We at Seedlings@Whitehorse Kindergarten acknowledge and respect the Wurundjeri people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we play and learn. We pay our respects to the Elders past, present and emerging. We reflect in our practices the knowledge, culture, traditions and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation. We are committed to establishing a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children are respected and valued. Seedlings@Whitehorse Kindergarten is committed to child safety and providing a child safe environment for all children that we educate and care for.
We believe children learn through meaningful play, engaging with their environment and through strong relationships with educators and peers. Our learning program is informed by the Learning Outcomes and Practice Principles of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, as well as input from our children, their families, our community and all educators.
We believe families are the primary and most important educators in children’s lives. We aim to build strong and respectful relationships with all families. We encourage family involvement in all areas of our kindergarten through helpers, working bees and kindergarten committee.
We value the individuality of each child and we support each child to be confident in choosing their own unique learning path. We empower children to recognise their strengths, interests and self-worth. Each child is respected for their uniqueness and they are encouraged to voice their needs, and contribute their thoughts and ideas to the program.
Children’s curiosity about the world around them drives our emergent curriculum. To facilitate this, children are given long periods of uninterrupted time for play and learning. Learning experiences are embedded in play and are a balance of child-initiated and teacher-led learning opportunities that involve decision making, problem solving, inquiry, imagination, engagement and negotiation with others, hypothesising, experimenting, researching, and investigating. We believe helping children develop their ‘toolkit’ of thinking skills and processes in kindergarten assists in establishing them to be life-long learners. Educators scaffold and extend each child’s learning and development using intentional teaching strategies, open ended questions and ‘teachable moments’.
We at Seedlings@Whitehorse Kindergarten are given access to many exciting facilities through our connection to Whitehorse Primary School. We have access to the school Gymnasium, Kitchen Garden program, library and school facilities, such as the playground and oval. We have regular visits from the grade 5 buddies (who will become the children’s grade 6 buddies in prep), community walks around our neighbourhood, incursions (such as music, sport, and cultural).
The availability of the school facilities builds up the children’s sense of belonging and helps for a smooth transition. We have visits to the prep area so the children can view the classroom environment in action. The transition program within the school allows the children to meet the prep teachers and gradually process the change from kindergarten to school. Parents are invited to engage in parent information sessions during this time.
We believe that children should have as much exposure to the natural environment and natural materials as we can provide, assisting to develop their capacity to respect their environment, encouraging their curiosity in sustainability, and helping to become more responsible for their world. We strive to provide indoor and outdoor facilities that are adaptable according to the physical and emotional needs of children, staff, and families. We aim to constantly evaluate these facilities to enhance and improve them as our needs change.
Our teachers and educators are nurturing, compassionate team members. We value the knowledge and commitment each educator can contribute in a learning environment, respecting and recognising their individuality, qualifications and experience. We provide support and encouragement for their personal and professional growth, positive team collaboration, as well as their ongoing professional development.
Our teachers and educators are positive role models for the children, guiding behaviour by example and creating a calm, fun and exciting learning environment. We believe our educators can deliver enriching experiences and outstanding learning opportunities for children with the use of reflective learning practices while continually developing their skills and knowledge.
We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and every child should have access to an inclusive, accepting and fun learning environment. We have worked hard to develop this and welcome everyone to share in it.