High Fidelity is one of my husband’s favourite movies. When spending time with family and friends, he will quite often ask people for their “Top 5 favourite movies” or “Top 5 favourite songs.” Whilst it isn’t my favourite movie, I do like the conversations it can begin.
And so in our final working week of 2019, I share my “Top 3 Gold experiences” at St Luke’s Catholic Early Learning Centre.
The “Gold moments” idea began as a presentation to share with my Catholic Early Learning Centre and Catholic Outside Hours School Care colleagues at our end of year Professional development days. On these days, each service is sharing their own Gold experiences from this year. I thought this was a timely opportunity to reflect on the experiences at St Luke’s CELC.
- Achieving an Exceeding Rating for our Assessment and Rating in July 2019.
After opening in February 2018, St Luke’s CELC underwent Assessment and Rating in July 2019.
This was the first experience of Assessment and Rating for many of the St Luke’s CELC team members. There was much nervous anticipation and many extra hours spent preparing for our visit and this was rewarded with our ‘Exceeding’ result. This is attributed to and a reflection of the high quality education and care environment that is provided by the wonderful team at St Luke’s.
- Strengthening our links with St Luke’s College to provide high quality innovative learning.
A key element (and point of difference) for St Luke’s CELC is its links to St Luke’s Catholic College which have been further strengthened throughout 2019. Our links to St Luke’s College is facilitated through
– Our program which reflects elements of St Luke’s Pillars of Learning. This reflects a holistic approach to learning and encompasses a commitment to developing the whole person by providing opportunities that cater to the foundations of learning.
– The children at visiting Kindergarten (Early Stage One) on a weekly basis throughout the year.
– The exchange of ideas and professional networking across both settings (St Luke’s CELC and the school.)
– The visionary leadership of Mr Greg Miller to facilitate the formation of a “P to P” (Preschool to Post school) setting for children, families and teachers.
– Being a part of a supportive leadership team at St Luke’s Catholic College. Thank you Greg, Julie, Anne, Michelle and Kelly for your continued support throughout the year.
At St Luke’s Catholic College, children’s learning journey can begin at the CELC and their continuity of experience and sense of belonging to the St Luke’s learning community is supported from this time, supporting them throughout their learning journey.
Partnerships formed with St Luke’s teachers is helping to build continuity of experience for the children, supporting their continuity of experience across the CELC, school of foundations, school of leadership and entrepreneurs and beyond, building the St Luke’s community of learners.
- Extending our reach into the community for families and Early Childhood professionals
The extension of our reach into the surrounding community is evidenced in the increasing enrolments we have experienced over the last 2 years. On 12 February 2018 we opened St Luke’s CELC with 56 families enrolled to attend across the week. To begin our second year on 7th January 2019, we began the year with 83 families enrolled to attend across the week. As we look towards next year, we will be reopening on 6th January with 90 families enrolled to attend during 2020 and this number will increase as we are still finalising enrolments.
Our CELC team of core staff has steadily increased during this time as well. We started with a team of 9 and this has now grown to a team of 13 who work across the week. This includes Early childhood teachers, Diploma trained educators, Certificate 3 trained educators, Trainees, an Administration Officer and Cook. The team has faced the challenges of working together for the first time in a new environment. A shared vision and common purpose has helped to unite the team. This is evident in:
- their building of relationships with the children and families
- The building of professional dialogue across the school settings (the CELC and school of foundations)
- supporting and scaffolding each child’s curiosity and knowledge building via their investigations and project participation
- their advocacy for the rights of the child
- listening to their voice to further support children’s investigative enquiries.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to my wonderful CELC team. Their innovative and creative practices continue to inspire me each day. I look forward to the continued growth and development of the St Luke’s community of learners in 2020.