The Early Years Learning Framework
- Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
- Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
- Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
- Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
- Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators.
National Quality Framework
- Quality Area 1- Educational program and practice
- Quality Area 2- Children’s Health and Safety
- Quality Area 3- Physical environment
- Quality Area 4- Staffing Arrangements
- Quality Area 5- Relationships with children
- Quality Area 6- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Understand that language can be used to explore ways of expressing needs, likes and dislikes (ACELA1429)
- Understand the use of vocabulary in familiar contexts related to everyday experiences, personal interests and topics taught at school (ACELA1437)
- Use interaction skills including listening while others speak, using appropriate voice levels, articulation and body language, gestures and eye contact (ACELY1784)
- Practise personal and social skills to interact positively with others (ACPPS004)
- Participate in play that promotes engagement with outdoor settings and the natural environment (ACPPS007)
- Identify actions that promote health, safety and wellbeing (ACPPS006)
- Cooperate with others when participating in physical activities (ACPMP012)
- Communicates with peers and known adults in informal and guided activities demonstrating emerging skills of group interaction (ENe-1A)
- Responds to and composes simple texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences (ENe-11D)
- Communicates ways to be caring, inclusive and respectful of others. (PDe3)
- Identifies actions that promote health, safety, wellbeing, and physically active spaces (Pde-7)
- Practises self-management skills in familiar and unfamiliar scenarios (PDe-9)
- Uses interpersonal skills to effectively interact with others (PDe-10)
God loves every person infinitely. ‘Life and physical health are gifts entrusted to us by God and it is everyone’s responsibility to not only take care of oneself but also look to the needs of others. (Catechism of the Catholic Church – CCC2288)
Feeling valued and a deep sense of belonging is critical to a child’s success at school and life.
Children need to know they are cared for, that their needs are met, and that they can get help when they need it. When children have these things they develop strong feelings of belonging and inclusion, which improves their mental health and wellbeing.
Children who feel a sense of belonging and connectedness at their preschool, kindergarten, day care or school will be happy, more relaxed and have fewer behaviour problems. They are also more motivated and successful learners.
There are benefits when parents and carers feel a sense of belonging and connectedness too.
Belonging is all about inclusion. When a child has a sense of belonging, experiencing warm and responsive relationships, they thrive because they feel safe, nurtured and valued.
For children and families, this means that we aim to ensure all children have the same education and life opportunities regardless of their circumstances.
- Have a reverse interview with your child’s educator/s. They ask you about your child trying to ascertain as much information about them. This helps educators to employ strategies to support your child with their interests, learning and development catering more specifically to their needs
- Share your child’s interests with your early learning centre or pre-school. Use photos, drawings as well
- Create a collage of your child of them enjoying activities at home, interacting with siblings and other family members and so on. Share and discuss this with your child’s early years educator. Perhaps your child could share this with the other children too
- Sing songs and nursey rhymes
- Read with your child and pay special attention to the sounds of words
- Play board-like games, e.g. matching pairs game (objects, numbers), rolling dice/taking turns, snakes and ladders
- Going to a local playground to interact with children in the community
- Encourage your child to share who they are, their interests and the like with the peers.
Reflect on your knowledge and practice.
Take into consideration the outcomes of the EYLF, Australian curriculum/NSW Syllabus and National Quality Framework (NQF).
Reflective questions for children with diverse learning needs:
- Where have these children come from?
- What are their diverse learning needs?
- What support have they or are they receiving at the moment?
- Where are you taking them?
- What do you expect from them?
- How can you make them feel included and supported, including supporting their families too?
Think about the pedagogy in your learning environment that builds a sense of belonging for children with diverse learning needs.
This is an opportunity to create and maintain a supportive and safe learning environment that implements inclusive strategies that engages and supports all children.
Engage in a learning conversation with parents
Engage in a learning dialogue with parents and carers:
- Is there anything in the video that caused you to think different about children with diverse learning needs?
- How can you include and best cater for students with diverse learning needs?
- How can you get to know a family’s children socially, emotionally and cognitively by asking the family particular questions? What questions could you ask of them about their child?
- How are the children showing inclusive practices towards children with diverse learning needs and what can you do to support this?
- Are there any practices for the support of children with diverse learning needs that families are successfully using that you can apply to your learning environment?
Some ideas for activities to support children with diverse learning needs:
- Circle talk: sharing with one another their interests, happy memories, likes
- A collage of children drawing their interests, happy memories, likes, families, friends, what they do at their school
- Children choose a game or activity and discuss rules and modifications to ensure the game is safe and inclusive of all children
- Children devise a set of expectations or a pledge to ensure all children are included and cared for
- Activities that encourage collaboration and cooperation, e.g. number hunt, making a number book, drawing, writing letters, reading simple books and images togethers and games.