Celebrating 10 years of Blackfriars’ Early Learning Centre

While Blackfriars celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2023, the Early Learning Centre (ELC) has this week chalked up its own milestone.

This week marks 10 years since the opening of Blackfriars’ ELC. Work started in early 2013 to transform the old church hall, formerly used as the school’s drama centre, and the surrounding land into a beautiful space for our ELC.

The centre opened on Tuesday 23 July 2013, with 25 boys and girls and four staff members. Within a year, student numbers had grown to 80, with eight staff members. Today, there are almost 100 students and 16 teachers and education support officers.

Four of Blackfriars’ current Year 7 students, Lachlan Sutton, Jacob Romano, Harry Zajaczkowski and Samuel Pedlar, attended the ELC in 2013, when they were aged just 3.

Blackfriars Year 7 students Harry Zajaczkowski, Jacob Romano, Samuel Pedlar and Lachlan Sutton, who started at the ELC in 2013, with current students Aria and Michael and the ELC’s longest-serving staff member, Meg Foody.

Harry fondly remembered racing around the bike track that, even today, circles the yard, while Jacob’s memory was much more specific: “Harry locking me in there!” he said, pointing to the space under the slides.

Acting Coordinator of Early Learning Jasmin Moore said the ELC was constantly evolving, so as to ensure every student had the best possible start to their learning journeys.

“We’re proud of our past but we’re really excited for our future,” Ms Moore said.

Blackfriars’ ELC has been educating boys and girls since July 2013.

“We want our students to be worldly and future-thinking; equipped with skills to be global learners and evolve with how the world is changing.”

“We want to develop relationships and social skills that the children will use not just now, but in Primary School and beyond. And with those relationship skills develop a community of learners.

“The educators are continually reflecting and thinking about the ELC environment, resources and routines, to make changes and adapt, ensuring each individual learner has the best-possible opportunities.”

The ELC will formally celebrate its 10th anniversary in early August.

  • This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2023 edition of The OPtimist. If you’re an old scholar and would like to receive The OPtimist, please email our Development Office at [email protected] and we’ll add you to the mailing list.

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