About Us

Flinders Children’s Centre Site Philosophy…

 

 

Learning We believe that children learn best when they are able to interact with others in a collaborative learning environment. Play is the foundation to which learning occurs, therefore it is supported in our program and through our intentional interactions. Explicit and implicit teaching encourages children to develop greater understanding of new concepts, especially literacy and numeracy, and is taught at teachable moments throughout the day, and through our shared group time experiences. Children are encouraged to explore their own ideas and share their thoughts with others. Educators share in this learning journey by extending play through modeling and expansion, scaffolding, and open ended questioning. This is also seen through programming around the children’s current interests and thoughts. 

Community and family We support all children and families to feel welcomed to our Centre. This includes supporting diversity of language, learning, and culture. How we interact with children and families is how we promote our inclusive practices and flexible curricula. These interactions, therefore, create a diverse range of mediums, both written and oral, and supports visual deliverance as a best practice approach. Our Aboriginal support worker and our Aboriginal Families Literacy Strategies Teacher further support families through embracing, liaising and organising events which support the Indigenous culture.

Learning environment Our learning environment has a play based focus, therefore our environment provides children with stimulating, challenging and well-resourced indoor and outdoor play areas. Staff are aware of the importance of age appropriate risk taking, and support learning through exploration and self-discovery. Through careful planning and programming, staff provide equipment and experiences that children can modify to follow their own needs or curiosities. Child’s voice is a focus priority that we support through our backward programming and through our multi-modal learning environment.

 

Our Creative Space – The Atelier

 

To incorporate aspects of the Reggio approach into our learning space we created our own art studio/space (atelier) reflecting our very own culture. Our Flinders Children’s Centre “atelier” is unique to our context, and is not a replication of an atelier. Our atelier space can take on many forms, but for the most part, it’s a place for the children to let their creative voice run wild. The focus of our atelier space respects and emulates the first peoples approach to learning – in and with nature in their natural environment showing a balanced approach between Reggio and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teaching practices. The way we work with the children in our atelier changes frequently, based on the group of children we are working with, and with staff’s new learning, we are all researchers. In our atelier you’ll find: marking tools; an array of adhesives including sticky tape, masking tape, staplers, glue sticks, PVA glue, hot glue guns, blue-tac; different sized, shaped and textured papers and cards; scissors; brushes; watercolour paints; acrylic paints; as well as a vast amount of natural mediums and materials available for the children to use every day. We don’t keep things in the cupboards in the atelier. Having things hidden away can unintentionally stifle the children’s own imaginations, expressions and creativity to explore things in their own way, using their own processes. We also don’t aim to “set up” experiences in a way that “tells them” how to use the materials, the children’s “voice” is the foundation for everything we do. At the commencement of each year, the children learn how to use the atelier respectfully and purposefully. They do this by working with an early childhood educator in small groups towards their atelier licence.

The atelier licence is achieved when the children have learnt: where to find things; how to use them respectfully and purposefully; how to refill and reuse; to gauge risk and engage supervision and support where necessary; and to return things to where they were found, ready for the next person to use. We encourage sustainability, and the children learn that having so many amazing things at their fingertips comes with great responsibility. We favour “process art” whereby the experience of making is more important than the final outcome. Often there is little emphasis placed on the final product, but rather on enjoying and learning the process of creating.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso

Our educators place great importance on the ability of the child to learn the value of creativity first and foremost, without wondering if their work “looks good”. Children are also taught the “value” of their art works, we must produce our best work to share, however the idea of “best work” is determined by the child, not the adult, or in some cases, collaboratively.

Meet Our Team

Kerry

Kerry

Director

Hi, My name is Kerry and I have been working in Education since 1991 with children from Preschool to year 2. I have worked in many settings from Ceduna, Woomera, Uraidla, Port Pirie and Quorn. I have worked in various roles including Director, Literary co-ordinator and Foundation to Year 2 teacher positions. I hold a Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education and my strengths lie heavily in developing high quality learning programs formed around a strong image of the competent and capable child as a citizen with rights. My passion has always been to support every child to reach their full potential. I am extremely passionate in working with Aboriginal children and their families.

Deidre

Deidre

Liaison Officer/Early Childhood Educator

Hi, I am Deidre, I love working at Flinders and Tji Tji Wiltja because of the beautiful warm environment here. It brings out the best in everyone in our team, and this flows on to the children. I have 15 years of experience as an early childhood Educator. Initially I worked in Tanunda and I hold a certificate 3 in Children’s Services. Before becoming an Early Childhood Educator I worked as a Dental Nurse for many years at the Adelaide Dental Hospital and Darwin Dental Clinic. I have also completed a Horticultural Course. My passion and interest is gardening, which I have bought to the Centre. I work closely with the gardener to create an authentic, beautiful garden for the children to explore and engage in sensory activities, growing produce and linking with the community to support the Centre’s garden projects. My favourite thing to do at Flinders Children’s Centre & Tji Tji Wiltja, is simply interacting with the children and watching them grow in confidence & ability. Art, gardening, music, playing…..Everything!

Lee

Lee

Early Childhood Educator

Hi, My name is Lee, I am currently studying my cert 3 in Early Childhood whilst working part time at Flinders’ Children’s centre. 

I was born and raised in Port Augusta where I am now raising my 3 boys Harli, Bronx & Franki.

I was offered the opportunity to work at the Flinders Children’s centre where I look forward to pursuing a new career path with the children and families within the centre.  I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of the amazing team here, I love that each day brings new experiences, interactions and challenges for both staff and children.

Narrelle

Narrelle

Early Childhood Educator

Hi, my name is Narrelle, or Relle to the children. I have lived in Port Augusta for most of my life, I have completed my certificate 3 in Early Childhood, and spent 13 years at Miriam High Special Needs Centre supporting children with additional needs whilst also assisting children at the Port Augusta Childcare Centre. I am very passionate about working alongside with children that require some support to assist their day at Kindy, I enjoy working with all the children and staff at Flinders Children’s Centre where I feel very supported, when I am not at Kindy I enjoy spending time with my family going camping or getaways on weekends.

Bec

Bec

Teacher

Hi, my name is Bec. I am a recent university graduate and Flinders Children Centre is my first teaching job. I have relocated from Adelaide at the beginning of this year. During my university degree I worked in childcare and more recently, in several kindergartens as an Early Childhood Educator supporting children with special rights such as ASD and Down Syndrome. I am passionate about supporting children to view themselves as competent and capable and to develop a love of learning.

Outside of work, I am an avid traveller having been and lived in many countries including South Africa where I spent a month teaching kindy children in a volunteer role. I also passionately follow many different sports. I am excited to have this opportunity to work at Flinders Children’s Centre. I look forward to getting to know you all and making Port Augusta my new home.

Fifi

Fifi

Early Childhood Educator

Hi, my name is Fifi, I am formerly from Indonesia. I came to Australia in 2013 where I resided in Darwin before moving to Port Augusta. I have studied and successfully completed my certificate 3 in Early Childhood Education. I enjoy playing with the children, and aim to make them more confident, give them love and build on their learning. I enjoy helping the children grow and learn and to help with their transition to “big” school. I love spending time with the children playing with playdough, or in the sandpit and dancing. I have a lot of fun at work with the other staff members and especially all of the children.

Eloise

Eloise

Early Childhood Educator

Hello, My name is Eloise but everyone calls me Ellie. I was born in Port Augusta and have lived here all my life. I started working at Flinders Children’s Centre when I was eighteen, once I had completed my cert 3 Early Childhood Educator course. Over the last four years I’ve not only seen myself grow as a person but I’ve seen many children grow and become amazing individuals. I adore all the children who come through the centre and love seeing them out and about in our community. I enjoy reading to the children and following their interests to further extend their learning. I love seeing the artwork that my Dad has done not only at our Kindy but also within the local community, It gives me a sense of belonging!

Ashley

Ashley

Teacher - Aboriginal Family Literacy Strategies

Hi my name is Ashley and I feel privileged to be working at Flinders Children’s Centre and Tji Tji Wiltja Preschool. I am thoroughly enjoying my role as the Aboriginal Family Literacy Strategies teacher and enjoy watching the children develop their confidence and sense of belonging at kindergarten. I delight in learning about the children and their families’ language and culture, sharing a respectful relationship and connection with the land. I have developed a deep sense of belonging with Port Augusta and feel like it has been a very positive change for me and my family. It is rewarding to see children develop early connections with books knowing that this sets them up to be successful readers in the future. I look forward to reading and listening to stories with all of the children here at the centre.