What is Early Years Learning Framework, and why are we guided by it?
When developing our curriculum, it was important to us that it was backed by evidence, which is why we chose to be guided by the Early Years Learning Framework. The framework is outlined by the Australian Government Department for Education and Training, and is based on decades of research. We believe it’s the best way to ensure all of our little ones progress in the learning outcomes that will set them up for life.
The Early Years Learning Framework is shaped by three characteristics, belonging, being and becoming. These characteristics recognise that children’s early development takes place through relationships with the people and environment around them.
To experience belonging is to know where and with whom you belong. We know that feeling connected with those around us is a foundation for thriving. Being recognises the importance of children having space to simply ‘be’, with time devoted to seeking and making meaning of the world. Becoming reflects the rapid growth and change that children go through in their early years, and emphasises learning to participate fully and actively in society.
At Bright Bees, these characteristics are at the heart of what we do. We want all children to feel they belong in the centre, and we recognise their need to be children, at the same time as encouraging them to become the best little versions of themselves that they can be.
Once we’d identified the framing of our curriculum, we then moved on to the core principles that underpin what we do practically. These principles are:
Secure, respectful, reciprocal relationships: Educators who are attuned to children’s thoughts and feelings support a strong sense of wellbeing, and can provide our little ones with a secure base from which to explore and learn.
Partnerships: All children and families are respected and actively encouraged to collaborate with educators to ensure that learning at Bright Bees is meaningful.
High expectations and equity: Children progress well when they, their parents and educators hold high expectations for their achievement. Our early childhood educators believe in all children’s capacities to succeed, regardless of circumstances and abilities.
Respect for diversity: We actively encourage a diverse culture at Bright Bees and believe it to be wholly enriching to all who are involved with our centre. Our educators honour the histories, cultures, languages, traditions, child rearing practices and lifestyle choices of all families, and value children’s different capacities and abilities.
Ongoing learning and reflective practice: Our educators continually build their professional knowledge and reflect upon their experiences regularly in order to inform our little ones’ learning.
At Bright Bees, these principals guide what our educators do day in, day out. Our educators:
Adopt holistic approaches: We pay attention to more than just the cognitive aspects of learning. Children’s physical, personal, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing is considered at all times.
Are responsive to children: This includes children’s strengths, abilities and interests to ensure they become, and stay, motivated for learning.
Teach through play: Play gives children a unique opportunity to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. Play is a perfect place for children to test out ideas and build social groups.
Teach with intention: At Bright Bees, our teaching is deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful. Educators use strategies such as modelling, demonstrating, open questioning, speculating, explaining, engaging in shared thinking and problem solving to extend children’s thinking.
Create physical and social learning environments that have a positive impact on learning: At Bright Bees, we focus on natural environments to invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk-taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature.
Value the cultural and social contexts of children and their families: Our educators celebrate the benefits of diversity and understand and honour our differences.
Provide continuity in experiences and enable children to have successful transition: Our educators help all children to feel secure, confident and included. Transitions from home to early childhood settings, and from early childhood settings to school, offer opportunities and challenges, and our Bright Bees educators work to equip our little ones with the ability to embrace them.
Assess and monitor children’s learning to support children in achieving learning outcomes: Assessing children’s learning involves gathering information about what children know, can do and understand. At Bright Bees, assessment allows us to determine how children are progressing, and identify any children who might need additional support.
Being guided by the framework principals and putting those principals into practice gives our little ones the best opportunity for success in the learning outcomes. Our curriculum’s learning outcomes are:
Children have a strong sense of identity Identity is not fixed, it is shaped by experiences. When children have positive experiences they feel significant and respected, and have a sense of belonging. When children feel safe, secure and supported they grow in confidence to explore and learn.
Children are connected with and contribute to their world When children experience mutually enjoyable, caring and respectful relationships with people and the environment, are encouraged to participate in everyday routines, and have opportunities to contribute to decisions, they develop an understanding of others.
Children have a strong sense of wellbeing A strong sense of wellbeing provides children with confidence and optimism, which maximises their learning potential. A feeling of wellbeing encourage children to explore, gives them a sense of agency and a desire to interact with others.
Children are confident and involved learners Children who are confident and involved learners are increasingly able to take responsibility for their own learning, they apply personal regulation and contribution to the social environment.
Children are effective communicators When children are effective communicators, they can interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes, can engage with a range of texts, and can express ideas and make meaning using a range of media.
Although we have high hopes and expectations of all our little ones at Bright Bees, we also know that children learn in a variety of ways and vary in their capabilities and pace of learning.
Our aim is to encourage and empower children to engage with increasingly complex ideas and experiences, to set them up for life after our early learning centre.
If you’d like to further your understanding or have any questions on our curriculum, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.