Starting Kindergarten
Prospective Parents

Overview

At MMK, we are committed to providing a high quality and innovative educational program for all children in a nurturing and respectful environment.  Our programs are based on a combination of integrated teaching and learning approaches including children’s interests, guided play and adult-led play and learning (VEYLDF, 2016, pp. 14-15).   In order to meet the EYLF and VEYLDF objectives, our programs are based on current research, best practice and the use of educational theories such as cultural-historical, socio-cultural, critical, poststructuralist and developmental.

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    We believe children come to kindergarten with a wealth of knowledge and experience which they contribute to the program.  We understand they learn from each other and the educators within the context of their environment and are encouraged and supported to develop respect for the needs and rights of others as well as self-respect and self-regulation.

    We incorporate the five key outcomes from the EYLF (2009) and VEYLDF (2016), acknowledging that children:

    • have a strong sense of identity;
    • are connected with and contribute to their world;
    • have a strong sense of wellbeing;
    • are confident and involved learners; and
    • are effective communicators.

    Educators take children’s interests and capabilities into account, and through communication with families and regular observations, they gain further insight into children’s strengths and challenges, when assessing and planning our programs. This environment enables children to belong, be and become whilst being actively supported by educators.

    Educators, using daily routines and our emergent, flexible programs, aim to provoke investigations, extend inquiry and exploration, imagination, problem solving, creativity, collaborative efforts, negotiation, persistence, independence, self-expression, self-confidence and self-regulation.  Engagement of the whole child, understanding and valuing different communication and learning styles and dispositions is of high importance to all educators.

    Children’s engagement with the program, with each other and educators is documented and visible for children and families through our Reflections Reports and in their portfolios.  Both documents offer an opportunity for the child and family to share and reflect on their growth and learning journey whilst at kindergarten.  The Portfolios are a collaborative effort.

    We understand the importance of children’s active role in play.  As Hewitt and Tarrant (2015: 47) note: “during play, children take control of their own learning by making choices, exploring and taking risks, which in turn builds confidence in their abilities and belief in themselves as learners.”

    Planning is undertaken monthly, with the program displayed for parents to view at the service.

    A variety of experiences will be ongoing or extended in a variety of ways to follow the children’s interests, their abilities and needs and aims to meet the learning outcomes, but importantly, sets out to meet the goals for each child.

  • F.A.Q

  • What to expect for your child at Kindergarten?

    At kindergarten we don’t have a curriculum which is given to us by the Department of Education.  A National Framework underpins our program and ensures that every child has a sense of Being, Belonging and Becoming. Building strong, respectful relationships with children and families is paramount in our program, as is fostering a community of learners.

    At kindergarten we observe the needs of the group and we plan our program based on observations of the children, as well as their interests, encouraging investigation, inquiry, discussion, collaboration, negotiation, etc.

    Our program is play-based, as research shows that young children learn best this way.  Young children learn when the experiences are meaningful to them and relevant to them.

    Our focus is on encouraging the children to develop and establish new friendships. We might do this by playing name games so that we get to know our friend’s names, we might discuss at mat time what it means to be a good friend.  These discussions often lead to experiences which a child may bring to the group.

    At kindergarten we are always looking for ways to encourage children to share, take turns, listen to what other children have to say, help other people (eg with a puzzle), wait our turn, be considerate of other people, play nicely so that we don’t hurt or upset others and the list goes on.

    When we set up a game at a round table for four children it is to encourage turn taking skills. When we set up play dough at the round table we are encouraging children to face each other and engage in conversation with their peers.

    We provide opportunities for all children to participate in small group and larger group activities during mat time and encourage each child to contribute to the group discussion.

    Although we don’t have a prescriptive curriculum we do plan our program to encourage the children to develop relationships, further develop the skills they have and encourage them to move to the next stage in their development.  We provide a well-balanced program which includes literacy, numeracy, art, music, dramatic play, science and more.

    We believe that the kindergarten years are the most enjoyable and enriching years in a child’s life and we look forward to working with your child next year.

  • What to bring to Kindergarten?

    Each session your child will need to bring:

    • Water bottle (no cords on bottle).
    • Lunch (healthy lunch in a lunch box)
    • Snack (healthy snack in a snack box)

    It is important that your child is able to open their own lunch/snack box as this helps them to gain independence.  We will assist them if required.

    • Backpack (to carry all the above items) that the children are able to carry themselves.

    4-Year-Old Group (Red Group)

    • Fruit (to be placed in our kindergarten fruit bowl on trolley)

    It is important to show your child their lunch/snack box and water bottle before placing them in their bags so they become familiar with their own items.  We request too, that you use ice blocks/packs in your child’s snack and lunch boxes to ensure food remains cold, particularly during the summer.

    Spare Changes of Clothing

    Please ensure that spare changes of clothing are provided – underwear, shorts/pants/skirt, t-shirt, top (short/long sleeve) and a warm top.  These items can be left in their lockers for the times they are required.  (Please note seasonal changes and ensure that appropriate clothing is provided).

    Sunscreen & Hats:

    • We request that you apply sunscreen to your child prior to dropping them off at kindergarten (particularly in terms 1 and 4). However, sunscreen is also available at kindergarten for your use.
    • Hats (with the children’s names) will be provided by the kindergarten and these will be left in your child’s lockers from the beginning of the kindergarten year.

    Please ensure that all your child’s items are CLEARLY LABELLED

  • What NOT to bring to Kindergarten

    • We are an Allergy Aware kindergarten. We often have children attend who haveallergies and who are at risk of anaphylaxis. Please ensure that you do not send any food items that contain nuts or are nut-based.
    • We recommend that you provide a healthy snack and lunch for your child and minimise foods that are overly sweet, salty or high in fat. Our experience is that children will eat ‘treats’ before their fruit, yoghurt, etc. Teaching staff assist children with making appropriate choices first however.
    • Sustainability: We recommend that when packing your child’s snack and lunch that you minimise the use of packaging, cling film, etc.  The lunch boxes available are designed to reduce the need for packaging.
    • We recommend that your child does not bring any toys to kindergarten – these items may get lost or broken, can cause issues with other children, and ultimately, lead to distress for the child. We have plenty of appropriate experiences that are purposely designed for the children’s engagement whilst at kindergarten.
  • What to Wear?

    We recommend that your child attends kindergarten in appropriate, comfortable, washable clothes to facilitate engagement in a range of experiences.  We want the children to feel free to participate in a range of sensory experiences including painting, craft, water, sand and dirt play, and not be concerned about their clothes getting dirty.

    Please also be aware that particular types of clothing can also inhibit the children from not only participating in experiences but can also be a hazard to them (ie, when climbing). This is also relevant for children when they go to the toilet – pants that are too tight, or a belt or stiff buttons make it very hard for the child to go to the toilet independently.

    Ideally, shoes should fit properly and have closed toes (ie, runners).  Items such as thongs, crocs and even sandals can be trip hazards for children during their play.