Our Philosophy

Children

We uphold the rights of children as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and believe every child has the right to feel safe, to be valued and accepted for who they are, to learn, to have a voice and to be heard, to grow and to reach their full potential.

Our image of the child is competent, confident, creative and active learners. Each child is a unique individual with a wide range of needs, learning styles, skills, interest and cultural heritage and should be highly cherished and appreciated.

We acknowledge every child as an individual who is also part of a family with connections, rights and responsibilities that extend from home to Starfish, into the local community and beyond, to the global community.

We acknowledge and value the many and diverse ways in which children express themselves and their understanding of the world around them. We will endeavour to empower the children to have a voice and to play an active role in their own learning and development. Another important role of the educator is to document and make the children’s learning visible to others in our learning community.

Families

We acknowledge that the families serve as the child’s first teacher and we respect and value their contribution to our learning community. By establishing respectful relationships, this will foster strong partnerships with our families and this will consequently support and enhance their children’s learning.

We encourage and promote family involvement and that many aspects of family life should be shared and incorporated into the Starfish learning community. We value and respect their individual child-rearing and life style choices and encourage a community of learners where children and families are welcomed and respected.

Community

Children are active participants in the community and connections with the local community enhance learning opportunities and provide a sense of belonging and an awareness of the world around them.

We will strive to create opportunities for numerous members of our community to share knowledge and experiences, to interact and become engaged in our learning community as partnerships with our community are important in enriching children’s outcomes.

Diversity

Australia has a diverse society and we value this diversity. We promote and support this through sharing and celebrating aspects of our families, children’s and educator’s diversity within our learning community.

We strive to create a sense of belonging for all our families, children and educators within our community and accept that similarities and differences occur between all individuals. We provide a non-judgemental program as we encourage children to be aware, respect and participate in the diverse nature of the country they live in.

We strive to support and develop our learning community’s understanding and appreciation of our diverse cultures through inclusion, meaningful, respectful and culturally relevant resources and through family and community involvement.

Starfish is a learning community where social justice, equity and inclusion are highly valued.

Learning Environments

Our environment reflects the rights of the child to feel safe, valued, respected and welcomed. The purpose built Centre allows for open learning experiences where children have the opportunity to guide their own learning, in collaboration with peers, families and educators.

The physical environment performs the role of the third teacher, as our educators provide flexible and aesthetically appealing play experiences to provoke inquiry, exploration and discovery through natural and man-made resources.

We embrace a play based environment where children have the opportunity to develop curiosity, imagination, knowledge and independent thinking through exploration of their emerging interest and ideas in project-based programs.

Educators

The educators at Starfish are seen as an “Artful Balancer” who are able to listen, observe, reflect, role model, nurture, understand, research, stage manage, facilitate and scaffold learning. They use their pedagogical practices in an authentic and meaningful way to innovate and embrace the Early Years Learning Framework.

They should feel valued and respected as individuals and be able to work in an inclusive environment, free from discrimination.

They will engage in reflective practice and self-evaluation to achieve ongoing improvement for their learning community.

Our educators work as a cohesive team, to collaborate and communicate with their peers to achieve professional goals. We participate in team-building practices and believe in the importance of professional development to broaden and update our knowledge.