Play is a young child’s way of learning. Play is the way children make sense and meaning of the world around them and is the child’s ‘work’. Engaging in play, children can explore, investigate, experiment and socialize, developing curiosity for learning and skills for life. Our programs are designed to facilitate learning through play, allowing children to work to their ability with the freedom to challenge themselves.
The structure of the program is a balance of play experiences that include active/quiet, indoor/outdoor, group/individual and structured/unstructured opportunities.
Educators observe and get to know each child and plan activities and experiences according to their needs and interests. We document children’s developing knowledge, interests, skills and attitudes in our reflection journal and we encourage families to share their views of the child’s learning journey.
We believe the outdoors to be an ideal learning environment for children and we encourage outdoor play in most weather conditions. Children benefit from sensory rich play opportunities such as: sand, water, mud, clay, finger painting, light and shadow play. We focus on the process of ‘learning by doing’ not necessarily the end-product.
We interweave the areas of art, music and movement, language and literature, dramatic and imaginative, sensory and physical as well as science and maths into play experiences. We provide opportunities for a wide range of skill development and children are encouraged to make decisions. Children are supported to participate in small and large group activities.
Maroondah Preschool offers two levels of early childhood education:
3 year old Kindergarten: Ngawan* (Sun) Group
4 year old Kindergarten: Biik* (Land) Group
*Wurundjeri Tribe Council granted use of Woiwurrung language
The 3 year old curriculum recognizes that children of this age enjoy the security of working and playing close to each other and the adults around them. The indoor and outdoor areas are used at different times of their session.
The 4 year old curriculum recognizes that children of this age enjoy the freedom of working and playing in a more self-directed way. A child-initiated program that is emergent and primarily experiential is offered to this group. There are long stretches of open time for children’s play and exploration. We believe that children deserve to engage deeply with each other and with their ideas, questions and challenges.
Maroondah Preschool offers a natural environment with open-ended resources. Sticks, sand, dirt, stones and water along with physical toys such as climbing equipment, swings and trikes are favoured play materials. The indoor environment offers a wide range of materials.
Our program aims to further each child’s individual interest and overall development. We offer a broad range of experiences to explore, discover and experiment with.