Program

We operate an indoor/outdoor play based program at Helen Paul Kindergarten with an emergent curriculum, as it respects and supports the ways children learn best.  This reflects sound research that children learn best through play and by engaging in experiences that interest them.  Our kindergarten values sustained and purposeful play and our program is guided by the National Early Years Learning Framework, and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.

At Helen Paul Kindergarten, we provide the children with an environment in which they feel they belong – are accepted and valued – to interact with, and influence in their own unique ways, a comfortable and safe place to continue developing their identities.  For our whole kinder community – children, parents, friends, relatives and staff – our goal is to have a warm, welcoming environment as a starting point for the children’s care and education.

3 Year Old Program

Helen Paul Kindergarten’s 2020 three year old program will include two groups with up to 22 children per group, attending 5.5 hours a week.  The groups and times are:

2020 and 2021

Helen Paul Kinder will offer two separate groups:

Possums (5.5hrs/wk)
Monday             1.30pm -  4.00pm
Wednesday        8.30am –11.30am

Kookaburras (5.5hrs/wk)
Wednesday        1.00pm – 4.00pm
Friday                8.30am - 11.00am

 

The three year old program focuses on developing and nurturing the social and communication skills of each child, which include music, singing, dancing and dramatic play.  Activities such as play dough, finger painting, painting, collage, drawing, puzzles, building with blocks and outdoor play are designed to help develop fine and gross motor skills. Our teaching sessions are run by one teacher and two assistants.

Each term includes an incursion related to the children’s current interest such as a dress-up day or special event, such as footy day.

4 Year Old Program

Helen Paul Kindergarten’s 2020 four year old program will include two groups with up to 26 children per group, attending 15 hours a week including Bush Kinder.  The groups and times are:

2020 and 2021

Helen Paul Kinder will offer two separate groups:

Emus (15 hrs/wk)
Monday           8.30am - 1.00pm
Tuesday          9.30am - 12.30pm (offsite)
Thursday         8.30am - 4.00pm

Kangaroos (15 hrs/wk)
Tuesday          8.30am - 4.00pm
Thursday         9.30am - 12.30pm (offsite)
Friday             11.30am - 4.00 pm

 

The four year old program focuses on engaging children through their interests and meeting their developmental needs, encouraging them to develop a love for life-long learning.  Children develop their independence by choosing activities within a carefully planned learning environment and our staff support them to extend and scaffold their learning. Our teaching sessions are run by one teacher and two assistants. 

Each term includes an incursion or excursion related to the children’s current interest such as a dress-up day or special event, such as footy day.  Includes Bush Kinder once a week.

 
 
 
 

Bush Kinder

Bush Kinder has been an integral part of Helen Paul’s program for its four year old groups since 2015.  In addition to sessions on site, the four year old groups have a weekly excursion to nearby Dendy Park, where they will spend 3 hours exploring a designated area – with natural play-scapes, wide open spaces and areas of potential interest - in self-directed, adult-supported learning.

Why have we set up an Bush Kinder program?

We want to provide a curriculum that will support children throughout their entire life, one that reflects our passion in regard to the benefits of being outdoors and engaging with nature. Through an intimate knowledge of and connection with the environment, children learn to respect and look after it.  Among other benefits, active learning outdoors develops resilience, problem solving and social skills and supports physical and emotional wellbeing.

What would the children learn?

Using natural materials – stones, grasses, bark and foliage - in imaginative play such as making cubbies and shelters, gathering pretend ‘food’, rolling down slopes, climbing trees, and watching bugs and birds in their natural habitats. There is potential for learning simple bushcrafts, and deeper understandings of indigenous culture, including:

  • How to respect and look after the environment,

  • Knowledge of indigenous communities who lived on the land, local heritage,

  • "Increased confidence, motivation, concentration, increased social, physical and language skills... increased social and imaginative play... and positive dispositions towards risk and challenge." (Sue Elliot, Australian Catholic University 2012)

  • Problem solving skills are enhanced "...no other aspect of a child's life offers this degree of consistent but varied chances for critical thinking and problem solving." (Kahn and Kellert 2002)

What kind of activites will they be doing?

How safe is it?

  • Bush Kinders' report very few incidents.

  • Children are taught how to safely manage risks.

  • Risks are assessed using a 'Risk Matrix' that covers both the likelihood of the danger being present and the severity of the risk.

  • Often the most common activity to cause unease amongst parents is climbing trees and exploring natural bodies of water. Both these activities would be assessed specifically.

 

What about the weather?

The program would take place all year, in all but extreme weather conditions, with the protection of appropriate clothing.

BUSH KINDER GALLERY

 

SESSIONAL KINDER GALLERY

Helen Paul Kinder 2020 Logo

Contact Us

Helen Paul Kindergarten

33 Kingston Street,

Hampton, VIC, 3188

(03) 9598 6416

info@hpk.org.au

We acknowledge the Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our kinder is located.  We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

© 2020 Helen Paul Kindergarten. 

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