15th December 2017
Culture, Community and Curriculum at Sydenham Road Early Learning Centre
Sydenham Road Early Learning Centre is deeply embedded in their local community. With a range of cultural projects, celebrations and community partnerships, children at this early learning centre in Melbourne are developing into citizens who are both community minded as well as globally aware.
Sydenham Road Early Learning Centre implements the Guardian Curriculum, which is founded upon the National Quality framework and inspired the Reggio Emilia Approach, as a basis for their educational programming.
As part of this Curriculum, the centre undertakes a range of projects that are frequently led by the natural interests of the children. Throughout these projects, various concepts are explored including literacy, language, numeracy, science and creativity – and more often than not, a combination of these. The projects not only encourage children to be curious, to question and to experiment, they also help children to develop communication and problem solving skills.
“The centre has been involved in numerous projects, varying from cultural awareness through African drumming incursions, to egg hatching programs and growing plant seeds to explore the life cycle of living things,” Centre Manager, Parwinder Kaur shares.
Cultural Explorations at the Centre
Sydenham Road Early Learning Centre is a multicultural centre, where all cultures are celebrated. Experiences include Easter egg hunts, Chinese New Year celebrations, Melbourne Cup afternoon, Halloween, St Patrick’s Day festivities and more, so that people from all cultures are acknowledged.
Parwinder says, “Multiculturalism is celebrated at this centre, with cultural music and dance sessions beginning soon. The staff are also from various multicultural backgrounds, so that they can better assist the children and parents that come from non English-speaking backgrounds.”
Community and Family Involvement
Sydenham Road Early Learning Centre works closely with the local community through partnering with local cafes as well as with local primary schools. Parwinder says, “Children will also be involved in gardening activities completed in affiliation with Bunnings Warehouse in addition to ongoing visits to the local aged care centre.”
The parents and families have an active role in the centre as they can see the learning experiences that children participate in on a regular basis through their family communication app, StoryPark.
This also provides a platform for parents to provide feedback and creates an open dialogue between families and educators at the centre.
In addition to being able to openly converse with educators, “Parent recognition nights and Kinder information nights are another great way in which parents can be involved with the centre as well as the children’s education,” says Parwinder.
Meet Sydenham Road’s Centre Manager, Parwinder Kaur
Parwinder Kaur has been in the early childhood sector for ten years and now heads up the diverse team at this early learning centre in Melbourne. Inspired by the growth and development her own two children, she started working at a centre and became passionate about early learning.
She believes early childhood education is important saying, “The first five years of life are fundamental for children’s brain development and I believe that the experiences that children have in these early years, become the foundation for learning, health and behaviour that will be displayed throughout life.”
Parwinder completed her Certificate III in Children’s Services in 2007 and further extended her knowledge by completing a Diploma in Children’s Services in 2010, followed by an Advanced Diploma in 2013.
What’s in Store for 2018
Sydenham Road Early Learning Centre has exciting plans for 2018! With the introduction of a vacation care program, sports programs for all ages, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day festivities, incursions and excursions throughout the year, as well as Grandparents day to be celebrated once a month where grandparents can come to the centre and share their skills with children, it’s going to be a busy and exciting year for this early learning centre in Melbourne.