We have, over this period of time, provided a superior educational program, service and support for the children in our care and their families. We are a non-profit centre funded by the DEECD.
The kindergarten is operated by a management committee of volunteer parent members.
In developing the program for the children the whole child is taken into account. Our program is play based and engages the National and Victorian Early Years Learning Development Framework (VEYLDF).
It is well known that all children develop at their own rate so, within each group of children, we have varying levels of development. Consequently, a program that caters for all children is provided, with many playspaces and environments for children to explore.
How is This Done?
Children are observed individually and within the group. Our qualified educators will also gain information on each child through their interactions with them, whether that been when engaging in play with the children, whilst talking to them or leading them in group experiences. Through their observations and knowledge of early childhood development, staff will plan and create developmentally appropriate experiences and playspaces for your child to engage in. Through play your child’s learning will be enhanced and skills will be developed and refined. Throughout the year parents are also given various opportunities to contribute to their child’s development and learning program. As we strongly believe that “it takes a community to educate a child”, family input is an important part of our program development.
Program Planning Together – The Emergent Curriculum
When the children are more confident in expressing themselves the group is asked what they would like to make, learn about and do the following week. Using their suggestions a program is developed based on their ideas. This form of teaching encourages the children to contribute. It gives them ownership of the program and lets the children know that they are important and that their ideas are valued. By programming this way it also means that children are more likely to participate without needing direction from staff because it is what they wanted to do.
The program will provide children with learning experiences in many areas including: art, science, maths, computers, music, language, reading, writing, movement, dance and cooking. Children will be encouraged to try all aspects of the program and the emphasis will be placed on the process not the final product.
Program Documentation – Learning Stories
Beside the sign in book at kinder you will find our Learning Stories folder. Daily, staff will add a story to this folder which will document and clearly show (with photo’s) examples of some of the learning that has occurred during the session. We encourage parents to take time to read through the stories whenever possible.
Working in conjunction with the group learning stories, portfolios are used to document your child’s individual learning. Woodridge will provide and establish a portfolio for each child that staff and children will contribute to throughout the year.
These portfolios are designed and used as a sharing tool between kindergarten and home. We encourage parents to borrow their child’s portfolio and contribute to it by including their own stories about learning and special events that occur at home.
The end result will be a wonderful resource for the children to keep and look back upon with fondness of their time at Woodridge, and will be given to the children when they leave our kinder.
If you would like a more formalised meeting to discuss your child’s progress and development please ask your teacher to schedule an appointment time for you.
For working parents who find it difficult to get to kindergarten to have a discussion with the staff, please don’t hesitate to call either Kim (four-year-old kindergarten teacher) on 0409 889 080 or Marie (three-year-old kindergarten teacher) on 0480 206 428 to discuss your child’s progress.
Woodridge is set in a quiet parkland environment. We are a well equipped kindergarten which will offer your child plenty of variety both indoors and out. Artistic and colourful features combined with the natural beauty of our playground will provide endless play opportunities for your child.
We respect children as capable learners by including their perspective in teaching, learning and assessment. We ensure childhood is a time of being in the here and now and not solely about the preparation for the future. We aim to support children in building their confidence and independence as they learn to manage a variety of transitional situations. This is achieved through building trusting relationships with each child and their families. It is important for children to be provided with opportunities to take ‘safe’ risks. These opportunities develop the child’s cognitive and problem-solving skills, and helps to build their resilience and social competence.
Our program engages the children in an environmentally accountable setting with sustainable practices throughout our program. For example, we utilise water tanks for our outside water play, gardening, our 3yo room toilets and our disabled toilet facilities. We have two working worm farms that the children feed their food scraps to, which is then used in our gardening program. The recycle, reuse and reduce principles are embedded in our program.
In our kinder environment we have a variety of pets which include turtles, fish, and chickens. Encouraging direct contact and developing bonds with animals, can help children build empathy.
We operate an inclusive program and have high expectations for all children. We are passionate about the inclusion of children with special needs. We encourage children to participate in a variety of experiences and routines which allows us to recognise children’s individual strengths and needs. We believe all children have the capacity to learn and teach other children through their skills and different abilities.
In our program we have also embedded a sense of social justice. This is achieved through a variety of charitable endeavours where we support local community groups. These activities are shared with the children and their families in a sensitive and respectful manner
Although the kindergarten program will change on a regular basis to ensure that individual and group needs are being met, there are some activities, which will remain in some form each week, as they are important in early childhood development. These are called Permanent Learning Areas:
The block area is an excellent way for the children to learn about concepts such as number, quantity, and relationship between sizes, dimensions and measurement. The blocks are open ended and therefore all children will gain a sense of achievement.
Puzzles are an excellent resource for children. When doing a puzzle children are using their cognitive skills to reason things out. They are also learning about mathematical concepts such as spatial awareness, shape and size. This activity assists children to develop hand/eye coordination which is essential for future reading and writing.
Library corner introduces the children to the world of books. As well as gaining much enjoyment from having stories read to them children will gain an appreciation of the books. They will learn how to handle books, gain awareness of authors/illustrators and prepare themselves for learning to read and write in the future.
One of the most popular activities within the kindergarten; the construction trolley is full of recycled materials and offers children a place to create. This is open-ended activity where children use their fine motor skills to express their own ideas.
Dramatic Play Corner
This area will take on many forms throughout the year depending on the children’s interests. This corner will see children learning through role-play whilst utilising dress ups and other props. Dramatic play facilitates children’s learning primarily in the areas of social and emotional development.
Another of our permanent learning areas provides the children with the opportunity to express themselves creatively through painting.
Our mission at Woodridge Pre-school is to provide quality play-based education for all children in our safe and nurturing environment.
We believe in the foundation statement of Te Whariki which acknowledges the aspirations that children grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.
Woodridge Pre-school is committed to the protection of children and the provision of a child safe, children friendly environment. We will protect all children in our care from foreseeable risk of harm, abuse or injury.
Our educators are guided by the National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and Victorian Early Years Learning Development Framework (VEYLDF) which have strong links to the foundations of Te Whariki i.e. empowerment, family and community, holistic development and relationships. Programs are documented using learning stories with direct links to the practice principles and outcomes from the EYLF and VEYLDF.
With our emergent curriculum, children are active participants in the development of the program and learn that they are important and that their ideas are valued. Our curriculum is inclusive of children with additional needs and every child will be supported to participate in the program.
Woodridge Pre-school embraces the input of families, parents and the wider communities as we believe it takes a community to educate a child.
We acknowledge Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and we celebrate and embed their cultural richness into our educational program. In particular, we respectfully acknowledge the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people on which Woodridge Pre-school stands and we strive to build our knowledge of, and connection with the Wurundjeri people past and present.
Woodridge Pre-school is committed to protecting our environment to ensure a sustainable future for our children who are encouraged to become environmentally responsible.
Our community is an important part of our reflective practice and are encouraged to contribute to our programs, policies and our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP). This ensures Woodridge is meeting the needs of our children, families and wider community.
As educators we work with the children and their families to develop skills, behaviours and attitudes that assist children to be safe on our roads as passengers and pedestrians. We incorporate road safety education into day to day activities.
We believe that all children should be treated with equality and their cultural and linguistic diversity embraced and acknowledged.
Room 1 Philosophy
Room 2 Philosophy
Our community is an important part of our reflective practice and are encouraged to contribute not only to our programs and policies but to our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) to ensure Woodridge is meeting the needs of not only the children and families, but also our wider community.
The Woodridge Pre-school experience just wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of our extended family – our pets!
Developed by Kim Brodribb
All children need to spend time outdoors involved in free play. Free play to us is play that is not created by the adults; it comes from the child or children involved. Therefore, we believe it is our role to introduce children to a wide range of resources that they can utilise to facilitate their play – not always create lovely environments for them. Staff can play with children but we don’t want to intrude on their play. Sometimes this means that staff are watching the children and are there to guide or assist when they are needed.
We strongly believe that children need to be able to develop their own ideas from scratch. For many children this is difficult skill to learn and develop but we believe it will certainly benefit them in the future. Free play can open the door for many play ideas which means that sometimes the play isn’t safe – it is then our role to talk to the child/ren about our concerns. Using language that involves our feelings, e.g. “I am feeling a bit scared!” “Do you know what is making me scared?” In most cases children can answer and begin to learn about boundaries, rules and why we have them.
In some situations we do create environments or make suggestions to children to help get them started, we can be involved in their play and offer ideas; but it is important to listen to the children and make them responsible in directing their play.
Whilst playing children are continuously learning and developing skills. They will develop their:
Woodridge Pre-School runs an After Kinder Care Program on Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm-6pm, which starts once the formal kinder program is completed for the day.
After Kinder Care provides working families with greater access to a traditional Kindergarten program, as the children seamlessly transition to After Kinder care for the last few hours of the dav.
With Woodridge Pre-School offering full days, traditional kindergarten is a feasible option for working families, and a great alternative to child care.
After Kinder Care offers a relaxed and fun environment where the children play together in a small group after their busy day at Kindergarten. Activities include craft, cooking, puzzles, imaginary play and reading stories with trained educators and experienced staff.
When your child commences Woodridge Pre-School, we welcome you and the whole family to share in the experience of planning. If at any stage during the year you have concerns about your child’s development/behaviour, or you would like some feedback on how they are progressing at kinder, please just ask. You may take the opportunity to ask about your child’s progress whilst you are on fruit duty, or when you collect your child from kinder. If this isn’t suitable, I will make another time for the discussion to take place. Also, the best time to catch me is during my preparation time on Monday morning and Friday afternoon.
If there is anything that is concerning staff about your child, we will approach you to discuss our concerns. If necessary, support from the Preschool Field Officer will be sought. The Preschool Field Officer is qualified in early childhood development and special education, with a background in kindergarten teaching. The Preschool Field Officer is experienced and skilled in working with children with additional needs and their families.
Children with additional needs include:
The staff at Woodridge provide an inclusive program that caters for the needs of all children. Through the initiative of our Director, Kim Brodribb and our volunteer Nana, Joy Parsons (now retired), our staff now have access to a variety of resources which can facilitate the inclusion of children with additional needs.
Special resources that support inclusion are embedded in our pre-school program. Our staff openly discuss additonal needs with the children (and their families) as they believe that with education comes understanding and with understanding comes acceptance.
Our staff strongly believe that all children, regardless of their abilities or needs have the right to access a quality pre-school program.
If you would like further information on our inclusive pre-school program, please don’t hesitate to contact our Director, Kim Brodribb on 9439 2183.
The Woodridge Pre-School operations are managed by a voluntary Committee of Management consisting of parents whose children are enrolled at the centre. The committee is responsible for efficient operations of the kindergarten.
About the Committee
The committee of management comprises of 12 voluntary members, who are elected by parents at the Annual General Meeting. There are a number of Office Bearers as well as general committee members. The committee oversees the running of the centre, organise social and fundraising events, and manage administrative tasks.
The committee of management need the support of all parents to keep the kindergarten functioning properly and appreciate parents helping out where they can.
The management committee meets once a month and all parents are invited to attend. A copy of the minutes taken at the meeting are put on display to allow all families to keep abreast of kindergarten business.
Woodridge Preschool do undertake some fundraising activities throughout the year. Our fundraising is driven by our aim to continually improve our pre-school. We also plan many social events for our pre-school community eg. group play dates and parent dinners.
We also offer a set of fun, social activities to involve the whole family, and the option of purchasing pre-school mementos, such as kinder photos and picture plates.
Would you like to book a tour of our pre-school?
Are you interested in a position in either our three-year old or four-year-old programs?