Konomi Kindergarten Statement of Philosophy
Konomi Kindergarten is a unique, high quality Japanese and Australian early childhood centre. We acknowledge that much of the Konomi Kindergarten community is from a Japanese cultural background and choose Konomi for the Japanese education and cultural practices that we provide. We acknowledge that the Konomi community represents many different cultures, with families choosing Konomi for the unique cultural experience and the provision of high quality education and care. All children, families, educators, staff and community members are welcome and encouraged to engage in Japanese language and culture.
Konomi Kindergarten is passionate about inclusive practice and views everyone as a valued contributor to our community. We welcome children and families from all language, community and cultural backgrounds to belong to our unique bilingual and bicultural environment as well as children of all physical, emotional and academic abilities. Konomi Kindergarten embraces diversity as a resource that informs policy and practice. By creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, we create a context where each child feels safe, secure and supported, enabling them to experience a sense of belonging. We support each child to participate meaningfully and develop to their maximum potential in their social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth.
We uphold children’s rights and act in the best interests of the child. We believe that all 54 articles from the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child are intrinsically connected to each other and are all equally important. In our practice we have a strong focus on articles 2, 3, 12, 13 and 31.
Our core values underpin our practice and encourage openness, respect, empowerment and collaboration with children, families, staff and communities.
Our philosophy is further defined by the following values and beliefs that reflect the Early Years Learning Framework, The Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics, articles from the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, and current educational initiatives.
In relation to children:
- We view children as capable, confident, curious, intelligent and resilient learners, each with their own strong sense of identity.
- We believe that children have the right to learn through play and that play is the most effective avenue for learning. We encourage all children to become active learners and encourage hands-on engagement with the environment.
- We believe in practicing through a lens of inclusion, providing flexible programs and environments that meet individual needs and interests.
- We believe in the power of relationships and work to develop relationships with children that are positive, warm, responsive and respectful.
- We believe that children have the right to be heard and be involved in decisions that affect them. We are active listeners of children, and encourage children to provide feedback and make choices.
- We engage children in sustained shared thinking, valuing children’s voices, perspectives and opinions. This enables us to work in a way that supports children to learn, discover and acquire skills to become capable, independent and autonomous citizens.
In relation to educators:
- We are active in establishing a team environment that is inclusive of gender, culture, language, background and abilities.
- We practice in a way that encourages collaboration and teamwork among educators throughout their learning journey. By creating a culture of inclusion, we believe in discovering, acknowledging and utilising the diverse strengths of our educators, welcoming new ideas and perspectives.
- We believe that educators are lifelong learners who develop knowledge and build the standard of their teaching through reflective practice, inquiry and ongoing professional development. As educators we are willing to continue to grow, learn and change.
In relation to curriculum:
- We support children to develop to their full potential through involvement in a curriculum that supports lifelong learning. We believe in the importance of providing a balance of traditional and contemporary approaches to teaching and learning that encourages the development of 21st century life skills while maintaining the joy of ‘being’ in the early childhood years.
- We believe in providing a holistic curriculum that reflects the children’s current knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests (NQF, 1.1.2).
- Our curriculum is developed and guided by the Early Years Learning Framework, the 7 Quality Areas of the National Quality Framework, Japanese education principles, the Reggio Emilia Approach to education and the Walker Learning Approach. We view children’s lives as characterised by belonging, being and becoming, with our curriculum vision and practice aligning with these components.
- Our curriculum reflects the diversity of Australian multicultural society, with a focus on embedding the learning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Through our curriculum we work to create a platform for learning of Indigenous cultures by adapting the traditions, histories, education and Aboriginal ways of learning into our practice. We achieve this through teaching processes including using narrative, visuals, cues, design, art and by developing relationships with the local land and environment.
- Our program reflects inclusion, enhances the children’s awareness of and respect for cultural similarities and differences, and encourages children to identify and challenge bias, discrimination and stereotypes.
- Through our curriculum we aim to foster the development of enquiring minds, a love of learning and an eagerness for challenge. Through inquiry based learning children share thoughts and ideas, cooperate, explore, experiment, create, problem solve, develop skills and gain independence.
- Reflecting our unique identity, we establish a curriculum which integrates traditional Japanese proficiencies with Australian culture in a bilingual setting. Japanese culture, language, customs, food and traditions and embedded within our practice. Japanese learning festivals are a significant component of the curriculum and enable children to engage in and experience belonging, being and becoming.
In relation to context
- Konomi Kindergarten places high value on the learning context, recognising and valuing the environment as the third teacher. Through the provision of an environment that is safe, inspiring, intentionally planned and rich in possibilities, children are able to develop knowledge, understanding, test their abilities and develop skills.
- Konomi Kindergarten is a passionate advocate for sustainable practice and view the early childhood years as a natural starting point for sustainability learning. We aim to develop and implement environmentally sound practices that recognises our responsibility to preserve and protect the environment, and support children to develop an ongoing commitment to sustainable living.
- We believe in creating a learning context that reflects and honours and reflects diverse family values, cultural backgrounds and voices of children. We believe in creating an environment where each person is valued as unique, yet all fit together.
- We encourage children to develop a sense of belonging and identity within the context by creating a nurturing, predictable and familiar learning environment. We believe in adapting environments and practices to accommodate all needs, offering a range of materials, experiences and challenges for each child.
In relation to families and communities:
- We respectfully acknowledge the Cammeraygal people who are the Traditional Custodians on the land on which we stand and believe in building our own awareness of Indigenous cultures. Through daily practice and rituals we engage children in learning about the Cammeraygal people and Aboriginal ways of learning.
- We believe in building a bridge between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous cultures by embedding the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in our centre. We achieve this through our curriculum, by working with Aboriginal knowledge and by finding common ground between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous cultural groups.
- We believe in celebrating the richness of our diverse community and endeavour to incorporate this diversity within our context.
- We believe in connecting with people, services and agencies within the community and believe in exposing the children to the community and the community to the children. Our partnerships with the local community evokes a sense of belonging among the children as they develop a growing awareness of their value and place in the world.
- We believe that families are children’s first and most influential teachers. We believe in working with and learning from families in order to receive their insight, knowledge, expertise and perspective of their child. We believe in working with families through a lens of inclusion, discovering and acknowledging the values that are important to them.
- We are passionate in developing collaborative partnerships with families and strongly encourage family involvement within our service. We strive to develop positive, supportive relationships with families based on open communication and the sharing of knowledge and skills.
In relation to the profession:
- Konomi Kindergarten is a highly professional service which aims to be a leader in the provision of outstanding, high quality education and care. Educators at Konomi Kindergarten are advocates for the profession and support changes and developments within the sector.
- Konomi Kindergarten is active in engaging in research and professional development about early childhood best practice. We continuously strive to improve the quality of our practice by incorporating findings from current research, government initiatives and new information from within the early childhood profession.
- We believe in the importance of developing the quality of early childhood education and care services in Australia and welcome and embrace opportunities for quality improvement. Konomi Kindergarten is committed to providing staffing ratios that exceed government regulations, enabling the provision of high quality education and care.
- We believe in sharing, collaborating and networking within the early childhood community. We welcome early childhood professionals, students and visitors into our service and seek out opportunities for engagement and professional learning.
- We align our practice with Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics, ensuring that we act in the best interests of all children and ensure every child is thriving and learning. Educators are committed to developing and refining their professional practices, attending professional development to keep abreast of developments within the sector.
- We believe in advocating for and promoting the importance of inclusion within our service, to our families, the community and the wider early childhood profession.