Our Prep rooms are designed for children aged four turning five with a particular focus on preparing children in the year before commencing school. Our school readiness program includes transition visits to the Kindergarten rooms, numeracy and literacy experiences and participation in full College events.
The educators in the Prep rooms provide a balance between structured learning and opportunities for children to engage in play-based learning. As our philosophy states, we believe children learn and develop through exploration and investigation. Our team of highly qualified and experienced educators provide a variety of learning experiences which promote learning through the provision of open ended resources and loose parts. Children are provided with opportunities to further develop their self-help skills and independence through the care of their own belongings and meal times which enable children to access and pack away their food.
Our ELC provides a play-based learning program in which children engage in project learning, experiences designed to further their holistic growth and development and extend their curiosity and interest. In the Prep room we introduce the DIGGER program which is based on the Building Purposeful Lives framework (BPL).
Our DIGGER time in the Prep room is a highly interactive and child-focused time in our program in which children work with their peers to explore new ideas. For the children in the Prep room, educators provide a one hour session in which children engage in a rotating program covering literacy, science and maths concepts, comprehension and social development with an underlying focus on one of the BPL dispositions.
The children focus on two dispositions each term which is clearly defined and reinforced by specially designed learning experiences. Educators introduce the Learning Pit to children in the Prep room as a way of explaining how they are developing new skills and what to do if they feel stuck in their learning.
Commencing Primary School is another significant event in a child’s life. It can be both exciting and emotional as your child starts another new chapter in their life. Students enrolled in our Preparatory program are involved in activities and events within the whole school throughout the year. Our Prep students join the College kindergarten students during Term 4 to ensure that they know and feel comfortable in the Primary school environment.
During Term 3, all students who intend to transition to Kindergarten the following year will undergo an assessment to provide parents and College staff with the information necessary to ensure that each child’s academic and social needs are met from the very beginning of Kindergarten. The assessment will seek to ascertain each child’s ability to communicate with others, their level of attainment in areas such as early reading and writing, and how they recognise and work with numbers, groups and patterns. The assessment will also be looking at social maturity and readiness for school. To ensure that children are relaxed throughout, the assessment takes place in the ELC and is conducted by ELC educators. The assessment is a very natural experience of no more than 30 minute
Throughout the year the children in the Early Learning Centre visit the College library each week to borrow books and are included in Book Week celebrations with the Primary Years students. The children are also included in all College community events including the Mother’s Day Concert, Father’s Day breakfast, Grandparents Day celebration, and sporting events such as the Cross Country and the Athletics carnivals. These events help the children understand that they belong to a larger community while still being cared for in a smaller, nurturing environment.
Prior access to College facilities and interaction with staff and students relieves a lot of the anxiety normally associated with the transition to Kindergarten for both children and parents.