Our Kindergarten program
Thornbury Kindergarten’s programs are play-based, drawing on the interests and developmental level of each child. We allow children the time and space to explore the world in their own way. The teachers facilitate this by providing tools, materials and challenging questions; they use intentional teaching, where specific group and individual learning goals are set for the children.
These goals are based on the Victorian Early Years Development Framework (VEYLDF) and the National Quality Framework (NQF). Teachers also extend children’s learning by scaffolding (building on) teachable moments that arise spontaneously during a session.
The programs are designed to cater for each individual child depending on their needs, abilities and interests. You might notice that the activities conducted in each group are different. This reflects the teaching staff’s responsiveness to individuals within the group and group dynamics.
What happens in a typical session?
After drop-off, the children gather for mat time. The purpose of this is to help children develop a sense of security and belonging within the group. We encourage the children to put their bags away as a means of developing the independence needed for school. After this the children engage in a range of spontaneous activities set out by staff prior to the beginning of the session.
Children are encouraged to develop their own independence by choosing what activity to do, whether to play inside or outside, and when to eat.
Towards the end of the session, children help to pack away the toys and equipment before an activity at the end of the session. This may include stories and other literacy activities, or learning experiences based on the children’s interests and needs.
Throughout the year we also participate in excursions and incursions.
Spanish Language Program
In a Victorian first, the Early Childhood Language Program is a $17.9 million commitment over four years providing children attending a state funded kindergarten program in the year before school, the opportunity to learn in another language.
The Early Childhood Language Program centres on children learning ‘in’ another language as opposed to learning ‘a’ language. Learning ‘in’ a language integrates the new language into the children’s experiences and routines. Exposure to language content and vocabulary occurs in meaningful ways and in context through these rich and complex experiences. It also occurs
at the same time as wider learning.
At Thornbury Kindergarten children are offered the opportunity to participate in our play based Spanish Language program for 90 mins per week.