Quality Area 1 – Educational program and practice
Our holistic educational program celebrates individuality and diversity and acknowledges children as competent and capable citizens and co-researchers in their own learning.
Children are given the freedom to choose their activities throughout the day. They have ample time to explore and discover and their play is directed by their own interests.
They can choose from a wide variety of learning experiences from music, physical play and block building to sand, water and mud play. They can choose to spend time creating something at the craft table, or painting at the easel, or building something with construction toys. They can choose to tackle a puzzle or engage in some dramatic play in the home corner. They may choose to curl up with a book or share a story with a friend or an educator.
Children are also encouraged to engage in small group experiences that build on their interests, extend their capabilities, practice their social skills and foster their sense of competence.
Quality Area 3 – Physical environment
The Little School is nestled at the base of the escarpment. There is farmland across the road and the children eat their lunch on a deck beneath an enormous old fig tree. The children have lots of room to run. Our Secret Garden has herbs and fruit trees to tend to and spaces to explore.
We have an indoor/outdoor program so the children to can choose to spend time outdoors in nature whenever they choose, rain or shine. We have a mud pit where the children can get their hands dirty and jump in puddles. We supply gumboots and weatherproof overalls to keep children clean and dry while they have fun.
The children learn about nature and what we can all do to care for our environment. They learn about what can be recycled and how we can compost or use a worm farm. We have a frog bog and some of the lunch scraps go to feeding our cuddly guinea pigs. Other food scraps go into compost tubes to enrich our garden soil.
Quality Area 5 – Relationships with children
We value and support collaborative relationships between children, educators, families and community members in our pedagogical program.
We take the time to get to really know your child and use warm, meaningful interactions to develop a sense of security, well-being and belonging. We support children in learning how to show respect, kindness and empathy toward others and how to be appropriately assertive. Practice with skills like turn-taking, sharing, listening and negotiation helps children to understand and self-regulate their emotions in a safe space.
Quality Area 7 – Governance and leadership
The Little School is a community based, not for profit preschool. Any profits go straight back into providing the best possible service to our families. Our Governance board is made up of volunteers from our families and the greater community. The board overseas our financial and legal obligations. It also contributes to our day to day running by making decisions about many areas of our service, making it a truly community and collaborative process.
Quality Area 2 – Children's health and safety
At The Little School your child’s health, safety and wellbeing are our priority, not only for now but also for the future.
Children participate in the NSW Health Initiative Munch & Move to support physical activity, healthy eating and reduced screen-time. We encourage healthy eating by encouraging families to provide ‘nude lunches’ with minimally packaged and processed foods.
Each afternoon the children enjoy fun physical activities designed to let them practice key skills such a throwing, hopping and running.
We take a holistic approach to wellbeing and provide yoga, mindfulness sessions and teach children to use affirmations. These support children’s emotional wellbeing now and give them powerful tools to help ensure their future mental wellbeing.
Quality Area 4 – Staffing arrangements
It has been proven that high educator to child ratios allow for more individual care and attention for children, which helps them to develop better social and learning skills.
The NQS requires a staff to child ratio of 1:10. At The Little School we are proud to offer a much higher staff to child ratio of 1:5. We also have additional staffing above this to support quality inclusion for children with higher learning and support needs in line with funding allocations. Having lots of educators enables us to develop more effective and meaningful relationships with your child to ensure they are happy, relaxed and engaged in their learning.
We also exceed the requirements of the NQS with regard to staff qualifications. Our educators are highly qualified and experienced and we all have a natural affinity and love for the children in our care.
Quality Area 6 – Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
We believe “It takes a village to raise a child”. We see you as the world expert on your child and will work in partnership with you to provide the happiest and most successful learning experience for your child. Each morning an educator will be ready at the gate to greet you with a smile to guide your child through the transition from home to preschool. We love to hear about your child’s latest interests, or family celebrations or anything else you think might be helpful for us to know to give your child the happiest day. Each afternoon, you will be greeted with another smile and some snippets of interesting things that happened during the day.
We enjoy strong ties with the greater community and are fortunate to have many supporters and generous sponsors.
We welcome families from all cultures and ethnic backgrounds. We aim to honour and respect diversity.