South Castlemaine Kindergarten encourages development through active play as we believe young children learn by doing - a play based approach.
We believe kindergarten and learning should be fun and we aim to display this in both our interactions with the children and in the play experiences that are planned. The program is developed according to the individual child's needs, interests and developmental level using the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.
We believe in fostering an inclusive program where all children are regarded as equals. We foster the relationship between parents and staff, supporting and acknowledging each other and the complementary role in the education of the child. As a kindergarten dedicated to the health and wellbeing of our children, we are participating in the Healthy Together Achievement Program. This government program is incorporated into our approach, with enhanced outcomes for health, learning and development.
We aim to teach children about sustainability through reduced water usage, recycling and our worm farm. In 2013 we were proud to be nominated as a Pilot Kindergarten in the SPARK Energy for Change Program. Staff, families and children were all actively involved in reducing our environmental footprint and making energy reduction a daily habit. Our kindergarten continues to work to reduce our energy use without compromising comfort levels, we have extended this with the addition of solar panels in 2015.
We offer many fun ways to learn and our program includes science activities, library borrowing, cooking and the celebration of special events like Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day and festivals. We have visits from services and community members such as the Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade, local Dentists, Bakers and reciprocal visits with the Library. We go on local walking excursions, and soon will begin visiting the local elderly hospice at Castlemaine Health.
In 2016, with local stakeholders and DET, we have been part of a reference group to set up an Abecedarian Project here in Castlemaine, which focuses on early language and numeracy development, enriched care giving, and uses Learning Games. We will be incorporating this into our program as of 2016.