This week is Early Learning Matters Week – a time to celebrate the importance of early learning and the work of early childhood educators.
Blackfriars’ ELC Acting Coordinator of Early Learning Jasmin Moore said the week put the spotlight on the importance of early childhood educators in the learning journeys of our youngest students.
Miss Moore said the ELC staff worked tirelessly to create inviting teaching spaces and build meaningful relationships with students and their families.
“One really big emphasis is setting up the environment to be inviting, playful and inspire learning so that when the children walk in, there’s awe, wonder and engagement,” Miss Moore said.
She talked about the importance of setting up the right activities – or “provocations” – for the students.
“They are set up in a way to provoke learning. There might be things that promote persistence, confidence, organisation, risk-taking, resilience, science, technology, literacy, numeracy, creativity, imagination …
“The educators at ELC are very passionate and creative in creating those inviting provocations within the classroom and that’s a valuable skillset we have. A lot of time and effort goes into setting up the environment.
The ELC educators also endeavour to build positive relationships with every student – and their families.
“That’s a really big focus for all of us,” Miss Moore said. “It starts with the children and is extended out to all the families.”
With the lifting of covid restrictions over recent months, the ELC has taken the opportunity to invite families into the school for events such as a Mother’s Day High Tea and the students’ graduations.
Those events were an important part in the ELC’s embrace of the four pillars of Dominican life – Prayer, Study, Community and Service.
As an example of service, Miss Moore earlier this year involved her students in her own 300km fundraising cycle for Camp Quality.
Miss Moore, who raised more than $3000, used the bike ride to “to teach the children in my class about charity and ways they can help others in need”.
“We had discussions and reflections and we had a big display in the room where they could follow along and keep me accountable for the 300km,” she said.