The Early childhood years are an important foundation for a child’s learning. In these years a child is introduced into a learning environment that is different from the home, but that retains a homelike atmosphere.

For some children the Kindergarten classes are their first experience of being away from home and it is here that they take their first steps towards independence, discovery and life long learning. For a few children this may be problematic and the school helps them to quickly settle into the new learning environment. Our approach at the NEMLDC is child-centred with a rich, stimulating and encouraging learning environment. Children are immersed in rich language, colour, music, movement and above all fun using the Hanen Learning Language and Loving It Program. Teachers and educational staff use practical strategies for helping all children in the classroom build language and social skills. The seeds of their future learning are sown in a nurturing and warm environment that parents are welcome to share.

The Kindergarten staff and speech pathologists are committed to improving outcomes for all students. We work closely together to set individualized and targeted goals, teach, assess and report. Our Kindergarten program recognises that learning is a continuous process and there is a high level of collaboration between teachers, education assistants, speech pathologists and other childhood professionals. Students attend Kindergarten five half days/mornings a week and there is a strong focus on oral language through speaking and listening. There is an emphasis on visual supports and frameworks to support learning and aid memory. Class sizes are kept to a minimum ensuring the best outcomes for all students.

Developing an understanding of language and books is fostered in a stimulating environment. Story-time is a time for children to be absorbed into the wonders of the imagination and the magic of books. Spoken language is developed and the understanding of sounds and meaning is advanced through the use of the Jolly Phonics Program.  Pre-reading skills are cultivated.

Numeracy skills are introduced with counting games, patterns, sorting and a host of other activities. Natural curiosity is encouraged and a range of concrete materials helps to advance these skills further, encouraging curiosity and exploration. Measuring solids, liquids and themselves, comparing objects and their attributes, positional relationships, routines, timetables and time are introduced at appropriate stages.

Creativity is fostered in the early years and the children learn the love of colour, form, texture and pattern. Fine motor skills are developed with a wide range of engaging experiences. We also run a fundamental movement programme in the early years to practise and develop these early gross motor skills. A music programme is implemented and rhythm, dance and singing games foster participation and enjoyment of music and sounds.

Play is an important element of the early years. Through play the child makes sense of their world, practises the skills that they have learnt, develops the social skills and develops the fine and gross manipulative and movement skills. It is also a time when the imaginary becomes real for the child and creativity flows. As a result, time is allowed for play based learning activities during the early years of schooling.

Real experiences are valued at NEMLDC. Incursions and excursions are an integral part of their experiences and concept development, and the children are taken to a variety of locations to develop their experience of the wider world. Parents are always welcome to share these experiences.

Kindergarten is the foundation for your child and the NEMLDC kindergarten teachers and education assistants work to help your child thrive. The warm, caring environment is one where each child is valued and each child is known as an individual.