Little Saints’ Kindergarten is an extension of the high quality early education program offered by St John’s Anglican College. Because it is part of the school community, Little Saints’ is quite unique in what it offers children and families…
Our program is characterised by balance and practice and is responsive to the needs of our community.
• We balance our learning between the academic and the social curriculum.
• We balance teaching children to be responsible through acting independently and giving them adequate support.
• We balance our needs versus our wants: – everybody gets what they NEED, but they don’t always get what they WANT.
• We balance between what is best for the individual and what is best for the group.
• We balance our day between active and quiet times, structured and unstructured times, teacher-directed activities and child-led exploration.
1. WE PRACTICE SOCIAL SKILLS:
• Remembering that children are just beginning to use language, we have to practice all day long the skills of listening, waiting for a turn, self-control, politeness, diplomacy, tact, sharing and problem-solving.
• We practice identifying our feelings and developing control over them. We are beginning to learn that we have to “do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do” even if our feelings say otherwise. Eventually children will internalize that doing the right thing feels GREAT!
• We practice demonstrating values such as faith, hope, love, courage, community and justice.
Remember: after years of practice, it can still be challenging for we adults to act appropriately all the time. This is a life-long process, and sometimes our emotions and desires get in the way of acting appropriately. Some children will need more continued support than others. Be encouraged though. If your child is the one who exhibits a “hands on” approach with others, our classroom is designed to teach them other solutions through practice, consistency, modelling and respect. The other children in the class are empowered by being involved in the process as well in meaningful ways.
When listening to your child, it is important to remember that children are excellent observers, but NOT good interpreters of “all the facts”.
Our approach empowers children through:
• Allowing each person to be active participants in the problem-solving process.
• Helping them to identify their own feelings and learn empathy for others.
• Learning how a problem starts and can then be avoided in the future.
• Being respectful of everyone’s feelings and ideas, without an adult’s pre-conceived ideas about what happened.
2. WE PRACTICE ACADEMIC SKILLS
• We practice foundational skills in writing, reading, math, science, social studies, and motor development. These skills are introduced through both specific skill work and exploration. Children learn concepts through active participation: independently, in small or large groups, and through both teacher-directed and child-directed activities.
• We practice and review foundational, experiential activities all year long, as well as introduce new and challenging concepts. For example, we will read books that contain only pictures, experiment with the numbers 1 – 10, work with patterns, talk about ourselves and our families, write our names, and sing familiar rhymes / songs throughout the entire year. This makes children feel safe and successful in a learning environment, allows them to explore familiar concepts in unfamiliar ways (thereby extending their critical thinking skills), and gives them confidence to take risks in new areas. Then when we introduce more difficult skills it is a less threatening and exciting experience for learners of all aptitudes.
• We practice reading and writing. In Kindy, the skills that foster reading development begin with reading books. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, picture books, silly books, joke books, rhyming books, and even labels around the room demonstrate that print has meaning, can be used for many purposes, and can be enjoyed. We also practice reading through learning songs, sharing stories orally, writing our name, dictating stories, and drawing pictures that include complex, “representational” figures. These activities are just as critical to reading development as learning the alphabet and phonics. They develop skills such as understanding that books have a sequence with a beginning, middle, and end; books are read from left to right; books contain settings, plots, and characters; books can be real or fantasy; and that books are one way of telling an idea. Children also develop a rich vocabulary and critical thinking skills, which are crucial to future reading success.
• We practice how to hold a pencil grip when we write, and we attempt to reproduce letters accurately and clearly.
• We practice math. When using blocks, counters, graphs, rulers, small manipulatives, and other common objects there are numerous opportunities for developing math concepts such as sequencing, patterns, sets, addition, subtraction, comparisons, and one to one correspondence.
• We practice science. Through exploration and experimentation children are exposed to concepts about natural science, physical science, and physics. We cover topics such as: mass, volume, height, weight, distribution, the properties of air, liquid and solid, living things and environmental issues.
• We practice social studies. We learn about who we are and where we come from. Our culture and the similarities and differences in our family traditions. We learn about our home, neighbourhood, state, country, and world. We learn about money and what it is used for. We learn about our community and the people that make it thrive. We talk about ethics. We talk about heroes.
• We practice motor development. We take lots of time to practice activities that will strengthen our bodies, develop flexibility, teach kinaesthetic awareness (such as being aware of other people’s “personal space”), and to eat food that will keep us healthy.
This global approach provides a strong foundation on which all future learning is based. A fulfilling and joyful life encompasses how we interact with our world and those with whom we share it. Continued practice in all of these areas helps us to think better, move with confidence, and make compassionate, sensible choices.
It all begins here and we are privileged to share this journey with you!
Little Saints Kindergarten is proudly funded and supported by the Queensland Government.
Please refer to Statement of Kindergarten Fees 2017