About the ELC Program
The learning experiences offered in the ELC are guided by the Early Years Learning Framework and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). These two frameworks work harmoniously together; both valuing the development of inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect (IB Mission Statement).
Central to the ELC program is the holistic development of young children. We seek to provide opportunities every day for children to develop their sense of identity, social and emotional wellbeing, physical skills, cognitive and thinking capabilities, emergent literacy and numeracy understandings, and creative expression. Given the importance of social and emotional development in the early childhood years, as children increasingly learn about themselves and interacting with others, a strong emphasis is placed on social and emotional skills in the ELC. Daily interactions, targeted learning in the units of inquiry and the School's sequential Pastoral Care Program are important aspects of this.
The IB Learner Profile also plays a central role in the ELC program. Using the Learner Profile, children are guided to consider and embody the attributes of positive and successful learners, these being: communicator, risk-taker, balanced, inquirer, knowledgeable, reflective, open-minded, principled, caring, and thinker.
Drawing from the Reggio Emilia philosophy which views the environment as the “third educator”, learning spaces within and outside the ELC are given careful consideration. Great attention has been given to the look and feel of the classrooms and other spaces within the centre. Children are encouraged to interact with a variety of materials, textures and modes of expression – inside and outside – to provide a multi-sensory learning environment.
Students in the ELC enjoy all the benefits gained from the close proximity of the Junior School, including weekly library and music sessions with specialist teachers in the Junior School facilities and regular visits to other aspects of the Junior School such as the vegetable gardens and buddy visits with Junior School classes. Whilst embracing these opportunities, the ELC also maintains its own identity; maintaining an environment that honours and celebrates the unique phase of early childhood. The ELC has a separate, secure playground where our students can explore and inquire freely in a safe and supported environment.
Parent involvement in the ELC program is central to its success. Educators seek to develop strong links between home and school, and to develop the program in partnership with parents and families. Communication is fundamental in building these links. Home/school communication is facilitated through: morning “settling in” time, welcoming parents into the classrooms to engage with displays and learning experiences, individual diaries, class blogs, scheduled parent/teacher interviews, annual Student Led Conferences, portfolios, email and daily face to face contact.