At Brenbeal we offer an Integrated Kindergarten program led by highly experience and trained Kindergarten teachers and educators. As an integrated program, the teacher-led kindergarten program is integrated with additional hours of education and care. At a sessional service, a kindergarten program will only run on certain days and at specific times. These days and hours are set by the kindergarten service and most often can not support additional care requirements.
Children learn more in the early years than they will at any other time in their life. At Brenbeal we believe strongly in an enriching Play-based curriculum. Children at this age learn through play; and as such we provide both structured learning activities as well as encouraging the children to choose their own activities, make decisions for themselves, follow their interests, explore and interact with others. Most activities are open-ended and flexible, so children can learn as they build and create. Our aim is for children to be confident and skilled in directing their own learning, making friends and asking for help from adults when they need it.
Throughout the year, we try to develop the skills your child will need to cope at school. Some of our priorities for the year are:
- Learning to cope with being away from home and family. Once children trust their educators, they will thrive.
- Independence in managing clothing and belongings, seeking help when needed, playing with other children, asserting themselves and resolving disputes.
- Learning to be part of a large group, respecting other children and following routines and rules.
- Social skills like sharing, waiting and taking turns
- Concentration and persistence so children can focus on and complete activities
- Problem-solving and thinking for themselves, rather than always following adult ideas.
A key priority of our kindergarten program is to teach young children to value and support the local community. In the past few years, we have worked closely with some local organisations to support children to connect with the community. These learning experiences include visiting the local Doutta Galla Aged Care home every fortnight to play with the elderly; connecting with Footscray Hospital to learn about doctors’ work; donating books to the community bookshelves which we established with Footscray City College; planting with the college students, etc. Although COVID-19 has postponed many of our existing community programs, we look forward to initiating different ways to continue to support children’s learning about their community.
Some details on each of the programs in place:
- Intergenerational program – the Kinder children visit the local Doutta Galla Aged Care nursing home every fortnight to make friends and play with the elderly.
- “Know Your Neighbour Project” with Footscray Hospital – we approached the hospital with an offer to set up a free community library in their waiting areas, using books donated by our families. This led us to a partnership with Footscray City College, who built the library shelves for this project. We have also taken small groups of children to meet some doctors and learn about their work.
- Planting together – a group of high school students from Footscray City College visited our kinder to do gardening with the children. They will continue to come and maintain the garden. The newly complete planter boxes were donated and made by Bunnings, Braybrook Men’s Shed and Newport Premix, which are all local organisations.
If you would like to learn more about our Integrated Kinder program, please contact us by telephone or email and importantly you must register with the City of Maribyrnong to ensure you are on our waiting list.