Philosophy & Program Statement
At Stratford Cygnets Cooperative Preschool, we follow “How Does Learning Happen?"
This Program Statement is a living document, therefore, will be reviewed and revised annually to reflect our evolving goals. As our staff and program continue to learn and grow so will our Program Statement to reflect those changes.
The 4 Foundations and Goals of How Does Learning Happen?
Belonging , Well-Being, Engagement & Expression
Stratford Cygnets Cooperative Preschool strives to provide a child care program that uses these 4 statements as their foundation for optimal learning and healthy development. The following statements will outline the goals we have in place for each of the 4 foundations and how we achieve the goals set out by the CCEYA.
Belonging – Every child has a sense of belonging when he or she is connected to others and contributes to their world.
Approach to Achieve Goal #1:
At Stratford Cygnets Cooperative Preschool, the children attending develop a sense of belonging through building healthy secure relationships with the teachers and the other children at the centre. The teachers take pride in their relationships with each individual child and family. The children feel like the classroom belongs to them by having a wall within the room dedicated to family pictures and completed projects. The children have the option of taking their creative masterpieces home or hanging them in the classroom. When the children see their artwork on the walls in their space it helps them feel accomplishment and pride. Every child and adult receive a friendly greeting as they enter making them feel comfortable and valued. We welcome parent volunteers into the program and provide them with the opportunity to help with roles that are intricate in providing the children with quality care. Every child is recognized on their birthday with a message in our monthly calendar as well as a special card and present. Our program is inclusive and promotes inclusive practices giving the children hands-on opportunities to share in their learning with others.
Our teachers enjoy capturing play at the moment and documenting it for parents. Through documenting their learning children feel that sense of belonging and are excited to share their accomplishments with parents and friends. Stratford Cygnets Cooperative Preschool hosts a Christmas concert and Graduation ceremony for parents and grandparents to celebrate and share in these exciting milestones. Children will prepare for these events by performing songs and showcasing some of their creative artwork.
Well-Being – Every child is developing a sense of self, health, and well-being.
Approach to Achieve Goal #2:
Stratford Cygnets Cooperative Preschool promotes a healthy sense of self by providing opportunities for children to care for themselves and others in their learning environment. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their health and well-being through independent hand washing. Both Stratford Cygnets Cooperative Preschool and duty parents provide healthy options for snacks in hopes of demonstrating healthy eating and nutritional food options. Both the toddler and preschool staff encourage independence and self-help skill development by encouraging children to pour their own water at snack time, scrape their plates when they are finished snack, and place their dishes in the dirty bin. Duty parents have a unique opportunity of working with their children to plan and prepare nutritional snack options for their classmates. We offer opportunities to participate in yoga and mindfulness and have proven to be a successful addition to our early learning environment.
Empathy is encouraged and practiced openly in all of our programs. Being able to understand another child’s perspective is a lifelong skill that we are dedicated to reinforcing. We follow the Perth District Health Unit’s exclusion policy to help maintain a healthy environment for all.
Engagement – Every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind, and senses.
Approach to Achieve Goal #3:
We offer a play-based, child-directed program designed in a way to offer to learn choices to children. By offering children choices we are promoting autonomy and independence. There are many opportunities for open-ended, engaging, and inquiry-based activities where the children can use their imaginations and senses to explore their environment. The children have many invitations to engage with their peers helping them learn about themselves and the world around them. We encourage the children to use the materials provided in a way that is meaningful to them, therefore, encouraging them to be fully invested in their own learning experiences. Teachers are moving around the classroom stepping in to scaffold the learning and expand on the opportunity to learn more about a topic the children are interested in. The teachers use iPads and communication tools such as Brightwheel to document the play and learning.
Expression – Every child is a capable communicator who expresses himself or herself in many ways.
Approach to Achieve Goal #4
Every child is encouraged to express themselves. We believe every child is a capable communicator in their very own way and stress the importance of seeing each child as an individual. The staff model appropriate communication skills with each other, parents, visitors, and the children throughout the program time allowing the children to observe effective communication. We make the children feel comfortable and ensure they view the preschool as an extension of the home, therefore, allowing them to feel safe sharing their home lives with us. Our staff talks to each family at pick up and drop off allowing time to share special moments about their child’s day. Our children are encouraged to use their words to express themselves in situations where they are experiencing many emotions. We have open dialogue during snack time where the children are supported in expressing their feelings about how their day is going and allowing everyone to have a turn to speak and listen. Stratford Cygnets Cooperative Preschool believes that we encompass the 4 foundations in everything we do at Preschool. We understand that children need opportunities to explore the world around them in their own way making their learning experiences as unique as they all are. We foster and support their individual needs allowing every child to reach their potential.