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 respected for who they are, to learn, to explore, to have a voice and to be heard, to grow and to reach their full potential.

Our image of the child is strong, competent, creative and active learners. Each child is cherished as a unique individual with a wide range of needs, learning styles, capabilities, ideas, interests and culture.

We acknowledge every child is 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 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. Therefore, the children’s learning is visible through our pedagogical documentation.

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 therefore, support and enhance their children’s learning.

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

Community

We believe children are citizens from birth and are active participants in the community. Connections with the local community provide a sense of belonging and an awareness of the world around them.

We honour and pay our respects to the traditional custodians of the land in which we play and learn. Our commitment to reconciliation is to promote an awareness of the past and ongoing connection to place and land of Indigenous Australians.

We will strive to create inclusive opportunities within our community to share knowledge and experiences, through interaction and engagement. Children’s learning outcomes are enriched through partnerships with our community.

Diversity

Australia is diverse and 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 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. We will endeavour to advocate for a fairer and just society by exploring children’s views on race, gender, culture, religion, family composition, sexual orientation, immigration and other issues.

Learning Environments

Our environment reflects the rights of the child to feel safe, valued, respected and welcomed. We provide learning experiences where children have the opportunity to guide their own learning, in collaboration with peers, families and educators.

The environment takes on the role of the third teacher, as our educators provide flexible and aesthetically appealing play experiences to provoke inquiry, exploration and discovery through natural, recycled and man-made resources. We embrace an environment for learning where children have the opportunity to develop curiosity, imagination, knowledge and creative thinking through exploration and research.

We are committed to protecting our global environment to ensure a sustainable future for our children, through our sustainability practices with the children, families and community.

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. Educators use their pedagogical practices in an authentic and meaningful way to embrace and embed the Early Years Learning Framework as well as inspirations from the Reggio Emilia approach to Early Childhood Education.

Our Educators are valued and respected as individuals and are 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, collaborating and communicating with their colleagues, children and families to achieve professional goals. We participate in team-building practices and believe in the importance of professional learning to broaden and update our pedagogy.

Another role of the Educator is to learn alongside children and to make the children’s learning visible to others through documentation.

 
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