We see young children as active learners with existing knowledge, interests and abilities which will be a base upon which to scaffold future learning. Our program which supports and enhances young children’s learning is guided by the Principles and Practices of Early Years Learning Framework. We believe that play is the basis from which to have meaningful learning and that our role is to work in partnership with families to authenticate that learning. It is important to us that we give parents easy and continuous access to information about the Centre and specifically their child’s records and to make it simple for them and the extended family to partner with educators in shaping the curriculum, Therefore emails, and our website are integral to communication. We value the development of our educators as quality educators and potential leaders in the early childhood field therefore we manage to facilitate this. We actively support increasing male educator involvement at the Service often beginning at the trainee level.
At Hunter Valley Alphabet Academy we share the view that children’s lives are characterised by Belonging, Being and Becoming.
Belonging: that is an awareness of and respect for the relationships that allow a child to know where and with whom they belong. Our Christian foundations establish that loving relationships are core to human life and every child is made and highly valued by God and placed in families and communities with whom they form their strong attachments and who are to care for and nurture them. Therefore we believe we all have a familial, community, national and international responsibility to children and families. At the closest level we invite families to contribute to their child’s program, to offer reflections of their family’s activities, culture and ethnicity and we offer extra supports through a network of government services and Service based courses to assist young families. We enjoy our local community facilities, the parks, the bush retreat, the shopping centre, local library, and schools. With the children we work out our responsibilities to people and the environment as a part of this community. We value the lessons we can learn from the traditional land owners so we seek to engage with the local indigenous community. Our children are given opportunities to engage internationally by sharing learning journeys with 10 children we sponsor, and a preschool in Uganda.
We also understand that our world has been created by God and that mankind is to use and care for it, so together we are going green by promoting the use of natural materials, and Reduce, Recycle and Reuse when possible.
Being: We see childhood as a time to enjoy the present and as children participate in everyday life, they develop interests and construct their own identities and understandings of the world. We see children as efficient communicators so we value the wide variety of voices of the children and respect that they are all individuals who bring a unique set of cultures, languages, skills, ideas, faiths and attitudes to the learning environment. Likewise educator’s voices and their personal professional philosophies influence the experiences of each member of the learning community. Our Christian values call us to love and respect each and every individual involved in the Service. Just as each individual has rights they also have responsibilities and we assist all members of our community to understand the boundaries that exist for their behaviour. We use photography as a way to capture some of daily experiences to share with families.
Becoming; Life is a journey of continual learning for children and adults. Children are active seekers of knowledge with a natural curiosity to learn about their surroundings and to explore relationships While with us children learn and grow rapidly in their identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships as a result of the events and circumstances in their lives within the service and beyond. These things will ultimately contribute toward the adult they become. Educators stimulate these active learners through provocations, opportunities for collaboration and peer learning as well as intentional teaching. An ongoing cycle of planning, documenting and evaluating children’s learning underpins the educational program and involves educators in critically thinking about what is offered and why. Our educators too, continually learn alongside of the children and we understand that the quality of our educators impacts the quality of our service so we have expressed high standards and as a service are committed to encouraging the continuing growth towards excellence for all of our educators. We understand that school readiness is important and we aim to ensure that our children have good foundations on which to build their formal schooling and a helpful transition to school for each child and family. We also understand that parents of young children at times look for support, encouragement and guidance in their role and we endeavour to provide that through in house training opportunities as well as through referral to external sources.