"Pausing to listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping to watch a ladybug on a plant, sitting on a rock to watch the waves crash over the quayside - children have their own agendas and timescales. As they find out more about their world and their place in it, they work hard not to let adults hurry them. We need to hear their voices." ~ Cathy Nutbrown
Our inquisitive and busy group of Hungry Caterpillars range in age from 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 years and we utilise primary care groups. So throughout the day the children are playing and working in smaller groups. We have found that our smaller group environments support optimal educational and relationship outcomes for our children. In early 2020 we began operating our oldest 2 groups as a "community of learners", so the Hungry Caterpillars and Fox in Sock children share their learning and play spaces. This initiative has had enormous and ongoing benefits for children and teachers with the children having access to a wide variety of learning and play spaces as well as relationships with older and younger children. There is a magical sense of community with this group!
At this stage children begin to have a greater understanding of social skills and are developing a much greater sense of independence and what they are capable of. Our educators model communication strategies to support children to initiate interactions and join in play and social experiences in ways that sustain positive relationships with other children. Learning environments are organised in ways that promote small group interactions and play experiences.
The children are also starting to follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm and concentration. Our educators listen carefully to children’s ideas and discuss with them how these ideas might be developed. Opportunities are provided for children to revisit their ideas and extend their thinking. Children are involved in all decisions regarding their community and their rights are highly regarded at all times. Their active participation in their own planning is embedded in the floorbooks approach used within the groups, documentation which is treated as very sacred and special by children and teachers.
Play is the method through which children learn, develop and acquire skills and knowledge. Our educators provide many and varied opportunities to engage in play in all of its forms with freedom to explore and experiment which ensures that your child has the opportunity to develop to their full potential in all areas.
Our Curriculum page contains further information about the framework and the documentation of children’s learning at NT Explorers.
There is ample indoor space spread across 4 different sized rooms (fully air-conditioned) and a large verandah space. The children also love our beautiful large grassy playground and outside exploration spaces.
There are 5 permanent Educators that make up our wonderful Hungry Caterpillars team. Our Lead Teacher is Ella (also our centre 2IC), who holds a Diploma qualification and 13+ years experience working with all ages and has been working at NT Explorers for 4+ years. Our other wonderful room educators are; Linda who is Bachelor qualified teacher with 13 years experience including teaching in an international school; Pracilla who holds a Certificate III in Early Childhood, 10+ years experience working with all ages and been with the centre for 3.5yrs; Kriss- Diploma, 11+ years experience working with all ages, working at NT Explorers for 5 years; and David who holds a Diploma qualification with 11+ years experience in early childhood. David have been working at NT Explorers since we opened in 2013!
Children's learning and development is documented daily and includes information about children’s thinking, understandings and interests, evidence of creations, interactions and conversations, friendships and relationships, and developmental milestones. This information is summarised in an eBook that is provided to families at the end of each Term. Children’s progress is referenced against the Learning Outcomes set out in the Early Years Learning Framework. Photos are displayed throughout the room of activities and experiences that have been enjoyed at the centre.
Detailed records are kept each day to relay to families and include sleep/rest times, toileting information and food and fluid intake.