Kindergarten at Tugulawa
Government Approved Kindergarten Program
At Tugulawa, we offer a Queensland Government Approved Kindergarten Program. An Approved Kindergarten Program is one that is provided for children in the year before Prep (i.e. children who are 4 years old by 30 June in the year they start), is provided for at least 15 hours per week, is play based and is delivered by a qualified Early Childhood Teacher.
Our Kindergarten program is delivered over 5 days each week and is specifically tailored to ensure children have access to a high quality Kindergarten experience which supports working families with flexibility around days, longer hours and being open throughout school holidays.
Kindergarten is different in many ways to the other early childhood years. Whilst the younger age groups are guided by the Early Years Learning Framework, the Kindergarten program is underpinned by the Queensland Kindergarten Curriculum Guidelines (QKLG). Both are strongly and unapologetically play based, something that experts both in Australia and internationally agree is the best way for young children to learn and a marker of quality in early childhood education. The QKLG’s have five learning and development areas that describe the knowledge, skills and dispositions that children explore during the kindergarten year. They are identity, connectedness, wellbeing, active learning and communication. It is clear from these that the whole child is represented and valued in the kindy years, not just what is thought of as the more ‘intellectual’ skills.
It is important to note that there are no ‘must haves’ in the curriculum framework, it is not prescriptive. There is no pressure for the children to need to know how to count to 10, or for them to need to know what sound the letter ‘a’ makes nor do they need to learn to write their name before entering school HOWEVER during the course of our kindergarten program we will be teaching all of the children these things. By following the framework and providing a curriculum rich in play-based experiences and activities we are actively teaching the children this and so much more delivered in a way that is genuine and authentic, has real meaning to them and values the way that they learn.
The Benefits of Multi Age Environments
We have a multi-age environment, with shared outdoor spaces for children from 6 months right up to our Kindy aged children. A multi-aged environment supports those less confident by allowing them to mix with younger children without expectation and it allows children of similar abilities and interest’s time together to form relationships, learn and grow, no matter what their age. Younger children are also greatly advantaged by sharing some time with the older children. Older children work as peer support for younger children, allowing them time to nurture and care whilst taking the role of ‘teacher’. Play can be more complex with the addition of older children and with that comes significant language and vocabulary development, amongst many other aspects. Life for all of us is living in a multifaceted community, it is the way of the world and therefore important for all children to experience being a member of a larger, diverse community.
Spaces like ours allows for the Kindy children to have time with their siblings (neighbours or cousins) and to have relationships with children of all ages, crucial to their social development and much more like the real world that we live in. This can also be of great comfort when saying ‘goodbye’ and is very convenient for our families to have just one drop off point and time!