Laying the Foundation for Lifelong Learning

Early childhood is a time for young children to wonder, explore, discover and create meaning of the world around them.  

Within St Catherine’s Early Learning Centre (ELC), children are offered enriched, hands-on learning experiences designed to support and enhance all aspects of their learning. 

We take a holistic approach to learning and development with opportunities for the children to build upon their physical, social, emotional, personal, creative, cognitive and linguistic skills. These experiences expand and develop the children’s knowledge and their understanding of the world, offering a strong foundation for the child to transition into the next step of their educational journey once they commence Prep. 

To ensure children are well prepared for their Prep experience, a number of specific focus areas are developed over the child’s two year early learning journey. Whilst the child’s intellectual development is important, there are other key areas determining their readiness for Prep. 

Strong social opportunities provide young children the practice required to develop and refine these skills. 

It is crucial for children to develop the essential skills to engage in reciprocal play and interaction with others, to consider other ideas and to compromise or problem solve when things may not go to plan. Strong social opportunities in the early learning context provide young children with the practice required to develop and refine these skills. 

As young children begin trying new tasks and attempting to do things for themselves, they build on their level of independence. They develop their self-help skills in relation to managing their belongings, dressing themselves, bathroom routines and meal times. Developing competence in these areas, provides children with the confidence to independently manage these tasks when they arise during their day. 

For successful functioning in a group context, self-regulation of emotions and behaviour is essential. Young children are faced with many challenges or demands during their busy day. It is important they are able to adapt to changing situations, respond to tasks and bounce back when challenges arise. Resilience and flexibility are pivotal to successful functioning in the classroom context. 

In the classroom environment, the ability for children to engage in reciprocal conversation with both their peers and educators is fundamental. The children also need to clearly articulate their thoughts and ideas and follow teacher instructions. The language rich environment in our ELC provides young learners with opportunities to develop and refine these skills. 

Children require the time, space and opportunities to develop a range of skills, learnings, understandings and behaviour in their early years. This lays a strong foundation for the transition to school and successful lifelong learning.  

The high-quality and rich learning experiences offered in our ELC highlight our commitment to holistically supporting young children’s learning and development and building a strong foundation for future learning.

Ms Sarah Bethune

Head of Early Learning Centre

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