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Yarm Gwanga Educational Programming and Curriculum Guideline

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) The educational Program and curriculum at Yarm Gwanga will focus on addressing the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child, while taking into account the individual differences of each child. There are two nationally approved learning frameworks which outline practices that support and promote children’s learning:

  1. Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (‘Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)’)
  2. My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia (‘Framework for School Age Care’).

(2) At Yarm Gwanga we view all children as competent and capable individuals, our Educators collaborate with each other, children and families to create and establish interesting and inviting learning opportunities and environments in a supportive and caring environment. Yarm Gwanga is committed to social inclusion and participation of every child and their family and our educational programs and practices value and respect all cultures, identities and connections to community and country.

(3) This Guideline sets out Yarm Gwanga’s expectations for Educator’s documenting and guiding children’s learning and satisfies the National Quality Standard 1: Educational Program and Practice:

  1. Standard 1.1 The educational program enhances each child’s learning and development
  2. Standard 1.2 Educators facilitate and extend each child’s learning and development
  3. Standard 1.3 Educators and co-ordinators take a planned and reflective approach to implementing the program for each child.
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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This policy applies to staff and management of the Yarm Gwanga Childcare Centre and Services.

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Section 3 - Strategies and Practices

Birth to Five Years – Early Years Learning Framework

(5) Observations of all children enrolled in our Service is documented on EarlyWorks and kept for future reference and reflection. Each child’s learning journey is accessible by families through EarlyWorks at all times. This forms the child’s “portfolio” as a learning journey to incorporate all aspects of learning and development. In addition to the EarlyWorks documentation platform, each room has the option to use a physical, non digital record to present to families. 

(6) Educators co-program in partnership with children and their families, seeking and respecting their input into the educational program. Family values, culture, experiences and traditions are respected and incorporated into the program when possible.

(7) Yarm Gwanga provides a Program:

  1. which has a focus on each individual child’s strengths and interests;
  2. where activities stimulate social, emotional, physical, intellectual, language and creative development for children;
  3. that reflects the Yarm Gwanga’s philosophy and goals;
  4. that allows for flexibility, spontaneity and child led experiences;
  5. which is culturally diverse and inclusive with a wide variety of learning activities;
  6. that establishes routines that assist the children with transition to the next stage of their development; and
  7. which establishes a warm, secure relationship between each child and staff; 
  8. Ooportunities will be provided for children to learn through play;
  9. which includes individual observations, group observations, learning experiences, reflections of learning and evaluations, developmental milestones, learning journals and reflections on pedagogy;
  10. provides a balance of activities throughout the day, including; indoor/outdoor, quiet/active, individual or small groups, large groups, spontaneous/child or teacher initiated;
  11. includes school readiness aspects that focuses on, developing autonomy, building on their social and emotional wellbeing and promoting foundational numeracy and literacy skills required for school;
  12. encompass each child in a variety of contexts, including: as an individual, as a member of a group, as part of a family and as part of a community;
  13. is underpinned by a social justice approach, including inclusive practices, anti-bias approach, social justice; and
  14. incorporates the interest and skills of the educators, families and the wider community.

(8) The Director Yarm Gwanga, Educational Leader and Early Childhood Teacher will collaboratively oversee the Programs within the Service and:

  1. provide support and guidance to Educators on developing and implementing room Programs;
  2. utilise the software system effectively and provide staff with support as needed;
  3. support staff in undertaking critical reflections and reflections on pedagogy;
  4. keep up to date with new information, techniques, practices, theories regarding programming, observations, planning and evaluations;
  5. collaborate and network with groups and recognised authorities both locally and further afield, the local educational leaders group, local Early Childhood Australia group etc;  
  6. develop and review policies, practices and relevant educational teaching and programming resources; 
  7. work with Educators to provide curriculum direction and to ensure children achieve the outcomes of the approved learning framework; and
  8. will provide Educators with time away from the children to focus on developing an interesting and stimulating program that is in alignment to the EYLF and NQS.

(9) All Yarm Gwanga Educators work as a team under the guidance of the Director Yarm Gwanga in preparing and/or implementing the curriculum. The curriculum will be planned to reflect Yarm Gwanga’s philosophy and goals.

(10) Educators plan realistic curriculum goals for children based on assessment of individual needs and interests and keep individual developmental files on all children including regularly updated checklists.

(11) Each room will display a written Program for the parents’ information.

(12) Modifications will be made in the environment for children with additional needs. Educators will make appropriate, professional referrals where necessary with parental permission.

(13) The daily schedule is planned to provide a balance of experiences on the following dimensions:

  1. indoor/outdoor
  2. active/passive
  3. individual/small group/large group
  4. large muscle/small muscle
  5. child initiated/educator directed

(14) Educators provide a variety of developmentally appropriate experiences and materials that are selected to achieve the following goals:

  1. foster positive self-concept;
  2. develop social skills;
  3. encourage children to think, reason, question and experiment;
  4. encourage language development;
  5. enhance physical development and skills;
  6. encourage and demonstrate sound health, safety and nutritional practices;
  7. encourage creative expression;
  8. eespect cultural diversity of educators and children;
  9. children are be able to choose from among several experiences the educators have planned or the children initiate; and
  10. routine tasks are incorporated into the Program as a means of furthering children learning self-help and social skills.

(15) Educators will:

  1. conduct smooth un-regimented transitions between activities and transitions are to be integrated into the program as learning opportunities;
  2. be flexible enough to change planned or routine experiences according to the needs and interests of the children, to cope with other situations, eg weather changes;
  3. plan Programs using the Early Years Learning Framework & where appropriate the Australian Curriculum and be guided by the Reggio Emilia approach to Early Childhood Education;
  4. monitor and record children’s development through the use of observations, checklists, profiles, learning stories and photographs;
  5. plan Programs that help to develop skills that reflect all developmental areas; and
  6. respect the child’s rights to choose not to participate at times.

School Aged Care – My Time, Our Place Framework

(16) The My Time, Our Place – Framework for School Age Care in Australia assists Educators to provide children with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in life. The Framework is linked to the Early Years Learning Framework and extends the principles, practices and outcomes to the contexts and age range of the children and young people who attend school age care settings.

Learning and Play at Yarm Gwanga

(17) Children are encouraged to express themselves creatively through a wide variety of indoor and outdoor learning experiences.

(18) Children are supported to achieve the five outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework through open ended learning experiences and environments, as well as planned and extension of learning experiences to support their interests and developmental needs.

(19) Various aspects of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) is incorporated into learning through the use of mathematics, science and sustainability concepts, along with exploration of natural aspects of our environment are encouraged and explored through a variety of open ended learning experiences. 

(20) Language development is encouraged through Educators modelling language, social interactions, effective communication, and news and group time experiences. 

(21) Social/emotional and independence skills are strengthened through experiences such as roleplay, dramatic play, group games and self-help tasks.

(22) Music and movement experiences are embedded into the routine and educational program to encourage physical, social and creative areas of a child’s development.

(23) Road safety, hygiene, dental care and nutrition are included in the education program.

(24) Learning experiences are supervised and guided by Educators to learn how a child responds as an individual and also as part of a group. Educators work in conjunction with families to provide learning experiences that are relevant to each child and tailored to their specific needs. A child’s home language, culture and religious practices will be accepted and included in the program.

Responsibilities

(25) Staff and Management Responsibilities:

  1. view documentation as an important part of our work with children and families
  2. capture children’s voices and ideas in planning, documentation and evaluation
  3. be selective in what we choose to document as many of the rich experiences and learnings that occur every day are copious and it will not be possible to capture them all
  4. be open to change as the dynamics of the team or the children’s group changes
  5. constantly review practices and mentor and learn from each other in a respectful and constructive manner
  6. use critical reflection on a regular basis for educators to review and reflect on practices. Critical refection is also documented in a variety of ways across the Yarm Gwanga Services.  However, personal staff critical reflection is mainly written on EarlyWorks.
    1. critical reflection will occur weekly and by thinking about the following statements in relation to children, educators, routines, program or self:
      1. successes experienced within the play spaces and factors that impacted
      2. experiences that were challenging and what steps can be taken to make improvements
      3. something you as an educator can do to change, enhance or improve your personal practice.
      4. influences on children’s dynamics
      5. practices and thinking that has been challenged

Resources

(26) ACECQA- www.acecqa.gov.au

(27) Early Childhood Australia- www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au

  1. Code of Ethics – http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/ECA-COE-Brochure-2016.pdf

Authority and Compliance

(28) The Guideline Administrator, the Director UNE Life, makes these Guidelines.

(29) UNE Representatives must observe these Guidelines in relation to University matters.

(30) These Guidelines operate as and from the Effective Date.

(31) Previous Policies/Procedures/Guidelines relating to educational programming and curriculum are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Guideline.

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Section 4 - Definitions

For the purposes of this Guideline the following definitions apply:

(32) Visitor includes but is not limited to, students on practical placements, volunteers, community members and persons conducting inspections/audits.

(33) Yarm Gwanga refers to both the Yarm Gwanga Preschool & Early Education Centre as well as Yarm Gwanga Vacation Care.