Contact Us Enrol Now Book a Tour

Early Years Conference 2023

Tue, 22/08/2023Posted by:

In a dedicated effort to address the evolving challenges of modern early childhood education, educators from across South East Queensland converged at St John’s Anglican College on Tuesday 15 August, for the highly anticipated annual Early Years Conference. This year’s theme, “Generation Alpha – Practical Strategies to Empower Educators in Developing the Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Young Children,” drew educators eager to gain insights and tools for fostering the holistic development of their students.

The conference was a testament to the growing concern among educators about the unique demands posed by the current educational landscape. Many teachers find themselves grappling with the diverse needs of students and the imperative to enhance their emotional and social wellbeing.

The event’s proceedings commenced on a heartwarming note, as St John’s Early Years students delivered a touching Acknowledgement to Country, setting the stage for a day of engaging and enlightening discussions.

A highlight of the conference was the captivating presentation by Dr Cam McDonald, who delved into celebrating the distinctive qualities of each student. McDonald urged educators to adopt a positive perspective, focusing on strengths rather than adopting a deficit-based approach. The audience remained fully engrossed as he shared practical strategies to foster a more inclusive and nurturing learning environment.

Adding a dose of energy and fun to the day, the “Generation Pound” brain break was a hit among attendees. Subsequently, Mary Rydstrom and Robyn Sims from ‘What Works With Kids’ Occupational Therapy took the stage, offering actionable advice and insights into promoting healthy development among young learners. Their expert input helped educators better understand the intricacies of children’s cognitive development and ways to provide targeted support.

Julie Flynn and Maxine MacGillivray from ‘Spring Into Success’ contributed a vital perspective on young students’ cognitive functioning. Their presentation offered attendees a deep dive into the cognitive processes of young minds, coupled with practical tips to effectively support their growth.

The St John’s Anglican College staff also played a vital role in the event, with three presenters sharing their insights. Rachel Atkinson explored the benefits of implementing a Lego Club, showcasing how it can serve as a creative outlet that fosters learning for all students. Rebecca Wright and Ellyse McCallum, psychologists from the College, tackled a pressing concern of the digital age – screen time. They offered research-backed strategies to guide teachers in collaborating with parents to manage and limit screen time for young children.

Attendees left with a plethora of thought-provoking ideas and practical techniques ready to be implemented in their classrooms. The conference truly lived up to its promise, arming educators with valuable tools to enhance the holistic development and emotional wellbeing of the upcoming Generation Alpha students.