St Thomas’s Riverview Kindergarten and Preschool has been in operation since 1968 and is affiliated with The Lady Gowrie (QLD) Inc a non-profit early childhood organisation. It operates an approved educational program for children aged 3 ½ to 4 ½ years.
This wonderful kindergarten has been assessed and rated as EXCEEDING IN STANDARDS. The friendly, expert staff and wonderful facilities sets St Thomas Riverview above the rest.
Our affiliation with Lady Gowrie carries with it subsidies from the State Department of Education and an obligation upon the management committee to maintain high standards of qualified staff, educational programming, building and grounds, equipment and close parent/teacher involvement.
St Thomas’s Riverview Kindergarten and Preschool is a community kindergarten that espouses an ethos that recognizes the community of the kindergarten and the community, locally and in general, benefits when individuals give altruistically for the common good.
It values the children who attend the centre, respects their rights, supports the individual and the group and endeavors to provide a flexible learning environment that encourages the personal growth of each child.
Partnerships between the children and parents, between children and staff, between parents and staff, between parents and management committee and between staff and management committee ensure that there is a circular communication that establishes a positive working relationship that facilitates all parties involved in a community kindergarten.
St Thomas’s parents, management committee and staff recognize that play is the fundamental medium for young children’s learning and is central to an effective Kindergarten curriculum. It is a natural activity for children through which they make meaning of the world around them. Play facilitates all development.
- Play is intrinsically motivated.
- Play is relatively free from externally imposed rules.
- Play is carried out as if the activity were real.
- Play focuses on the process rather then any product.
- Play is dominated by the players.
- Play requires the active involvement of the player.
The benefits children derive from play include learning to represent their ideas in a variety of forms – as they talk about their thoughts, construct, paint, build, and draw and take on a role. Play is a medium through which they develop social skills – communicating, caring, negotiating, cooperating and sharing. Through play children engage with the perspectives of others as they negotiate roles and solve problems. They build foundations for early literacy and numeracy by engaging them in symbolisation – where objects and materials are used “as if” they were something else. In playing children access and apply prior knowledge as they explore and recreate familiar events. Through play children acquire new knowledge and understandings about themselves and their world. Play develops imagination – children use flexible and creative thinking in adapting to situations and finding solutions to problems. Play provides a medium for making of their world by exploring a range of community and family roles. Play provides an opportunity for experimenting and making discoveries in a non-threatening way. Play enables children to work at their own pace and level.
St Thomas’s adheres to Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines. In our work with children we:
- See children as active and competent learners
- Create a safe and stimulating learning environment to encourage thoughtful play
- Promote secure attachments and warm trusting relationships and interactions
- Seek to strengthen resilience, critical thinking and informed risk taking
- Promote communication and problem solving, social learning and awareness, and capacity to acknowledge and express feelings
A Gowrie centre gives parents the only real chance they have to be true participator in their child’s formal education.
At St Thomas’s Riverview Kindergarten parents are afforded the pleasure of joining in the daily running of the kindergarten. By electing to join the management committee they become decision makers for the kindergarten community. On parent roster days they can see for themselves their child’s development and they can assist staff and contribute to the smooth running of the day’s activities. Each community centre is a testimony to the parents who are involved. The centre belongs both to the children and the parents.
One of the joys of belonging to a community kindergarten is the continuity of contact for the child and indeed the whole family. Friendships formed in Kindergarten are often continued in Primary as children progress with friends they have made at kindergarten. Children and parents make contacts and friendships that may last a lifetime.
Community kindergartens are intermediate stages between home and schools. Because attendance is only part-time, children still have time to be at home; time for themselves; and time for parents to enjoy them. The more time away from home, the greater the outside influence. A community kindergarten can embody parental influences if parents become involved.
St Thomas’s recognises and values the unique contribution that each child brings to the centre. St Thomas’s is enriched by the cultural diversity each child and family brings. It welcomes the sharing of those insights and experiences with the wider kindergarten community.
When parents select St Thomas’s for their kindergarten they are entering into a covenant that benefits their child, themselves and the community.