At St Thomas’s Riverview Kindergarten we try to organise the daily routine around:
- Outdoor Time (play and activities)
- Language (group)
- Indoor Time (play and activities)
- Music (group)
Activities are teacher-directed and/or child-initiated. The teacher’s awareness of children’s needs, development and interests means that the planning of programs can be catered for each individual.
Many activities are based around themes. Sometimes they are planned in advance and other times they are chosen through the influence of young inquisitive minds. Past themes have included Marine/Beach, Anzac Day, Autumn, Royal Brisbane Show (Ekka) and Easter.
During the course of the year we celebrate a variety of special events. The children approach these events with gusto and enjoy sharing their kindergarten environment and achievements with their families.
Some special events include:
- Wheel-a-thon (children push, pull and ride anything with wheels
over a small course followed by a BBQ)
- Father’s Play Day (Fathers and Grandfathers get to spend a special
morning at the kindergarten with their children, having fun)
- Christmas Concert (children perform a fantastic end-of-year
concert for parents -and the rest of the family).
Every child loves to ‘make believe’ or ‘pretend’. Dressing-up is an important part of everyday life for children, especially adult role-play. ‘Dress-up’ sparks imagination and encourages children to socialise and interact with each other. St Thomas’s has a great collection of hats, clothes, shoes, handbags jewellery and other accessories.
Music is an integral part of our program. We believe singing, dancing and the playing of instruments is a great way for children to express themselves. Whether it’s singing a nursery rhyme, jumping up and down, clapping hands or pounding on some drums, most children love some form of music – it makes them smile!
Arts & Crafts
The children experiment with a variety of painting techniques from brushes, fingers, tennis balls and sponges to spray bottles. They draw using crayons, pencils, pens, chalk and charcoal. They love to build anything they choose by cutting, pasting, stapling, taping, threading, sewing or gluing just about anything and everything. They enjoy making things from clay and ‘play dough’. Not only is arts-and-crafts fun, but it also hones their fine motor skills, requires patience, and enhances problem-solving skills.
Cooking & Gardening
Most weeks the Pre-Preppers enjoy a cooking session – they cook for themselves and their families. This activity is a way of learning about measurement, new tasting experiences, sharing and food chemistry. Cooking and feeding is a family activity – abridge between family and Kindergarten. Participating in cooking experiences is the beginning of learning a life skill, one with adult recognition attached….. and its fun!
In this age of sustainability children are given the opportunity to garden at the Kindergarten. They plant flowers, vegetables and herbs. Gardening teaches children the responsibility of maintaining it through watering and care. Usually produce is eaten straight from the garden, as fresh is best!!!
Courtesy & Manners
At St Thomas’s we believe it is of the utmost importance to reinforce those values that parents continually work towards instilling in their children at home. We believe good manners facilitate social relations. We strive to teach children to have respect for themselves, their belongings, other people, other people’s belongings and their surroundings. This builds improved self esteem and confidence and improves social skills.
Children are taught to use language to communicate with other children, and adults, through listening to stories, using simple rhymes and poems and using puppets and songs.
Few times a year children are offered the opportunity to go on excursions.
Some have included:
- QAG and GOMA
- Botanical Gardens Mt Cootha
- Bunyaville Environmental Education Centre.
At St Thomas’s, children’s safety is paramount, so we have a policy that there must be one (1) adult to every two (2) children ratio for excursions. Grandparents can also escort the children but are required to hold a Blue Card and then are only allowed to escort twice within the year.
During the course of the year the children also host many visitors including:
- Evergreen Puppet Theatre
- Henny Penny (baby chicks hatching).
St Thomas’s has a comprehensive lending library. Not only can the children select and borrow books on a regular basis, but we also offer a wide range of reading material for parents.
St. Thomas’s uses 2 curricula. The national curriculum the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) is the overarching pedagogical document underpinning the state curriculum, Queensland kindergarten Learning Guidelines (QKLG). Although the former document is designed to cover the age range from birth to school age the latter is directed solely to the target aged group 3 ½ – 4 ½ years. Through the children’s Portfolios references links are made to these documents.
EYLF places an emphasis on Belonging, Being and Becoming – the journey children take in learning where they have come from, where they are and where they could go. Each curriculum has 5 subsections that are the same. Identity, Connectedness, Wellbeing, Active Learning (Confident and involved learners) and Communicating are the areas where children are observed and recorded (in Portfolios) and are the areas where at the end of the Kindergarten years children are assessed in Transition Statements.
Transition Statements are 3 fold – one to be completed by parents, the other the child and the third the teacher. They are supporting documents which parents may use in discussions with Prep Teachers should parents wish to share them. They are not report cards. Portfolios are perceived by Education Queensland to be an in depth document which records the child’s development and progress.