Philosophy

Our vision at Neighborhood House is to create a home away from home; where children, families and educators thrive.  To fulfil our vision, Neighborhood House embraces four Pillars that work interdependently to ensure that children receive high quality education and care.

1. People

2. Places

3. Programs

4. Practice

People

At the heart of our service are the people.  Our purpose is to develop warm, respectful and responsive relationships with and between all our people.

Our Children

We demonstrate respectful and responsive relationships with our children by;

  • Viewing them as enthusiastic and curious learners who also have rights
  • Listening and acknowledging their thoughts, feelings and opinions
  • Providing them with opportunities to develop their autonomy
  • Providing children with time to learn and develop at their own pace
  • Providing a supportive environment for children to build their resilience

Our Families

We demonstrate respectful and responsive relationships with families by;

  • Valuing their role as their child's first teacher and role models
  • Gathering meaningful informatiion to help us understand their cultural identity and needs
  • Working collaboratively to ensure their children learn and develop to their full potential
  • Supporting them to engage in planning for ongoing learning and development with the service and the local community.

Our Team

We demonstrate respectful an responsive relationships with our team by:

  • Working collaboratively with each other to foster a sense of belonging
  • Engaging in professional reflective discussions to ensure children's best interests are upheld
  • Empowering each other by valuing our individiual strengths, respecting each others practices and expertise while supporting each other in challenging moments
  • Recognising and validating our efforts with acts of gratitude whereby we thank others for their contributions
  • Researching, sharing and planning together to ensure holistic approaches to children's learning and development across the rooms

Our Community

We demonstrate respectful responsive relationships with our community by:

  • Viewing it as an extension of our classrooms that provides 'real life' opportunities for learning
  • Acknowledging that we are working on the traditional land of the Yakukit Willam clan of the Boonwarrung poeple of the Kulin Nation
  • Celebrating significant events that expand our cultural knowledge
  • Engaging in regular outings and excursions

Places

Our place are spaces where relationships are nurtured and learning takes place.

Our environment is organised and has a homely aesthetic that provides children with a sense of comfort and security.  We have a vision to design integrated spaces that incorporate invitations to play.  Invitations to play, provide children with a wide variety of integrated learning opportunities across the curriculum.  Integrated approaches to designing learning enviornments enhance and extend from child's ideas by wrapping the curriculum around it.

We highly value the natural environment and as such aim to decrease our use of man-made materials.  This directly impacts on our approach to souring materials and equipment and we will always be directed toward more sustainable options.

Programs

Our programs empower children to develop skills, knowledge and dispositions so that they can thrive and become successful global citizens.

Our team of educators recognises that each child will learn and develop at their own pace and engage teaching strategies to best support individual learners.  We document an individiual learning program (ILP) for each child that complements our group curriculum.  The ILP is designed so that it can be shared electronically with the child's family and educators, positioning partnerships as the centre of decision making for learning.

The content of our program is guided by the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Victorian Early Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) and is informed by an embedded cycle of planning.  This common language is embedded in our thinking, actions and responses to learning everyday.

  • Notice - to listen, hear and observe children in their play
  • Recognise - to make meaning of what we have observed
  • Respond - to plan for possibilities in learning
  • Reflect - to question the value or outcomes of goals for learning
  • Practice - to apply evidence-based practices and incorporate new understandings in order to advance children's learning and development

Documenting learning is visible in may ways and planning programs that reflect children's diverse ideas and learning needs can occur both formally and informally.

Practice

Our practice is our pedagogy, the way we approach teaching and learning.  Our team adopts a reflective approach towards their practice and have the courage to ask 'why?' in order to challenge the orms of 'everyday' practice.  Our practise is continually reviewed and evaluated in order to ensure our ongoing improvement and it is this approach that drives excellence.

Play based approaches are central to how children learn and therefore providing a context for play and exploration is our priority.  Play provides children with opportunities to learn abut themselves and the world around them.

Our team of educators recognise the importance of intentional teaching and utilise a wide variety of strategies to support each child's learning.  Educators are engaged in intentional teaching and have a clear understanding of what they want to achieve based on their extensive knowledge of the children to ensure appropriate teaching strategies are implemented.

Our educators continually develop and promote their cultural knowledge across the service and work with our families to better understand their diverse cultural identities and incorporate this knowledge within our programs.

 

Play based approaches

Play based approaches to teaching and learning supports children to;

  • Take ownership of their learning by making choices and decisions;
  • Develop and express their identity and sense of self; and
  • Develop their social identity and a sense of where they fit in the world by learning to trust, form attachments, share, negotiate, take turns and resolve conflict.