As parents, we might ask ourselves, “What kind of community do I want for my child?” At Preshil we have created one that is welcoming, that has children at the heart of everything we do, and that recognises each child’s potential. Importantly, we have structured our Kindergarten program to be fully integrated into our Primary campus “Arlington” so that our youngest children are a vital element of our community. We understand that childrens’ emerging sense of belonging is a key component of their success in learning.
Our three and four-year-old children learn and play in the Kindergarten’s unique indoor and outdoor environments. Multi-age grouping is a key feature of our Kindergarten, giving the younger children the opportunity to learn from the older children, and the older children the opportunity to be leaders even at this young age. This multi-age grouping continues throughout the Primary School, and our children play with peers of all ages as a result.
Children are encouraged to learn through social interactions and strong relationships with their peers and educators. Our teaching team ensures balance throughout the day with time for collaborative inquiry, small-group teacher-led experiences and free play throughout the daily routine, with a focus on smooth transitions.
Children in the Preshil Kindergarten are fully fledged participants in all that Arlington has to offer. On their way to the Kindergarten gate each morning, our youngest Preshil learners are greeted by friends and teachers from across our Primary School. These connections are fostered through regular shared experiences like our Biggies and Buddies program with Grade 5 and 6 children, weekly singing as a whole school, and weekly time with our Prep class.
As an IB Continuum school, the Kindergarten offers the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme so that inquiry learning is seamless between Kindergarten and Primary. Specialist classes in Philosophy, Art, Music, and French are part of the Kindergarten curriculum, giving our youngest learners an opportunity to work with a range of teachers who are passionate about their specialty area. This broadens their community further, and for some of these classes our Kindergarten children use the shared facilities giving them experience of learning and belonging in the Arlington setting.
The Kindergarten children share Bush School with their friends in the Prep class. Together they make an Acknowledgement of Country to foster important links between themselves, their community and the rich history of Country and First Nations people. Then they are off to explore our bush nook to engage with water play, search for creatures, climb the trees, and make potions and creations. Sometimes the children collect wood and light the fire to cook damper, bake potatoes or brew a chai tea for sharing. Safe risks are encouraged and children have an active role in caring for the campus environments.
The children of the Preshil Kindergarten are supported to feel emboldened and courageous as members of the Arlington Community, growing and learning together.