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 well being.
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 of course 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 to explore thoroughly and be 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.