Vera Lacaze Memorial Community Kindergarten
“We learn everywhere, we learn always.  But the quality of our learning is defined by the quality of our environment.  Each child learns, but the way in which the child learns is really deeply defined by the role and the process that the adults adopt in supporting children’s learning.”
(Rinaldi, C. 2013)  

children in playground 20161026.JPG
 

Our Approach

We are a community of learners, children, educators and families. Vera Lacaze is a place where individuality is celebrated, respected and cherished.

We view every child as being exceptional in their own right and endeavour to provide a happy, harmonious environment in which a child can grow. 

The founder of Kindergarten (children's garden) Friedrich Froebel, stressed the respect with which the individuality and ability of each child should be treated (Gutek, G.L. 2001). We provide a protected, nurturing space where these differences are celebrated and where the individual can feel safe and thrive as their true selves, rather than being moulded in a pre-determined way. 

Self-activity and play, the foundation on which the integrated development of the whole person can be built, offers our children the variability and flexibility they need to innovate, create and thrive. Our approach is built on four key pillars;

 

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHILDREN TO MAKE SENSE OF THEIR WORLD THROUGH PLAY

  • We embrace an emergent, negotiated curriculum which is child-centred and the planning for all our groups is very responsive to the children and what is important to them at any given moment
  • Play allows children to explore, identify, negotiate, take risks and construct meaning
  • Play fosters all aspects of young children’s development: emotional, social, intellectual, linguistic and physical (Van Hoorn et al, 2011. P3)
  • When they learn as they play, children are provided with opportunities to expand their physical world and to build confidence in themselves
  • Children communicate meaning to others through language, gestures and symbolic play
  • While they play, children are developing skills to transfer to future experiences (practicing for the real world in real life role play)
  • We support children to develop dispositions and attitudes to be successful learners as they play and explore: resilience, perseverance, positive attitude, respect for others and the environment

THE SUPPORT AND INVOLVEMENT OF FAMILIES AND THE COMMUNITY

  • Returning families welcome new families and contribute to the warmth and consistency of or community.
  • Continuing engagement with the community – 'ExperTEAs', 'Grandparents & Special Visitors' Days', 'Father's Nights', 'Community Fun Days', 'Welcome BBQ'
  • The diversity that the families offer our community is embraced
  • Respect, trust and collaboration are key to our interactions with and between families
  • Visitors, artists, parent engagement (music, library, working bees, special interests and skills, different cultures and language experiences, supporting educators) adds to the success and joy of belonging to the Vera Lacaze Community.
  • Relationships are strongly developed and maintained between schools and other Early Childhood centres, professionals and educators to share up to date knowledge and practices
  • Transition to school programme is well established and high quality

CREATIVITY, FLEXIBILITY AND FUN IN A SAFE AND STIMULATING ENVIRONMENT

  • Assessed as EXCEEDING in all seven quality areas of the National Quality Standards.
  • Large chunks of time – to play, to build on experiences to revisit play scenarios
  • Our natural playground and outlook and calm indoor environment allows for relieving the stress of our fast-paced world
  • A huge variety of equipment, materials, resources and flexible routines to expand children’s choices, everyday interests and to ignite new interests.
  • Well qualified and experienced staff ensure that planning is flexible and able to be woven into child-led projects. This ensures children’s learning is authentic and meaningful to each individual.

THE UNIQUENESS OF EACH CHILD ACKNOWLEDGED BY ALL

  • Every child is a competent and capable learner. We view every child as being exceptional in their own right
  • Friedrich Froebel stressed the respect with which the individuality and ability of each child should be treated (Gutek, G.L. 2001)
  • A happy, harmonious environment: in which a child can grow;
  • Self-activity and play as the foundation on which the integrated development of the whole person can be built
  • Variability and flexibility: children can innovate, create and thrive
  • A protected nurturing space where differences are celebrated and where the individual can feel safe and thrive as their true selves, rather than being moulded in a pre-determined way
  • A bridge between home and kindy is developed to provide support, consistency, understanding and continuity for each child
  • Affirmation and encouragement to support individual development is provided for each child

 

Our Facilities

Vera Lacaze Memorial Community Kindergarten offers an abundance of facilities to provide your child with the perfect environment to learn and grow.

IMG_2681.JPG

Playscape

The Vera Lacaze Memorial Community Kindergarten is known for its playscape which offers a variety of different outlets for children to discover and learn. Facilities include traditional options such as our fort, sandpit or swings, as well as plenty of other interesting activities including the double decker bus, vegetable gardens, water play, and digging patch! There are also mountains of interactive activities including mobile, adaptable play equipment such as blocks and hoops. Our beautiful playground encourages scientific investigation of insects, plants and the extended natural environment.  

IMG_3259.JPG

Cassia Room

The Cassia Room is located at the northern end of the building and is embraced by our large Cassia tree and deck. Gorgeous sunlight floods the room in winter and the tree provides cooling shade in summer, with views to Newington Park through our large windows. The open and inviting space is designed to extend the learning environment onto our deck and then into our wonderful garden.

Artist_Simone-18.jpg

Callistemon Room

The Callistemon Room is the first room that you come to on your way into our kindergarten setting. Our room has beautiful natural light that filters through large windows allowing children to look out onto our playground as they play and work. Callistemon trees have been planted outside the room to further attract the many species of birds which visit our playground.

IMG_9779.JPG

General Facilities

Our general facility areas include baby change areas and bathrooms (including disability access), as well as a variety of facilities for parents, visiting guest speakers and professionals, including a tea and coffee station, library and book exchange. The entire Kindergarten is air-conditioned for the comfort of children all year round with large windows allowing for fresh air and views to the beautiful outdoor areas.