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 modelling 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 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
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.
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!
Hi, I am Maia, I came to Port Augusta at the beginning of 2018 to pursue my teaching career. I completed my teaching degree at Flinders University, in Adelaide, in 2017 where I studied a double degree in teaching and visual arts. I was born in Darwin, Northern Territory where I spent the first 19 years of my life. That is where my dream to work with Aboriginal children and families began…
As a teacher, I strive to be a positive role model for my students. My number one priority is to create a safe, supportive, welcoming and enjoyable learning environment for all children. It is my role to do whatever I can to fulfil my students needs in life and deliver them with the best education possible.
I feel incredibly lucky to work at the Kindergarten. Each and every day presents different learning opportunities and challenges. I love to watch the growth and progress that each individual child achieves during their time here, at Flinders Children’s Centre and Tji Tji Wiltja Preschool.
Hi I am Bel, I enjoy watching the children at Flinders Children’s Centre and Tji Tji Wiltja Preschool become confident, capable individuals, that foster a love of learning and exploring their world. My favourite things to do at Flinders Children’s Centre and Tji Tji Wiltja Preschool is to stand with the children at the top of the hill watching the emus over the fence and playing in the mudpit, as it is a great sensory experience for the children and also watching them explore all different play scenarios using the natural and provided resources. It’s so much fun!
Early Childhood Educator
Hi, I am Laura, I have lived in Port Augusta my whole life. I have been working in Early Childhood Education and Care since 2016. I have been at Flinders Children’s Centre and Tji Tji Wiltja Preschool since March 2018 as an Early Childhood Educator. I really enjoy getting to know every individual child and their own personalities. I enjoy every aspect of what I do in my job role, as I get to watch the children grow in to confident and capable learners and explore their world. I have learnt a lot in my time so far at Flinders Children’s Centre and Tji Tji Wiltja Preschool and am excited to learn more. My most favourite thing to do whilst at Flinders Children’s Centre is playing outside in our wonderful outdoor play area for the children as it allows them to explore and expand their imaginations and growth. I look forward to meeting you at Flinders Children’s Centre and Tji Tji Wiltja Preschool.
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.
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!
Early Childhood Educator
Hi I am Bronwyn, I enjoy getting to know each child’s unique personalities and supporting the children with their learning. It’s a great feeling when you see the look on a child’s face when they discover that they have achieved a goal that they have been working at. My favourite thing is watching the children laugh, making friendships and having fun. I love having conversations with them and listening to their stories. There’s not many occupations were you get to sing, dance and play for most of the day!
Early Childhood Educator
Hi, my name is Jemma, I have been working at Flinders Children’s Centre since 2017. Prior to working as an Early Childhood Educator I worked at stations around Australia. From working in remote areas on stations and growing up in remote towns, I have come to appreciate the diversity of the people and the challenges that come with living remotely. Flinders Children’s Centre provides a warm and welcoming environment for children, families and staff. I love the culturally diverse atmosphere within the Kindy and learning about the staff, families and children’s different cultures. Each child and family is unique and offer a versatile depth of knowledge, skills and stories. My favourite thing to do is work closely with each individual child to build positive relationships and valuable lifelong skills. I enjoy assisting the children with exploring the outdoor environment and watching their curiosity grow through STEM. I have worked closely with many children through the Oral Language Programme where they have developed their speech and language skills. I am constantly learning from the children and love to extend their life skills with them to ensure they become confident and involved learners.