An Adeona Family Podcast: An Early Childhood Journey
Episode 05: What Happens In The Kindergarten Program
At the kindergarten age, children have really begun to develop who they are as a person with strong identities. At this stage, they start to fill their knowledge with the rest of the world, which leads them to look externally to themselves.
Our goal in kindergarten is to encourage and support that excitement and curiosity of the external world. Likewise, in this age group, their social understanding begins to develop much more significantly, they look at their peers, and we begin to see democracy come into their play and life – understandings of fairness, respect for others and sharing of space. Our curriculum is based on that understanding.
The difference between the role of prep and kindergarten:
- Prep: The teacher’s role in prep is to teach children how to write their name, recognise numbers and recognise colours – that’s what school is for.
- Whereas in kindergarten, the focus is on building learning dispositions and social competence. These are fundamental aspects of a child’s development and vital to their success in school.
5 Key Learning Areas
- Identity: building a sense of security, trust and identity
- Connectedness: building positive relationships and showing respect for diversity & environments
- Wellbeing: a sense of autonomy, exploring ways to be healthy and safe and exploring ways to promote physical wellbeing
- Active Learning: building positive dispositions toward learning, showing curiosity and enthusiasm, problem-solving, investigating, reflecting on learning and being creative
- Communication: exploring and expanding language. Signing, listening and responding.
A lot of early childhood services say they have play-based programs or a play-based curriculum, whereas what they’re really offering is structured activities presented in a fun way. So in order for play-based learning to be achieved properly, play has to meet 5 criteria.
5 Criteria of Play
- Self-chosen and self-directed
- An activity in which the means are more valued than the ends (the process is more important than the result)
- Play has a structure or rules that are not dictated by physical necessity but emanate from the minds of the players
- Play is imaginative, non-literal and mentally removed in some way from real or serious life
- Play involves an active and alert, but non-stressed, frame of mind
School readiness for us is about the child being confident in themselves, with the ability to make friends and social connections, ready to take on that next step. We don’t expect them to have some amazing academic skills, but an eagerness to learn.
- Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline
- “Free to Learn” by Dr Peter Gray
- “You, Your Child and School: Navigating Your Way to the Best Education” By Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica
We’d love to hear from you! If you have any feedback, suggestions or questions about anything we discussed today, please feel free to reach out – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our early childhood education centres: