We are committed to being the best we can be, respecting our integral role as holistic educators of children as citizens of our community, our world and our planet.
The NT Explorers Way (our philosophy) states that “we are committed to being the best we can be, respecting our integral role as holistic educators of children as citizens of our community, our world and our planet”. Holistic development, as referred to in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), is an approach to teaching and learning that recognises the connectedness of mind, body and spirit. Our educators take a holistic approach by paying attention to children’s physical, personal, social, emotional and spiritual well-being, as well as cognitive aspects of learning.
Whilst our educators may plan or assess with a focus on a particular outcome or component of learning, they see children’s learning as integrated and interconnected. They recognise the connections between children, families and communities and the importance of reciprocal relationships and partnerships for learning. They see learning as a social activity and value collaborative learning and community participation. Our integrated approach to teaching and learning also focuses on connections to the natural world. Educators foster children’s capacity to understand and respect the natural environment and the interdependence between people, plants, animals and the land.
As a citizens of NT Explorers, our educators support our framework that has a vision for children to experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life. We provide educational programs that enhance children’s skills and knowledge, engaging them in a play based curriculum, thus allowing self-esteem and emotional intelligence to be nurtured and supported by committed educators. An approved learning framework informs the development of our educational curriculum which is reflective of each child’s current knowledge, learning and development needs, ideas, strengths, skills and interests. To ensure children’s self worth is identified and supported, educators develop programs that are inclusive of all children and families, where social and cultural backgrounds are integrated, respected and valued. Programs incorporate an understanding of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and all other cultural backgrounds living in Australia and relevant to the group.
We adapt the principles of the Schools of Reggio Emilia, so our educators work in partnership as that of a co‐constructor, researcher, documenter and advocate for children as we believe that children are capable of constructing their own strategies and a toolkit ready for use when they meet their next challenge. Our environments play a particularly critical role in learning and we consider them in the Reggio context also – as the “the third teacher”. We ensure that our environments, and relationships that we build around our children and families, are positive and trusting ones. As children build this trust, their innate curiosity to learn is enabled and positive self-identity built, thus creating optimum learning possibilities
Through our understanding of the EYLF and early childhood theories, our educational curriculum is flexible and responsive to changes in children’s interests and skills. It enhances learning for all children by incorporating a balance of learning experiences, guided by the children, and scaffolded by educators. To do this, educators plan a balance of indoor and outdoor experiences incorporating opportunities for individuals and/or groups of children to work on projects, and areas of interest, over extended periods of time. Opportunities are provided for children to self-manage their decisions and choices, thus taking a lead role in their own development and learning.
The NT Explorers Way also informs the critical educational decisions made for the program. Utilising the documentation collected, educators make quality decisions in relation to educational experiences, appropriate and stimulating learning environments, routines and children’s independent development. Educators capture the children’s learning journey through various documentation mediums. More detailed in formation about this can be found in our Educational Curriculum policy.
The EYLF states that “Families are the primary influence in their children’s lives and also have strong beliefs and values regarding the education and care of their children, and the experiences in which their children should be able to participate. Effective relationships between educators and families are fundamental to the quality of education and care that children receive.” Engaging parents, guardians and significant family members and friends is critical to optimising children’s learning, as it greatly enhances their sense of security and belonging to our community. Sharing home experiences with your child’s educators is a way of communicating your expectations, values and integral knowledge of your child. This platform for collaboration, and more importantly connection, to your child’s home environment is an integral component to the success of the educational curriculum.
The more knowledge our educators have of a child’s extended family and life, the more opportunities we have to support them to thrive through building a greater sense of belonging at NT Explorers. Information about the educational program is displayed in each room and we encourage families to discuss the program and how their child participates, and be involved in the delivery of learning experiences when possible.
To ensure the highest quality, the educational curriculum is developed and implemented by suitably qualified educators in accordance with legislative requirements.