Our Early Learning Centre was established in 2013. It currently operates for three days each week. Children must have attained three years of age to enrol in Early Learning.
Our Early Learning Centre is legislated under the Child Care Act 2001 and complies with CBCCC5 Licensing Standards.
The pre-primary curriculum implemented by The Launceston Preparatory School is founded upon
- the philosophy and ethos of the school and the primary curriculum that follow the Early Learning and
- the principles laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which state that all
children have the right to an education that lays a foundation for the rest of their lives, maximises their ability, respects their family, cultural and other identities and languages and recognises children’s right to play and be active participants in all matters affecting their lives; and
- the goals and values of the Australian Government’s Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).
At The Launceston Preparatory School organised play forms the basis of the curriculum for children in their pre-compulsory years of schooling (Early Learning and Kindergarten). This is inherently consistent with the emphasis of the Early Years Learning Framework which has a specific emphasis on play-based learning. This is defined by the EYLF as “a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations”.
The enthusiasm of the teacher and the spontaneity of the students play a large part in each day’s programme. We aim to provide a learning environment that is rich in stimulation and supportive of children at all different levels of social and emotional development. A positive desire to learn, self-initiated improvement, feelings of pride in work well done and enjoyment of the company of others are primary goals of the Kinder year. This connects effectively to the fundamental focus of the EYLF that “recognises the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development”.
Whilst the nine key learning areas of our primary curriculum provide a guide to the activities pursued in Early Learning and Kindergarten, our education at this level is of a global, all-inclusive nature. As many facets as possible are included in the different situations and experiences of the Early Learning and Kinder years without fragmenting the life of the child at school into separate learning areas.
The learning is largely experiential and focuses on the three broad areas of:
- identity and self-control
- knowledge of physical and social environment
- communication and representation.
Identity and self-control are goals that closely connect to one arm of the Early Years Learning Framework – its vision to develop in children a strong sense of belonging.
Our goal of assisting students in their Early Learning and Kindergarten years to acquire knowledge and understanding of their physical and social environment acknowledges the importance of connecting young children to their familiar world. Activities are pursued through themes directly related to the experience of children at this level of development and concepts to which they can relate – the family and household activities, seasons, holidays, the beach, animals, people’s jobs, etc. These activities and goals support the second arm of the EYLF – Being.
The third broad area of The Launceston Preparatory School pre-primary curriculum – communication and representation – aims to give children the skills they need to interact with others and express themselves. Communication is perceived as a multi-directional tool so students in their Early Learning and Kindergarten years are constantly provided with opportunities for talking with and listening to others and expressing themselves through a range of media including formal language, graphic creativity, music, drama and movement. They are also provided with opportunities to interact with a wide range of people, including their peers, older children within the school, family members, other teachers and community identities. Such interaction fosters the third branch of the Early Years Learning Framework: Becoming.
Children enter these first years of schooling with vastly different experiences of formal learning, the validity of which we acknowledge and accommodate. As children approach this stage of their developmental pathways, we begin to teach them the beginnings of literacy and numeracy in particular but maintain a focus on play, discovery and enjoyment of learning. Consistent with the objectives of the EYLF, children are seen as active participants and decision-makers in their own learning.
At all levels within our school, effective teaching and learning is seen as a partnership between home and school. This is especially the case in the early years. Parents and carers are welcomed into the Early Learning Centre and Kindergarten at every opportunity, to work with their own children or others in the group, to share special or everyday activities, to impart their own skills and knowledge to the students, and to keep abreast of their children’s progress. As articulated by the EYLF document, “children thrive when families and educators work together in partnership to support young children’s learning”.
Early Learning sessions run from 8.45am to 3.00pm, Tuesday to Thursday. Parents are welcome to increase sessions throughout the year, provided mandatory teacher/student ratios are not exceeded. This must be organised in consultation with the Co-Principals.
The appropriate form must be filled out to change any nominated session times.
Emergency sessions are available only with permission of the Early Learning Centre teacher who will authorise the session application (on the form provided) only if mandatory teacher/student ratios are not exceeded on that day.
If students are unable to attend one of their sessions, they are unable to make up this session on another day. Occasionally we invite students in Early Learning to attend special sessions (such as whole school sports events). If the school requests students to attend and it is not one of their normal sessions, there will be no charge.
Students in the Early Learning Centre remain together in their building with their purpose-built playground. This facility is licensed for children aged three and above.
From time to time, the Early Learning students may visit other areas within the school. These are classed as “routine excursions” and may include visits to the sandpit, multi-purpose hall, other building or area of the school yard, school office or Greenfield. Parents need to authorise such “routine excursions” by completing a permission form prior to the commencement of enrolment.
The Launceston Preparatory School Early Learning Centre has a direct telephone line. Its number is
6331 0306. The Launceston Preparatory School main school office number is 6334 0234.
Visitors to the school must sign in at the school office (117 Elphin Road) and be issued with a visitor’s pass. This must be returned to the office before visitors leave the school.
Children should be brought right into the Early Learning Centre each morning by 8.45am and collected at the end of their sessions from the Kindergarten room at 3pm.
Our Early Learning Centre is required by law to maintain an attendance register that records each child’s name, time of arrival and departure, together with the signatures of the person leaving and collecting the child. Any person to whom this responsibility has been delegated must be aware of the need to complete the attendance protocols.
Any special arrangements for collection/departure of a child must be authorised by the parent/s, and documented.
If, for any reason, a child is unable to attend the Early Learning Centre on his/her designated day, the school or the centre should be advised straight away.
If carers stay on site to talk with other parents or Mrs Alice Batten, children should not be allowed to play unsupervised on the equipment.
Early Learning Centres are required by law to maintain a record of a parent/s’ written authorisation of medication to be administered to a child while the child is in care. This must include the name of the child, the name of the medication, the date/s and the time the dosage is to be administered, any doctor’s/pharmacist’s instructions relating to the dosage and its administration, the time the medication was last administered and the parent/s’ signature.
We will keep a comprehensive record of the administration of medication. The person collecting the child must then sign this record as a written acknowledgement of the administration of the medication.
Our school health policy promotes the importance of healthy fresh food. We encourage children to bring sandwiches, fresh fruit, home made goodies and water. Children are not allowed to bring chips, chocolate, lollies or cordial. Children are supervised when eating food from home and there is no sharing of food.
Young children often need rest times during the hours they are in care at the Early Learning Centre. We ask parents to provide a small cushion and a standard size pillow slip for hygienic storage. Sleeping mats are provided by the school.