Konomi Kindergarten Statement of Philosophy
Konomi Kindergarten is a unique, high quality Japanese and Australian early childhood education and care service. We acknowledge that much of the Konomi community is from a Japanese cultural background and choose Konomi for the Japanese education and cultural practices that we provide. We also 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, staff and community members are encouraged to engage in active engagement of Japanese culture and language within our early childhood context.
Konomi Kindergarten is a passionate advocate of inclusive practice, welcoming children and families from all language and cultural backgrounds to belong to our unique bilingual and bicultural environment. 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 and support them to 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 in our practice and interactions with children. Further we uphold and honour children’s right to play- in acknowledgement of major contributor of play to develop in a safe and stimulating environment
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 2, 3, 12, 13 and 31 from the Convention on the Rights of the Child and current educational initiatives.
In relation to children:
- Konomi Kindergarten has worked collaboratively to develop a shared image of child. We view children as capable, confident, curious, intelligent and resilient learners, each with their own strong sense of identity.
- We believe that childhood is time to play and 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 that it is important to develop relationships with children characterised by positive, warm, responsive and respectful interactions.
- 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 provide opportunities for children to provide feedback and make choices. We engage children in sustained shared thinking, valuing children’s voices, perspectives and opinions.
In relation to educators:
We are active in establishing a team environment that is inclusive of diverse gender, culture, language and abilities. We welcome educators from diverse backgrounds and we value and embrace the various skills, culture and interest individuals bring to our service.
We practice in a way that Our practice supports and encourages collaboration and teamwork among educators who are on a learning journey together WITH children. This enables different perspectives, knowledge ad expertise of educators and children to be valued, heard, acknowledge and utilised implemented in practice.
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 listen to children and try to find the balance between support and letting children work out for themselves by providing opportunities to learn, discover and acquire skills to become more capable and exercise more autonomy.
In relation to curriculum:
- Our curriculum encourages children to make deeper and fuller understanding of their own experiences. We support children to develop to their full potential through active involvement in a comprehensive 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. As reflected in the Early Years Learning Framework, we view children’s lives as characterised by belonging, being and becoming, with our curriculum vision and practice aligning with these three components.
- Our curriculum includes programs that reflects the diversity of Australian multicultural society, with a strong focus on embedding the learning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Our program enhances the children’s awareness of and respect for cultural similarities and differences, and encourages children to identify and challenge bias, discrimination and stereotypes. We are passionate about peace education, promoting peace, cooperation and learning in a harmonious way.
- Through our curriculum and the provision of a range of learning experiences, we aim to foster the development of lively enquiring minds, a love of learning and an eagerness and readiness for future challenges. Through the provision of a variety of intentional experiences, materials and opportunities for interaction, we create and facilitate a developmentally appropriate yet challenging educational program.
- The provision of inquiry based learning enables children to share thoughts and ideas with other children and adults, cooperate with others, explore, experiment and create within their environment, problem solve, learn from others, develop skills and gain independence.
- Konomi Kindergarten places great value on meal times, with meals presented to children in a way that promotes learning. Carefully planned and prepared menus align with the guidelines for daily recommended intake of food groups and reflect the needs of young children. Our menus reflect cultural diversity and accommodate preferences, allergies and intolerances of children.
- Reflecting our unique identity, we establish a curriculum which integrates traditional Japanese proficiencies with Australian culture in a bilingual setting. Japanese learning festivals are a significant component of Konomi’s practice and curriculum. Cultural learning through festivals allow children develop their sense of identity and see children engaged in belonging, being and becoming so that imagination can run rife and play becomes richer, deeper and more complex.
In relation to context:
- Konomi Kindergarten places a high value on the environment and early learning context we establish, recognise the environment as the third teacher that allows growing. Therefore careful attention is paid to provision of environments for children that are healthy, safe and rich in possibilities that provide opportunities for children to create their own knowledge , their own understanding, test their own abilities and develop their own skills., with detail captured in the design and provision of materials to allow for rich, intentional and authentic learning opportunities.
- Konomi Kindergarten is a passionate advocate for sustainable practice and view the early childhood years as a natural starting point of sustainability learning. We aim to develop and implement environmentally sound practices that recognises our responsibility to preserve and protect the environment and foster in children an ongoing commitment for care for the world we live in.
- We believe in creating a learning context that reflects and honours the diverse family values, cultural backgrounds and voices of children. We encourage children to develop a sense of belonging and identity within the context by establishing a nurturing, predictable and familiar learning context.
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 are passionate in educating children about this significant community group through daily practice.
- We believe in celebrating the richness of our diverse community and we endeavour to incorporate the diversity within our context. We believe in connecting with people, services and agencies within the community and work to expose the children to the community and the community to the children. Our partnerships with the local community more broadly evokes a sense of belonging in the children as they develop a growing awareness of their value and place in their community.
- 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 build upon each families strengths and support them in their role of nurturing their children. We are passionate in developing collaborative partnerships with families and strongly encourage family involvement within our service strive to develop positive, supportive relationships with families based on open communication and sharing of knowledge and skills.
- Konomi Kindergarten has an open door policy to facilitate an open flow of communication between families, community members and the service. Our policy maintains confidentiality and respect of the privacy and wishes for each family.
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 are active advocates for the profession and support changes and developments within the sector.
We believe in the importance of developing the quality of early childhood education and care services and welcome and embrace opportunities for quality improvement. Konomi Kindergarten is committed to providing staffing ratios that exceed government regulations to provide high quality education and care, and aim to be leaders in the provision of outstanding education and care.
We believe in sharing, collaborating and networking with the early childhood community. We welcome early childhood professionals, students and visitors into our service and seek out opportunities for engagement and professional learning across the sector.
We align our practice with Early Childhood Australia’s’ Code of Ethics, ensuring that our duty of care is successfully honoured at all times. Staff are committed to consistently developing and refining their professional practices, attending additional training to keep abreast of and effectively address developments within the sector.