Early Years Learning Framework
St Anthony’s School prioritises high expectations for learning, using the direction of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) to facilitate learning, in the early childhood years. The EYLF is an early childhood curriculum framework, which guides the early childhood educators in developing quality, early childhood education programmes. The EYLF consists of Principles, Practices and five main Learning Outcomes based on identity, community, wellbeing, learning and communicating. The Learning Outcomes are used to reflect on children’s learning and focus on what a child can achieve rather than what they can’t. The EYLF enables early childhood teachers to extend and enrich children’s learning, provide opportunities for children to develop a foundation for learning and for children to become successful learners.
(Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australian Governments, 2009.)
The early childhood programs at St Anthony’s School recognise the importance of communication, language, early literacy, early numeracy and development of the social and emotional domain. The overarching concepts of the EYLF Belonging (relationships), Being (making choices) and Becoming (personal excellence) underpin the pedagogy of Early Childhood Education at St Anthony’s School. Students are encouraged to explore, wonder, develop interests, create their own identity, enquire and make meaning from the world. Play based learning, enquiry learning and explicit teaching approaches are all used to provide a child centred, balanced education to encourage children to grow spiritually, cognitively, emotionally, socially and physically.
St Anthony's School Early Childhood Charter
St Anthony’s School believes that each child is a precious gift from God, created as a unique individual. We integrate faith into all aspects of school life and create learning environments which enable children to experience the joy and wonder of their world. We aim to extend and enrich children’s learning to promote their holistic development.
- Student engagement is nurtured through the development of strong, caring relationships with each child.
- Families are the first educators of the child and children learn best when schools work in partnership with families.
- Children learn through a variety of structured and unstructured play experiences.
- Oral language and genuine conversations are a foundation of teacher/child relationships.
- Children thrive when they are exposed to a variety of child driven and teacher facilitated learning strategies, based on their needs and interests.
- Children learn through their interactions with others and therefore collaborative learning experiences are essential.
- Explicit and incidental teaching of social skills is essential.
- Jesus is the centre of our Catholic community and it is important to incorporate incidental prayer, reflection and mindfulness in the classroom.
- Health and well being should be promoted through restful spaces inside and outside the classroom.
- Children develop individually and the curriculum should be differentiated to build on prior knowledge, skills and experiences.
- Meaningful, timely assessments should be used to inform planning.
- Children’s diverse cultures and experiences need to be embraced and respected within the classroom.
St Anthony’s School values effective communication between children, parents, staff and community members. Indoor and outdoor environments are deliberately designed to work towards achieving the best possible outcome for each child. Learning experiences and teaching strategies are selected to ensure each child is able to develop to their full potential.
National Quality Standard
The National Quality Standard (NQS) provides a benchmark for Early Childhood Education in Australia. St Anthony’s School assesses the seven quality areas of the NQS and rates each area. The seven quality areas covered by the National Quality Standard are:
- Educational program and practice
- Children’s health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Leadership and service management
(Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.)
St Anthony’s School has developed a Quality Improvement Plan that has been implemented in order to strive for continual improvement so that the students enjoy the best possible conditions in the early years of education.