The staff at Kenmore District Kindergarten follow the National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines (QKLG). The guidelines help teachers to develop quality learning programs for children in the kindergarten year. The guidelines build connections between what children already know or can do, their learning at kindergarten and future learning at Prep.
EYLF and QKLG adopt a holistic perspective of learning and teaching — one that promotes social, emotional, physical and cognitive wellbeing through inclusive, integrated and interconnected learning.
Both curriculums promote play as the primary context for young children’s learning. Play is central to an effective kindergarten curriculum, as it is the best exercise and stimulus for the brain. Play is a natural activity for children through which they make meaning of the world around them.
The benefits children derive from play include:
- Learning to represent their ideas in a variety of forms as they talk about their thoughts, construct, paint, build, draw and take on roles
- Developing social skills – through communication, empathy, negotiating, co-operating and sharing
- Engaging with the perspective of others as they negotiate roles and solve problems
- Building foundations for early literacy and numeracy by engaging the children in symbolisation – where objects and materials are used as if they were something else
- Accessing and applying prior knowledge as they explore and recreate familiar events
- Acquiring new knowledge as they explore and recreate their world through play with others
- Developing imagination by using flexible and creative thinking in adapting to situations and finding solutions to problems
- Making meaning of their world by exploring a range of community and family roles
- Experimenting and making discoveries in a non-threatening way
- Being able to work at their own pace and at their own level.
Through play, children feel empowered as learners and develop a sense of mastery over their world. This enhances their self-esteem. Since play is intrinsically motivated, concentration is sustained and children are actively engaged in developing essential understandings and dispositions for lifelong learning.
The role of the early childhood educator is to collaboratively plan and implement learning experiences that will support and scaffold the children’s learning and development.