Our programs at HTK are play based because we understand how essential play is for children’s development. We encourage our children to direct their own play because this allows them to work in an exploratory and individual ways. The role of the staff is to resource and facilitate play, finding props and organizing activities to stimulate play and motivate discovery. Also, the children attend each session of kinder with the same group of friends.
We also have incursions made by performers such as story tellers and musicians, a baby animal farm and native Australian animal and reptile expert. During these visits the children are encouraged to take part and become involved. Three year old kinder also have one excursion in fourth term and several excursions throughout the year for the four year olds.
Three Year Old
The Three year old program is often your child’s first extended experience in a group situation with other children and adults, but away from parents/guardians.
A typical 3-year-old kindergarten session would involve:
- Children and parents come into the playroom.
- Children choose from a variety of activities which can include, painting, pasting, sensory exploration, construction, dramatic play, imaginary role play, reading, puzzles, small group activities or drawing.
- Parents leave as their children settle into the program.
- Children enjoy free playtime inside trying various activities from the structured program with the staff and the parent on duty helping them as needed.
- Approximately midway through the session the children enjoy a group experience. This can include movement, music, singing, drama, stories and/or group discussion about topics relevant to the children and the program.
- Fruit time is formal. The children all sit together at the outside tables or have it “picnic style” on special mats.
- Children then proceed outside to dig in the sandpit, climb the play equipment, build with the large blocks, splash in the water tray, construct a cubby house or use other outdoor equipment.
- Before home time, the children come inside for a story, singing, movement and other group activities.
This basic routine outline does alter at times according to many different variables that can arise, such as weather and curriculum design.
Four Year Old
Each child will attend a total of 15 hours of Kindergarten each week.
Four-year-old Kindergarten introduces the children to a full day session and further enhances independance and the ability to make choices whilst still being in a play-based environment. Play and learning experiences become more child-directed with teacher guidance and interaction.
Typical 4-year-old kindergarten day includes:
- Children arrive and participate in the indoor program
- Children help to pack away
- Group time, which varies from music/movement, discussions, stories, games. (We have show and tell later in the year)
- Morning Tea
- Children participate in the outdoor program
- Short group time then morning session only children are collected by parents (12 noon)
- Children staying for a full day have their lunch. Afternoon session children arrive at 12.15
- After lunch the children enjoy afternoon indoor activities
- Children help pack away
- Group time
- Afternoon tea
- Outdoor play and then children help to pack away outdoor equipment
- Story time
- Children leave when parents arrive to collect them (3.15pm)
There are many advantages to keeping the group of children together. It extends their ability to share and take turns of toys, activities and adult interaction. New friendships can develop, as there is a diverse group of children playing together throughout the session or full day. Existing friendships are also extended.
As a whole group both teachers can supervise and ensure that the children are involved in a variety of activities. Both teachers bring different skills and strengths to the program that creates a wider variety of experiences, enjoyment and learning opportunities for the children. Teachers working harmoniously together role model many life skills – sharing, manners, co-operation, respect, communication and equality.
Playing and working together in a kindergarten environment is important for school readiness. Children need to learn to concentrate and complete tasks as part of a whole group.
Each child will attend 5 x 3 hour sessions with some sessions on the same day as a full day with a lunchtime program.
When children are attending for a full day there will be time set aside for relaxation and for them to eat their lunch (brought from home).
Learning at Holy Trinity is based on meeting the needs of the individual child and the EYLF outcomes. The environment lets children work at their own pace and level. The use of open-ended activities allows the children to experiment with materials in their own way without the expectation of a particular end product. A child may try an activity on one day and then come back to that activity on another day, reinforcing what they learnt previously or extending him or herself to use the materials in a different way.