THE MEETING CIRCLE
The Meeting Circle is an introduction to formal group time where teachers and children share news, outline or recap the day’s events, current projects and new learning experiences. Sitting in a circle invites each child to have a voice and feel welcome to contribute to the group’s discussion. The meeting circle usually occurs at the beginning of the day as a way of starting the 3 year old Kindergarten program.
Children are provided with an interesting variety of foods and allowed to exercise some choice in what they eat. Educators take time to eat and talk with children during mealtimes and create a sociable environment. Where possible, children get involved in food preparation and are also encouraged to assist with serving food and drinks and tidying up after the meal.
Each child is given a chat book at the beginning of the year and will have an allocated day where they will have the opportunity to share with the group the contents of their chat book. Chat books create a strong link from home to the Centre and informs educators of the children’s current interests which can be extended upon within the program. Chat books also assist in facilitating partnerships with families and help to encourage children’s verbal communication skills, confidence when talking to others and builds a sense of pride and ownership.
Family partnerships are valued and educators establish and maintain professional, honest and open two way communication with families which is collaborative and supports them in their parenting role. Part of this communication process includes day to day discussions, family learning stories and chat books. In addition, we support families in their decision making about their child’s learning needs by providing mid-year reports and opportunities for mid-year discussions.
Incursions and Excursions
In addition to the regular centre programming, the 3 year old kindergarten will participate in excursions and incursions. During the course of the year, the children will have opportunities to attend various excursions. These may include visits to the museum, art gallery or symphony orchestra. Visitors will also be invited to the kindergarten in order to share special skills, interests or exhibits. These excursions and visitors are used to extend the children’s learning through their current interests and are offered at least once each term.
Art and Music
We encourage children to develop their creativity through our art and music programs. Art projects are often created as a group activity, which encourages team work and gives the children a common focus.
Our music program focuses on building social skills, whilst still having fun singing, dancing and playing instruments together. Often, the children are directed in acting out mini plays. The children really enjoy interacting with each other and taking it in turns to play the various roles.
Play based learning
Highgate believes learning through play is one way children learn to make sense of the world around them. Through play, children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.
REST AND RELAXATION
The children have sleep/rest/relaxation time each day after lunch. We feel this is an important part of the day and gives children an opportunity to relax both body and mind in a quiet and calm environment. Children’s individual needs differ and rest/relaxation time reflects these needs.