At Co-op, we recognise the importance of play as a child'€™s way of learning and developing life skills. We offer a diverse range of experiences with a balance between play, rest and routine. We value parents' involvement in the centre and work in close partnership to support all aspects of their child'€™s learning and development.

Our programs are planned to reflect Co-op's philosophy and are influenced by the emergent and play-based curriculum approaches. We encourage children, through play, to become self motivated and independent learners who are sensitive and respectful of the needs and views of others. The children are encouraged to explore and experiment, while developing appropriate language, social, emotional, cognitive and motor skills in a caring, stimulating and safe environment.

We recognise that the earliest years of childhood are very important in fostering a love of learning, a sense of self and a feeling of security. We aim to build on children's natural desire for learning by helping them to develop an enthusiasm for not just the acquisition of knowledge, but also comprehension, application, analysis, and evaluation. The program's purpose is to help every child to achieve their intellectual, physical, social and emotional potential. Our programs aim to develop positive self-esteem by creating an environment where children will feel good about themselves and what they do.

The programs and routines are flexible to meet the individual needs and interests of all the children. Our programs promote equality and a multicultural perspective and encourage the participation of all children regardless of ability, gender, race or religion. An emphasis on caring for our natural environment and sustainability is encouraged throughout the programs and environment. We value the use of natural and open-ended play materials including water, sand, dirt, clay and wood and encourage the exploration of our natural environment both indoors and outdoors. Exploring with open-ended materials encourages an appreciation of the natural environment and enhances the children'€™s imagination, creativity and sense of achievement.

A strong emphasis is also placed on aesthetically pleasing environments that evoke a sense of warmth, belonging and comfort. We believe that spaces and materials influence the way in which children interact with them, therefore careful planning of the environment and the selection and presentation of play materials is imperative.

Developing the Program

Co-op's programs are influenced by the emergent curriculum approach which focuses on potential curriculum and documenting what happens rather than on pre-planned experiences. Our programs respond to, expand and build upon the ideas, interests, strengths, abilities and experiences of the children in the group, collectively and individually. This approach allows children to select and initiate their own experiences. Because learning occurs at a rate and in a way that is right for the individual, children feel successful and develop a positive sense of themselves as learners.

Our curriculum is constantly evolving in response to the children's changing needs and interests, family and community involvement and educators ideas. Each of these important elements determines the direction for future learning. Educators document learning in collaboration with children, parents and colleagues. Together they reflect and engage in discussions about learning experiences and document using a range of tools to make the learning visible.

The program represents a balance of indoor and outdoor experiences. Our rooms are set up into permanent learning spaces and areas of interest such as art & craft, construction, imaginative play, language and literacy, maths, science and nature. It provides a balance between noisy and quiet activities and allows for individual play as well as interactive and social opportunities. The program provides for small groups of children to work together as well as working in larger groups where appropriate.

The daily routine is designed to provide consistency and predictability while allowing enough flexibility for children not to be rushed or bored as they engage in the experiences. A regular routine gives the children a sense of control and helps them to act independently.

Educators are always on hand to interact and engage with children where appropriate but are also  careful to ensure that adult participation does not stifle children's initiative, but can help and encourage children to develop their skills, ideas and understandings. We aim to foster a love of learning in an environment that values hands-on experiences that are achievable for children at their own level of development.

Creative Arts

Having fun in the garden

Creative Arts - Plaster Casting