and interactions through positive reinforcement. We believe in a child’s right to talk about their feelings and frustrations with unconditional acceptance. Children will be given verbal reminders of appropriate behaviours and if necessary will be given assistance to appropriately assert themselves to others.
“A child’s mind, like a flower, is a living thing. We can’t make it grow by sticking things onto it any more than we can make a flower grow by gluing on leaves and petals. All we can do is surround the growing mind with what it needs for growing, and have faith that it will take all it needs to grow”
St John’s School, as part of the Catholic faith community, strives to provide a caring, compassionate and supportive environment, where each person is valued and encouraged to develop to his/her full potential.
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