Why Play? “…What is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind?” Maria Montessori

Play is identified in the Early Years Learning Framework as a fundamental Practice. Jacaranda is not a place where children do work, it is a place where children play. Everything we do is based on our Mission Statement: Jacaranda will provide the highest quality preschool education with a child-centric approach to teaching and learning. That means that while schools might want every child who walks through their door to count to 100 and know what a hexagon is, that is not our mission.

We will support your child to build upon their knowledge to become a well-rounded individual, with a love of learning. “Love of Learning is one of five competencies, that together, determine one’s ability to accomplish what is needed to interact effectively with people and institutions. Love of Learning entails having a passionate interest in gaining knowledge about the world and one’s place in it; working hard in school to learn and improve skills; being curious and pursuing subjects of interest; applying learning strengths; finding ways to address learning challenges; and having a growth instead of fixed mindset.” Thriving Indicators

The Mental Health and Wellbeing (in children related to thoughts, feelings and behaviour) of your child is important to us and to their brain development. (see Brain Builders Blog). Forcing children to do something for which they are not developmentally or emotionally ready is not the way to build self-reliance and a strong foundation for developing the skills, values and behaviours they need to experience for positive physical and mental health as an adult.

Our job, as articulated in Jacaranda Preschool Strategic Plan 1.1.b is to: Support every child in their individual path to ‘being, belonging and becoming.”

“Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine.

When children play with other children they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning. Children’s immersion in their play illustrates how play enables them to simply enjoy being. Early childhood educators take on many roles in play with children and use a range of strategies to support learning. They engage in sustained shared conversations with children to extend their thinking. They provide a balance between child led, child initiated and educator supported learning. They create learning environments that encourage children to explore, solve problems, create and construct. Educators interact with babies and children to build attachment. They use routines and play experiences to do this. They also recognise spontaneous teachable moments as they occur, and use them to build on children’s learning. Early childhood educators work with young children to promote and model positive ways to relate to others. They actively support the inclusion of all children in play, help children to recognise when play is unfair and offer constructive ways to build a caring, fair and inclusive learning community.” (EYLF p15)

Louise Murfet

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