From our Educational Leaders

 

2023 Reflection:

 

A part of our Leadership role as stated in the ACECQA Educational leader manual we must “support and inspire educators to see the possibilities, to try new approaches and take professional, calculated risks”.

 

This year we aimed to do this by working with Early Childhood Consultant – David Gilkes. We sought David’s expertise to help us achieve our Quality Area 1. Program and Practice goal, encouraging us to codesign a curriculum with children based on their interests, strengths, questions and wonderings.

 

David introduced us to Research Questions a powerful tool to support educators in steering away from the surviving mode that our professional cannot seem to shake off. He taught us that research question can give much more meaning and purpose to the experiences we invite children to take part in while deepening thinking and learning for children. During staff meetings and mentor meetings David supporting the teams to create their own research question, 2 were formed, one for PK, K3, PS and one for NURS, TODDLER, JUNIORS. With these research questions the educators were encouraged to slow down their routines and curriculum to practice deep listening and wondering. Slowing down was an important step for us to be able to notice what the children were curious about.

 

When Nursery team stopped and took the time to analyse their observations for reoccurring themes in the children’s play, they noticed the ‘peek a boo game’ was used throughout.  This led the team to take a deeper look at how peek-a-boo can be used to foster connections between children.  

 

The preschool team looked deeper at how the children were communicating and problem-solving using materials.  They noticed the children continuously brought up new questions and ideas that they want to discuss or investigate about foxes and scarecrows.  Providing children with the materials to research and problem solve the answers to their questions, the educators noticed more children actively participating with in the curriculum.

 

Along with success we also encountered barriers.  However, it was great to hear David praise our educators for trying to move forward in our profession’s current climate, he said lots of Centre’s are purely just trying to keep afloat, he praised us for going beyond that and encouraged us to keep moving forward.  We will do this by using the barriers to set more tailored goals for our educators.

 

This year we also have continued to work closely with the educators to create positive behavior guidance plans and build strategic inclusion plans for children’s additional needs. Educators have continued to upskill their knowledge and practice on inclusion by working closely with families, allied professionals and completing Professional Development sessions.  We are exceptionally proud of the level of dedication our educators have shown in seeking to understand what children are trying to communicate through their emotions, meet their needs and support them in the moment.  Next year we will be placing a strong focus on developing pro-social skills in all age groups to help prevent challenging behaviors from occurring. 

 

Other highlights we experienced this year are:

  • Implementing a new team structure with each team having a Team Leader and Program Leader. We would like to congratulate the following people on their success in their roles:

Team Leader: Holly, Sarah., Amy, Samantha, Rebecca, Ashley, Kellie

Program Leader: Lyvania, Ania, Annalise, Suyusha, May, Chloe

During our appraisal process we will be reflecting on these roles, how they have benefited the teams and what additional supports is required moving forward.

 

  • Reestablishing our RAP, Sustainability and Wellbeing teams;

Sustainability Team: Sarah., Suyusha, Tom, Yi, Ania, Kavita, Karissa

The sustainability team have had a great start.  Tom has created a wonderful indigenous garden and a community herb sharing garden.  The team are currently revising our statement of commitment to ensure it aligns with our philosophy.

Reconciliation Team: Bianca, Rebecca, Annalise, Truc, Samantha, Holly, Jessica

The RAP team are currently preparing a survey to reflect on reconciliation initiatives currently taking place in our Centre. The information collated from the survey will then help us reflect on our vision statement expressing what reconciliation means to us and the actions we will take to move forward with our plan.

  • Wellbeing Team: Chloe, Ashley, Lyvania, Zarn

The Wellbeing team have the current goal is to help change mindsets to focus on positive things being achieved.  They have returned the ‘celebration’ section to all meeting agendas.  Encouraging teams to reflect on what they do well.  Next, the wellbeing team will also be creating a buddy system for new educators.  Wellbeing team members will be assigned to a new educator who will help new educators feel welcome and seen each day. They will do this by introducing new educators to other teams during breaks, check in on them for brief moments throughout the day to see how they are going, and if they have questions, they will be directed to who can help.  

 

Our next steps will be conducting a final review of our Quality Improvement Plan, reflecting on our goals and strategies.  We will identify what we achieved, strategies we want to continue, and what we want to improve to create a plan for 2024.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

learn, play, grow

Ada Mary A'Beckett Children's Centre

2 Batman Road

Port Melbourne 3207