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Philosophy

At Annie Dennis, we believe in providing a nurturing environment for children, where they feel safe and free to explore their environment through an integrated, play­based approach. We encourage the best possible growth and development of children, where teachers respect and respond to each child’s learning opportunities in conjunction with their families and communities. We believe:

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

  • the emotional and physical wellbeing of each child is fundamental to their sense of security
  • children’s self­esteem and sense of belonging is essential to their continuing growth and development
  • children need to be supported to freely and safely experience and express their emotions
  • children need time and opportunities to develop positive relationships with each other and their educators
  • children are spontaneous and naturally motivated to learn through play and exploration
  • individual diversity needs to be respected, encouraged and celebrated
  • families are the primary care­givers and educators of children

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS

  • warmth and empathy are essential for developing positive relationships with children and families
  • we are advocates for young children, families and our profession
  • positive behaviours and attitudes need to be role modelled to children, families and each other
  • learning is a shared, active process for children, families and educators
  • ongoing professional development and reflective practice are necessary to improve our programs and practices
  • working collaboratively with children and families encourages children to reach their full potential
  • each educator brings their own experience, knowledge, understandings and values to the program, and this diversity has its own place in the education of children
  • educators need to support each other in the development and implementation of programs

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

  • educational programs need to be relevant to children’s lives and take into account their existing knowledge and understandings
  • educational programs need to incorporate and celebrate indigenous history and culture (near and far)
  • exploration, play, role­modelling, intentional teaching, discussion, spontaneity and flexibility are all important characteristics of high quality educational programs
  • children learn best when offered open­ended materials, ample time and the opportunity to investigate, imagine, dream, hypothesise, problem solve, transform, invent, make decisions and form opinions

ENVIRONMENT

  • both indoor and outdoor environments are educative in themselves
  • in taking an active role in caring for our environment, and promoting and contributing to sustainable
    practices throughout the centre
  • both indoor and outdoor environments need to include play spaces for individual children, small groups
    and large groups
  • children learn best in a supportive, flexible, relaxed and safe environment, rich in opportunities and
    resources, that meets the changing needs of children
  • children, families and educators all have a voice in the development of our environments and educational
    programs

COMMUNITY

  • we exist because of the wider community and for the wider community
  • strong community networks provide information, resources, support, security, comfort, possibilities, confidence and resilience
  • in sharing our knowledge, skills, experience and resources with our diverse community
  • in fostering positive connections with the wider community
  • in encouraging families to contribute and work in partnership with the centre management and the educators in the management and future direction of the centre
  • open and accessible governance structures are vital in the management of the centre

Reviewed March 2016

The Annie Dennis philosophy is linked to the National Quality Standards and the Early Years Learning and Development Framework.