Did you know? The word kindergarten comes from the German language where ‘kinder’ means child and ‘garten’ translates to garden. It was during the 1850s when Friedrich Froebel, a German educator and pedagogue created the first kindergarten based upon the idea that, “play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in the child’s soul”, where Froebel described children as plants and teachers as gardeners.
Kindergarten or pre-school is a place where young children attend before starting school at either three or four years old. Kindergartens in Victoria have a program designed on the Early Years Learning Framework and delivered by qualified Early Childhood teachers and educators.
Should my child attend Kindergarten?
As a parent, it is natural to ask yourself “should my child go to kindergarten?” as you try to balance your life with your toddlers. Research shows that children who have attended kindergarten have improved health and well-being, developed strong social skills, and encourages a love of learning. It has also been proven that children who have attended kinder are more independent, confident, and are better prepared for their transition to primary school (prep – foundation).
At kindergarten many invigorating, exciting, and stimulating learning experiences occur every day. These experiences are delivered with a holistic approach to the child’s learning, considering how the activities will impact and be understood by them.
Learning experiences in kindergarten can be individual, in small groups or as a whole class in both indoor and outdoor settings. If you’ve ever had the chance to walk by a kindergarten it may have sounded like chaos with instruments being played, tapping feet, chatting, and singing. However, amongst all the background noise and what may sound like chaos is where all learning occurs.
Educators plan for and scaffold activities to place children in situations where they must negotiate, share spaces and resources, develop friendships and social skills, as well as, making connections between what they already know and what they are learning.
How does language and literacy, numeracy and creativity fit in the Kindergarten program?
At Jumbo our learning curriculum with corresponding activities is always on display for families to read through and contribute to. Our curriculum is built through a top-down approach via an inquiry question. Our activities are based on the emerging interests of the children and include regular outings, excursions, and incursions.
It is vital for young children to feel empowered and confident to express their needs, wants, and ideas, and to also challenge opposing thoughts. This empowerment is seen in kindergarten as children begin to accept more responsibilities and gradually take control of their learning through their own play and investigations.
On many occasions, families have told us that the children who have come through Jumbo’s kindergarten are equipped with what could only be described as a ‘toolkit’ of skills to use and develop as they progress through further stages of learning, schooling and society.
Get around kindergarten! It is a wonderful and magical time of learning and development for your child.
For more information, you can consult the Department of Education on the following links:
This article was contributed by Anna – Kindergarten teacher and passionate academic!