"Our image of the child is that of being competent, intelligent, a co-constructor of knowledge and a researcher actively seeking to make meaning of the world, often in collaboration with others"
- Reflections 'Reggio Emilia Principles within Australian contacts'. Jan Millikan 2003:33.
At the Catholic Early Learning Centre (CELC) we believe that each child is a valuable and unique individual created by God. We value each child as an individual responsible for their own learning. We believe that children are theory builders and problem solvers, who learn best by making meaning of their world through play, relationships and experiences. We value children as social beings and recognise that they co-construct knowledge with peers, their families and our educators.
We value play as a learning process that enables each child to learn through concrete 'hands on' experiences such as doing, creating, experimenting, predicting, imagining, achieving, investigating, and identifying strengths and limitations.
Learning through play is how children "organise and make sense of their social worlds", using innovative and creative activities as enriching learning experiences. Children will be encouraged to discover 'self' and feel safe to explore within the world around them. We will encourage children to have ownership of their learning, which will empower them and build a passion for knowledge. Children should feel a sense of belonging in their environment, we will nurture their being while celebrating their present and future and what they are becoming.
Our CELC aims to provide young children with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in learning. We work collaboratively with families in promoting children's learning by implementing the Early Years Learning Framework and applying best practice as reflective of the National Quality Framework.
We provide an enriching inclusive environment that recognises diversity, including culture and ability. We work in partnership with families, Catholic school leaders and Catholic parishes to promote Gospel values and traditions while respecting the individuality of families and children.
CELC educators work in collaborative partnerships with the school community, intervention services and families. The CELC staff members value all stakeholders knowledge and contributions embedding trust and free communication in a reciprocal relationship that is respectful of one another by sharing insights and perspectives concerning each individual child.
At Holy Family Preschool we:
- Listen to our children as they are using their 'hundred languages' - a hundred hands, thoughts, ways of thinking, playing, speaking and listening, marvelling, discovering and inventing. (Loris Malaguzzi)
- Recognise our families contributions and expertise, not only as part of the preschool but as a member of the parish community of Holy Family, valuing the child not only as an individual but as a member of the wider community.
- Observing and documenting each child's individual development and interests, and linking these to the outcomes of the early years learning framework.
- Value our role in encouraging children to feel confident in taking ownership of their learning and instil a thirst for knowledge in the now and to take into their future endeavours.
- Create an environment that engages the interests of our children, promoting creativity, problem solving, investigating, hypothesising and experimentation.
- Are committed to fostering our image of the child as connected, creative, inquisitive, reflective and spiritual.
- Provide opportunities for self-selected play, contributions to the program, and to be involved in small and large group experiences, with educators embracing our role in intentional teaching, modelling and scaffolding the children's learning.
- Encourage Catholic values through daily prayer and meditation and participating in traditional ceremonies, whilst celebrating and respecting the uniqueness and diversity of our children, families and community.