The curriculum (or program) here at Mulberry Cottage ensures each staff member can flexibly tend to each individual child as they grow and develop. Their strengths, needs and interests will always be accounted for as well as ensuring meaningful intentional teaching. The national early years learning framework belonging, being and becoming, is deeply embedded within our planning and documentation alongside our philosophy, policies, procedures and the education and care national law & regulations.
Our program allows for the children to explore a wide variety of skill levels and to have access to a variety of developmental resources as they continue to learn, experiment, research, problem solve and exhibit all their different levels of curiosity and exploration.
Our team not only value the importance of play based learning and intentional teaching in early education but also regard their attitudes, demeanour and interactions with the children as a crucial part of facilitating a strong program. They do this by ensuring warm, open and nurturing practices to build connections and foster emotional wellbeing.
The environment is always set up in a way to invite the children in to many areas of play, recreation and rest. Whether an experience is planned or spontaneous, we consider these of equal value within our program and planning cycle so long as our children are learning, supported and appreciated throughout the experience.
Our program is planned ahead for each week, although designed to ensure educators are also adding to it throughout the week to include critical reflection, following up of any interests and extending upon spontaneous experiences and ofcourse family input.
Children are supervised at all times even when involved in play for uninterrupted periods of time within their environment. This supports their growing independence and autonomy to allow the children explore thoroughly and care free.
Educators take the time prepare the children for what routines will occur each day and discuss the importance of each practice. For example, the educators will discuss why hand washing before meals and after play is important, as well as eating healthy foods and physical exercise. These are just a few examples of a range of other conversations we include the children in each day.
Upon orientation and continual conversations, families are informed about the documentation and planning for their child. We explain how we keep children's assessment for learning and development in a portfolio on the Story Park App/website, in which parents are invited to contribute, comment and be involved in the decision making for their children’s learning.
Educators take the time to speak with families on drop off and pick up and discuss their child’s day, interests and what the child has been interested in at home. We then use this information in our programming and planning when valuable, meaningful and appropriate.
The program is developed for each individual child and group experiences in mind. Children are supported to develop their curiosity and problem solving, we provide multiple resources in each room and rotate accordingly. Educators will demonstrate and encourage the children to discover a variety of ways of using resources, most importantly letting the child lead whilst scaffolding their learning where required.
Transition to school
In the years leading up to school our aim at Mulberry Cottage is to ensure a collaborative and open approach with families, our educators and primary school teachers within our community. We want you to be given as much insight into what the transition to school will mean for you and your child as well as the support and resources required in making decisions to move forward in to this new era for your child.
Over the years and more recently, there has been an increasing amount of research and evidence to support the importance of planning and implementing a play based curriculum to holistically support each child to be nurtured as they grow and develop. We also know it is important, particularly in the early years to plan experiences in a way to support children’s individual needs, intrigue and curiousity. The national early years learning framework being, belonging and becoming guides us to support each child in their development by ensuring we support them in reaching the following 5 important outcomes “which are designed to capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children across the birth to five age range”.
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators
Through the practice of intentional teaching and learning through play, children are engaged in a range of activities to explore numeracy, literacy, language, scientific and social concepts and ideas that will not only appropriately support their learning and transition to school, but also be mindful and appropriate to the level and experience of the individual child.
Fun and Fitness with Caroline
Fun and Fitness with Caroline
Twice a week on rotating days, we have fun and fitness with Caroline.
Caroline designs a new program each week in consultation with educators, our program and the fundamental movement skills guidelines from the good for kids, good for life program.
As children do not naturally learn fundamental movement skills without collaboration and guidance from experienced peers and adults, it is crucial that we as educators plan for these physical skills to be practiced each day and children taught their importance.
Caroline ensures that the children are actively engaged in playful and exciting games which hone in on running, jumping, catching, galloping, leaping, hopping, dribbling a ball, side-sliding, striking a ball, under arm rolling and over arm throwing all the while building upon social and emotional engagement and wellbeing.