ELC Profile

ELC Profile

In 2009 Holy Family Early Learning Centre, Gowrie was the first Catholic preschool to be established in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Our centre has a long tradition of providing the highest quality education for children in their preschool year. Central to this is an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, stimulating and supportive of all families from different faith traditions who support the Catholic ethos of our school. Our preschool philosophy respects the uniqueness of each family, values and builds on children’s interests, knowledge, strengths and abilities through inquiry based learning, intentional teaching and play.

The ELC is supported by the Principals of:
Holy Family Primary School (Mrs Kate Markcrow) http://www.holyfamily.act.edu.au/ 
St Clare of Assisi, Conder (Mr Matthew Egan-Richards) http://www.sca.act.edu.au/ 
Our Early Learning Centre welcomes children from the suburbs of Gowrie, Fadden, Chisholm, Macarthur, Gilmore and NSW. Children residing in the suburbs of Conder, Banks and Gordon may attend Holy Family Early Learning Centre then attend St Clare of Assisi School in Conder.
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) guides the teaching and learning in the ELC and provides broad direction for teachers to facilitate children’s learning. The EYLF consists of five learning outcomes:

1) Children have a strong sense of identity,
2) Children are connected with and contribute to their world,
3) Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
4) Children are confident and involved learners
5) Children are effective communicators

Children’s agency and interests form a strong component of the program. Teachers and educators listen, observe and document these interests in a variety of ways. From these observations, staff interpret the learning and plan accordingly. The team then reflect on their program to ensure goals are achieved. This cycle is continuous throughout the year.

Holy Family Early Learning Centre follows the Early Learning Religious Education Curriculum established by Catholic Education. It is based upon the recognition that children have an innate sense of the presence of God. This approach to children’s spiritual formation is based on creating a sacred space, wonderings and children engaging in biblical stories through Godly Play. The EYLF and Religion Curriculum work harmoniously together whereby children work and play together within an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for each other. Our two preschool rules; Kind Words and Gentle Hands reflect the intentions of both documents.

At the core of our Early Childhood philosophy is the development of the whole child. We place great emphasis on developing social and emotional well-being while encouraging children to develop their own sense of identity. We provide opportunities every day for children to develop their physical skills both gross and fine motor, cognitive and problem-solving skills, creative expression, emergent literacy and numeracy understandings.

Research informed by the Reggio Emilia approach recognises and values the environment as the ‘third teacher’. The environment- the physical spaces hold the potential to influence what and how children learn. Holy Family ELC has a separate and secure playground where the children can explore freely in a safe environment. Our indoor and outdoor spaces are given careful consideration. The children are encouraged to interact with a variety of materials and textures both built and natural to engage in creative play in a multi-sensory environment.

Students in the ELC enjoy many benefits gained from the close proximity to the Holy Family Primary School and Corpus Christi Church. Weekly library sessions, prayer and school assemblies, trips to the infant playground and regular visits from the buddy classes help to create meaningful ties with the primary school. The preschool children also have the opportunity to use the canteen on Wednesday to Friday via online lunch orders.

Parent involvement in the ELC program is encouraged and is central to its success. The ELC Preschool and Care staff seek to develop strong links between home and preschool, and to develop the program in partnership with parents and families. Parents are encouraged to complete our All About Me Booklet before the start of the academic year. Home and preschool communication is facilitated through The Parent Management Committee, Director emails, morning puzzle time, daily face to face chats, Seesaw (a classroom communication app where photos, classroom learning and messages are shared with parents), parent rosters, excursion helpers, scheduled parent/teacher interviews and portfolios. Holy Family Early Learning Centre enables your child to take their first steps into Catholic Education.