Every preschooler is unique and special with the ability to succeed when encouraged, guided, supported and cared for by his or her family, friends and teachers. Preschoolers exhibit a range of needs, strengths and interests, and should be surrounded by a happy, nurturing, and safe, social and physical environment. In this kind of environment preschoolers have the opportunity to develop their social, emotional, intellectual, language, artistic and physical needs.
The early childhood program at Calwell emphasises the uniqueness of every child. It is designed to create and maintain a supportive, co-operative atmosphere where teachers, children and families are engaged in developing the abilities and skills of the children to achieve their full potential. Our P-6 Primary School offers continuity in curriculum and relationships over the early years of learning.
The preschool year provides a supportive and nurturing learning environment for children to explore independently and in groups. It is a wonderful time for developing many social and physical skills; skills for thinking and problem solving, developing interests, building friendships, exploring, asking questions, playing and learning. It is a time when children further develop skills to cooperate, play, share ideas, converse and develop appropriate communication skills.
The Preschool program is guided by 'The Early Years Learning Framework' (EYLF), a national framework developed to ensure that children receive a quality education program in early childhood settings. The Framework is a guide for educators working with children from birth to five years of age. It supports the development of learning programs that are responsive to children's ideas, interests, strengths and abilities, and recognises that play is at the heart of children's learning and is used in partnership with families, the child's first and most influential educators.
The Early Years Learning Framework describes childhood as a time of belonging, being and becoming.
- Belonging is the basis for living a fulfilling life. Children feel they belong because of the relationships they have with their family, community, culture and place.
- Being is about living here and now. Childhood is a special time in life and children need time to just 'be' — time to play, try new things and have fun.
- Becoming is about the learning and development that young children experience. Children start to form their sense of identity from an early age, which shapes the type of adult they will become.
Each child's strengths and areas for development in social, emotional, cognitive, fine and gross motor development are observed and monitored by the educators in the Preschool. Individual and class programs are developed using this evidence. If you have any concerns regarding your child throughout the preschool year please arrange an interview with your child's teacher as soon as possible. Staff maintain checklists, anecdotal notes and your child's portfolio, all of which can be used by staff to help in the discussion about your child's progress and development.
The Preschool Program:
- is a play based program based on the children's interests (emergent curriculum)
- is child-centred, flexible and dynamic and provides a balance of free choice and structure
- recognises individual learning styles, diversity of prior experiences and differing rates of development and learning
- is designed to develop children's self- esteem and positive attitude towards learning
- fosters and promotes social development and cooperative learning practices which are positive, non-competitive and inclusive
- provides for continuous, appropriate assessment and evaluation of each child's ongoing development and educational needs
- encourages family participation
Assessment and Reporting
Educators undertake a variety of forms of assessment throughout the year. Assessment data is used to demonstrate progress and inform planning for individual needs. Children's learning is displayed in a variety of ways including in each child's Learning Portfolio, the Inquiry folder and drawing book. These records of learning and development over time can be accessed by parents and children throughout the year.
Reporting occurs in a variety of forms, including parent teacher meetings, interviews, informal conversations and reports. Parents are provided with a Mid-Year Progress Report and a formal written End of Year Report which is accompanied by your child's learning portfolios.
Preschool Enrolment Procedure
Children seeking to enter school at the preschool entry point need to be four years of age on or before 30th April in that year. Enrolment commences at the beginning of Term 2 (May each year) for children who intend to commence Preschool the following year. Enrolment is an online process at Education and Training Directorate (http://www.det.act.gov.au).
After receiving an enrolment request the school will write to parent/carers with an 'Offer of Place' indicating the session time available. To complete the enrolment process the school will require the placement acceptance letter, a copy of your child's birth certificate, immunisation details and proof of residence, i.e. utilities bill, mortgage document/lease or tenancy agreement.
In term 4 of the year prior to your child attending preschool, you and your child will be invited to visit the preschool, meet the teacher and collect an orientation pack which contains the preschool handbook and all other information and documentation you will require.
Transition to Kindergarten
Every child attending the Calwell Primary preschool unit is valued equally. The school respects the right of families to select the kindergarten to Year 6 path which best suits their beliefs and child's needs. Our focus is on providing the best possible preschool year for every child and supporting a smooth transition to kindergarten through liaising with your school of choice. A structured transition program supports each child to feel confident to move into 'big school'.
The preschool unit operates from 9:00am – 3:00pm. In 2016, the preschool operates three classes as follows:
- Magpies and Cockatoos: Monday, Tuesday and alternate Wednesdays 9:00am-3:00pm
- Rosellas: Thursday, Friday and alternate Wednesdays 9:00am-3:00pm
- Session times: The preschool program is based on the equivalent of 15 hours per week. The program is delivered across a fortnight with children attending alternate two day and three day weeks with Wednesday being the additional day in a three day week.
- The main school office hours are from 8:30am-3:30pm.
Link to the Preschool Philosophy