Balnarring Pre-school values strong respectful collaborative relationships between families, children, teaching team, community, First Peoples and the environment. We believe relationships are the first step to creating a successful year for children. We acknowledge and welcome the diverse ways in which we live, what we value and how we view children and childhood. There is recognition that all voices and opinions will be welcomed and valued.We encourage the contribution of families in strengthening the community spirit of our centre and in helping us to learn about their child’s uniqueness. And we will partner with children, supporting them as they begin to build meaningful connections to their world and those in it.

Balnarring Pre-school acknowledges that our children and families play and learn on Boon Wurrung Country. We acknowledge the Boon Wurrung of the Kulin Nation as the First Peoples of this land.

Philosophy priorities are 1/Connecting the children with the land and nature and teaching them the importance of caring for the land through sustainable practices.  2/ Embedding the perspectives of the First Peoples on a daily basis, in order to create a culturally safe environment. First Peoples perspectives are integral in developing an understanding of the past, present and future as detailed in the reconciliation policy and action plan.

As we strive to provide high standards of learning we recognise that building quality partnerships with families is the key to providing a meaningful and sustainable learning environment. We value effective partnerships where listening, sharing and reflection is encouraged, allowing us to create a meaningful and valued environment for children. We believe that working in partnership with families enriches the service we provide to the community while at the same time creating a greater sense of belonging to the community itself.  A safe happy environment for children and families will be created to ensure they feel part of and connected to the pre-school community.

Parental and family participation is highly valued, encouraged and incorporated into the program.  We value and encourage partnerships with other professionals and members of the broader community, all of whom provide support and strengthen the service we are able to provide.

We believe that each family is shaped by their cultural background. The curriculum will acknowledge the beliefs and practices of those within our pre-school community. We recognise that diversity contributes to the richness of society and provides opportunities for different ways of knowing. We also believe that our curriculum should reflect and promote a better understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being. As a community of learners it is our responsibility to think critically about the opportunities and the challenges that arise from diversity and take action to redress unfairness/antibias, so that we live together in harmony.

We believe that all children are capable of learning and developing in a supportive environment whether at home or at preschool and commit to high expectations for all children. Each child is different and unique, and as such we use a variety of supports and resources to ensure all children are able to reach their potential. As a teaching team we constantly reflect on our practice to support the diversity of learners within our groups, creating environments that ensure all children are challenged and engaged, and have the opportunity to experience success.

We believe that trusting children, viewing them as competent and working with high expectations for all children gives them confidence in their abilities, motivating them to learn and grow, which in turn leads to greater feelings of self-worth.  We have an increased sense of responsibility regarding children’s learning, which ultimately leads to better outcomes for children.  The programs will support children becoming resilient, developing their stamina and taking calculated risks.

We recognise and value the importance of children actively exploring, engaging and experiencing natural environments and wild spaces. We understand the importance of providing opportunities to play, explore and learn in the outdoors. Giving the children time to ‘be’ and connect with natural materials is critical for their personal growth both physical and spiritually. Learning and living with nature fosters an appreciation and respect for the environment, introduces sustainability practices fostering a platform for healthy living and the grounding for creative, independent and resilient children.

‘Assessment is designed to discover what children know and understand based on what they make, write, draw, say and do’ (Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework)Using the information gathered from the children and family we will identify children’s’ strengths and interests to build into our planning. Assessment and reflection will enable us to identify any additional supports or alterations to programming that may be required as well as to improve upon our own role as educators.

The value of ongoing learning is recognised by the teaching team in order to maintain and improve high quality teaching practices.

We welcome the opportunity to join with families and their children on this journey; learning from them, sharing with them and guiding them as they become more aware of who they are (Being), learning and respecting how they fit in this world that we share (Belonging) and discovering what they are capable of (Becoming), through the continual process of growth and change.

‘To look is one thing, to see what you look at is another. To understand what you see is a third. To learn from what you understand is still something else. But to act on what you learn is all that really matters.’(Talmud)

Balnarring Pre-School Philosophy PDF