Emmaus Preschool is a very special place, we believe that Preschool education begins when children turn three. They have moved beyond a self-focused toddler stage and are developing a keenness to explore their world and extend their social group. Christian education at this stage is imperative as at this age children are just beginning to develop their own sense of what is right and wrong, empathy for others, and moral reasoning.
We offer 3 and 4 year old children their first experience of engaging, enjoyable and exciting learning at Emmaus, providing both a holistic preparation for school and a seamless transition to Kindergarten.
Our program is highly individualised to extend each child to their full potential in the physical, emotional, social and intellectual areas. Our program also links with the "Key Learning Areas" common to all schools, ensuring a balance in the experiences your child will have.
We believe that play based learning inspires and enhances the natural curiosity, creativity and imagination of early learners, providing endless opportunities to create a rich and varied learning environment, full of opportunities for active engagement in exploration, discovery and learning. This helps build healthy dispositions towards learning, laying a foundation for future school success. By basing our program on the interests and ideas of the children, we promote the high levels of involvement and intrinsic motivation that result in "deep level" learning and enhanced learning outcomes.
We consider meaningful relationships both a gift from God to be treasured and an essential component of effective early learning. By cultivating close and caring relationships between staff, parents and children, we aim to build a community of early learners where children feel loved, safe, secure and appreciated. The high value we put on ensuring the wellbeing of children also includes helping them to develop the social skills that enable them to thrive in a group environment, an absolute essential for school success.
We believe that play based learning requires an unhurried approach that allows children to become immersed in their play experiences and a relaxed atmosphere where children can operate at their own pace.
Educators model and display respectful actions and interaction between one another and towards our children and families. Our workplace culture is founded on mutual respect, shared decision making and biblical values. We cultivate close and caring relationships between educators, children and families, so children feel loved, safe, secure and appreciated.
We acknowledge families are a child’s first teacher and respect their decisions, values, beliefs and cultural diversity and include family input in our planning process.
We expect a high level of reciprocal communication between children, educators and families in a way that is kind, compassionate and empathetic. Parents are expected to participate in conversations concerning their child and their input is valuable and welcome.
We believe the role of the educator is to facilitate and nurture the child’s development as a life-long learner. Educators will respond to children’s ideas with enthusiasm and will employ teaching strategies that scaffold and extend children’s learning.
We recognise that children are:
- a valued learner.
- a co-contributor to their peers learning.
- active learners, bringing with them a wealth of experience and knowledge from their family and this prior knowledge is to be respected.
- capable of learning through many different avenues.
Children are active engagers, holding different and unique perspectives on the world and how they perceive the world. Children are relational and can grow their ability to recognise other children’s capabilities and to engage together as co-constructors and co-contributors to their play.
Our partnerships aim to extend to the wider community so we can draw upon their vast collective wisdom and knowledge in shaping our children’s world perspectives at Emmaus.
Children have a right to:
- Be safe
- Be listened to
- Take risks
- Enquire and develop at their own pace
We recognise that all Children have the ability to succeed and Educators are willing to try all avenues to promote progress of the whole child’s development. Educators work together to reach and engage with all children and respond with a high level of encouragement and flexibility for individual needs, growing trust with each child.
Each child has God given gifts and abilities. Educators will support perseverance and encourage the child to discover these gifts and challenge themselves to do their best.
- allow each child to grow on their own journey.
- allow time for a child’s interest to develop and evolve.
- acknowledge the importance of recognising each child’s needs, desires and abilities.
- respect that each child will engage with the program to their own level of comfort.
- allow for opportunities for open, unhurried play.
Respect for our environment
We believe in nurturing a love of our natural environment, the land and animals, helping children develop life-long respectful, positive and proactive attitudes ensuring a sustainable future. We believe that our Earth is an amazing place, it reveals to us God’s beauty, glory, power, wisdom, presence, creativity and His love.
Creation is a gift from God and it is his intention that we ‘Tend and Keep’ it. In our programming and activities we seek to embed sustainable thinking – ‘what can we reuse’, ‘how can we do this smarter’. We seek to provide organic opportunities for the children to learn about natural environments and to participate in life cycles of plants and animals.
Respect for diversity
God made us all intentionally unique. We believe in unity in diversity because we are created by our loving God
We acknowledge the intrinsic value of each child, their family unit and culture. We embrace that there are different ways of doing things.
In preschool, we support children to understand and engage in diversity by embedding a love for diversity and cultural difference in our progam, engaging in activities for special events, through visual displays, modelling respect for diversity and by reflecting with the children about the things they like, enjoy or are thankful for.
Staff and educators need to be knowledgeable about what diversity looks like and how to embrace and promote the strengths of diversity, including developing an appreciation and knowledge of different cultures and disabilities, translating this in a way that children can learn and engage with.
Using intentional programming and relationship, we support the holistic development of each child through the social, emotional, cultural, physical and spiritual domains.
Our learning from the gratitude project and empathy program, has led us to embed in our program gratitude and empathy practices with the aim of maturing attitudes of thankfulness and gratefulness in our young children.
Our preschool provides opportunities to experience and learn the importance of healthy eating and food choices, and children are actively encouraged to explore the environment around them and explore and engage in physically active play opportunities. Rain is just another opportunity to enjoy play in an outside environment.
We believe critical reflection is essential, honest, intentional and sometimes uncomfortable. Critical reflection discussions should be robust and conducted with prayerful consideration. It should be practiced both individually and together as staff.
Critical reflection shapes educational practices. This should be ongoing, holistic and adaptive to both the children and staff strengths and interests. This process guides future play and programming and should include children and families.
We recognise the transition from Prekinder to Kindy as being a significant transition and adjustment for children to make. We work on the transition phase from the beginning of Semester 2 using a number of strategies so that children are familiar with the classroom, library, playground and courtyard.