At Konomi Kindergarten, we take pride in the unique bilingual Japanese and Australia education and care service that we provide. We acknowledge that the majority of families at our service are from a Japanese cultural background and they desire their children to learn Japanese language, education and culture. Children from all language and cultural backgrounds are welcomed to attend Konomi Kindergarten and are offered an opportunity to be part of our unique bilingual learning environment. We believe in encouraging all children to engage in active learning of Japanese culture and language within an Australian early childhood setting. By creating an environment of acceptance and by promoting a sense of belonging, we aim to provide a learning environment where each child feels safe, secure and belong. We believe in the rights and best interests of the child, which guides our practice and interactions with children. We support children to develop to their full potential through a comprehensive curriculum that promotes lifelong learning. We are passionate about developing collaborative partnerships with families and we strongly encourage family involvement within our service. We believe in practicing respectful, positive and professional interactions with children, educators and families, and we value and build upon the strengths and knowledge of others. At Konomi Kindergarten, we believe in the importance of sustainable practice, and view early childhood as natural starting point for ongoing education of sustainability. Our philosophy is further defined by the following values and beliefs that reflect the EYLF, Code of Ethics and the Rights of the Child to learn through play “Article31, Un Convention on the rights of the child”.
As Early Childhood Educators we believe:
- In providing a program that reflects the children’s current knowledge, ideas and abilities. A learning curriculum that is guided by the Early Years Learning Framework, the 7 Quality Areas of the NQF, Japanese education principles, and the right of every child to high quality education and care.
- In displaying a sense of professionalism and pride in our service and advocate for the service we provide. We believe in maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of information regarding children, parents, staff members and the community. (EYLF, Principle 1, p12)
- In establishing a positive team environment, which promotes listening, active communication, and valuing each other’s skills, knowledge, abilities and experiences.
- In a holistic approach to education that promotes high expectations for achievement and learning and is inclusive of all cultures, diversity and abilities. (EYLF, p 14, Principle 3, p 12)
- Educators are lifelong learners who continue seeking knowledge to improve the standard of their teaching. We achieve this through reflective practice and inquiry. (EYLF Principle 5, p 13)
In relation to children we:
- Provide opportunities for the children to learn through play. We achieve this by building trusting and responsive relationships with children through positive, respectful and warm interactions with individuals and groups.
- Encourage all children to be active learners as valued individuals.
- We believe that children are successful, competent and capable learners. We provide an environment that reflects appreciation of children’s diversity, family values, cultural backgrounds and the child’s voice.
- Encourage children to gain a sense of belonging by providing a nurturing and supportive environment where children are encouraged to make learning choices and decisions and to develop their sense of identity and skills as learners without fear of failure.
- Value lifelong learning through 21st century- skills that prepare children for school and beyond: Persistence, resilience, conflict resolution, problem solving, negotiation and more
- Believe that rights of the child and the best interest of the child are foremost in all decisions. (Focused articles; 12 &13)
- Provide an environment which integrates traditional Japanese proficiencies with Australian culture in a bilingual setting. Japanese festivals are an integral part of our centre’s practice and curriculum. Cultural practice through festivals allows children to develop skills and knowledge for lifelong learning while developing their sense of identity.
- Provide an inclusive program which is play based and reflects the diversity of our children. Our programs reflect the diversity of Australian multicultural society including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Our curriculum enhances the children's awareness of and respect for, cultural similarities and difference.
- Provide long term projects and skill & technique development for all children through inquiry based learning. (Article 13)
- Provide a balanced program that reflects all aspects of child development. Our program includes creative experiences, self-selection and planned learning that capture the lives of children, integrating contemporary teaching approaches e.g. the use of technology.
- Provide equal opportunities and support for all children including children with additional needs to participate in the program. (EYLF p16)
In relation to families and communities we believe:
- In celebrating the richness of our diverse community. We endeavour to incorporate this diversity within our program and practice
- In connecting with people, services, and agencies within the community that supports children and families.
- Families are children’s first and most influential teachers. Therefore, to have a greater understanding of the child we work to discover and incorporate the diversity, needs and uniqueness of each family.
- In listening to and learning from families in order to share their knowledge, insight and perspectives of each child. We build upon their strengths and support them in their role of nurturing children. (EYLF, Principle, 2, Partnerships)
- In communicating our sustainability initiatives, involving families in our centre sustainability practices and in turn raising community awareness of sustainability.
- In working with parents in partnership to develop the child as a whole in a mutually supportive and caring environment.
In respect to the environment we believe:
- In providing a safe and homelike atmosphere that reflects the importance of creating a link between home and the centre.
- In providing an environment that reflects contemporary approaches to teaching and education through the use of information technologies (e.g. Smart Board, iPad, Computers, DVD, Digital camera).
- In providing the children with a relaxed, happy, and flexible environment to cater for the individual needs of each child.
- In creating an environment that reflects a holistic approach to sustainability that has a focus on learning about the interconnectedness of plants, animals and humans with the Earth. Our environment supports and advocates for responsible recycling, reducing waste, careful use of energy, water and other resources in everyday practice.