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Early Childhood PK-Y2

Early Childhood PK-Y2

At Newman College we love the uniqueness and energy of small children and we seek to offer a personalised approach to learning in a safe and supportive environment.

We recognise families as our primary partner as we weave an informal and flexible play-based learning approach designed to move a child through a developmental pathway towards literacy and numeracy.

Our program aims to promote the development of children who demonstrate the attributes of autonomy, curiosity, persistence, reasoning, problem-solving, responsibility, imagination and creativity.

Through Kindergarten towards Year 2 our children will transition from wondering about ‘what’ and ‘why’ towards learning ‘how’ to do things.

Nature Play

The Newman College Nature Play Initiative aims to provide students at Newman College with natural, adventurous, engaging play spaces that enhance every aspect of their development and early learning. It aims to encourage our children’s love of nature and learning to deliver benefits in health, cognitive, social and emotional development and build resilience, creativity and environmental stewardship in our children.

Natural play spaces use a blend of natural areas, environmental features and plants to engage and challenge children and encourage them to learn about the natural world around them. Swings, slides and elements typically found in ‘pre-formed’ playgrounds can be included, but natural play spaces focus on also offering ‘unstructured’ activities for learning and spontaneous and imaginative play and problem-solving.

Some of the typical elements of a functional and effective nature play space include:

  • a nature zone (e.g. plants/trees and loose materials like pebbles
  • bark, rocks, nuts, sticks etc)
  • sandpit and digging patch
  • water play
  • outdoor meeting spaces/cubby structures
  • equipment for loco motor development (e.g. balancing, swinging, sliding, climbing)
  • music

Ideas Lab

The Ideas Lab at Newman College is the latest edition to our teaching and learning landscape. Designed to inspire our early learning students from PK – Y2, the Ideas Lab comes from the concept of a ‘Makerspace’. This is a place for children to explore, create and work collaboratively together. It is a community centre with tools that combine equipment, community and education for the purpose of enabling students to design, prototype and create. At Newman College we aspire to grow creative lifelong thinkers. It is not about the teachers having the right methodology to generate an answer, it is about setting up task where there can be multiple pathways to a finishing point. The Ideas Lab is a tangible resource for students to explore these paths for themselves.

Gifted and Talented

At Newman College we believe that all students are entitled to an education that will enable them to develop their full potential, be that intellectual, physical, creative, emotional, or social. We also believe that students should be able to live and develop as well adjusted, autonomous and valued members of society. All students have particular and individual needs, which must be met if these goals are to be achieved. Therefore, it is important that the education of every student be individually planned.

Newman College is committed to providing a sufficiently challenging curriculum for all of its students. In addition, we provide opportunities to identify and in turn nurture those who are gifted and talented. Our Gifted and Talented Program for Years 1-6 delivers educational experiences of an appropriate depth and breadth for students identified as having exceptional academic ability.

The program is specifically designed to provide an engaging and challenging curriculum for gifted and talented students. It provides a learning environment which enables students to work cooperatively with students of similar abilities and interests and access to a range of opportunities to work with more abstract, advanced and complex problems and content beyond the mainstream curriculum lessons.

These opportunities aim to stimulate interest, challenge, inform, excite and encourage high achievement, originality, problem-solving, higher order thinking skills and creativity, increase opportunities for research and student self-directed learning and careful monitoring of individual progress of gifted and talented students.

Program Selection

Newman College utilises a multi-faceted approach to identification. This includes specific plans to seek out students with advanced abilities or advanced potential in order to provide appropriate educational experiences during the transition into adolescence. These identification tools include parent and teacher checklists, cognitive ability tests and reports, critical and creative thinking tests and psychologist reports. The identification process occurs early in the year so that the students can utilise programs that maximise their potential.

Maths Extension Program

Newman College offers a Maths Extension Program for students in Years 1 to 6. Prior to the commencement of each new topic (approximately 3 times each term), all students are pretested to ascertain individual aptitude; the information attained drives future lessons.

Those students who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of their current year’s topic are selected to attend the Maths Extension Program for the duration of that topic. These students are taught an expanded curriculum that is designed to engage them at their level of understanding and knowledge base.

Years 1 and 2 students are withdrawn for 45 minutes per week, whilst Years 3 to 6 students are withdrawn for 90 minutes per week.

The cohort is then re tested to identify growth; with the process then repeating. We have found this process highly successful as students dedicate themselves to attaining entry into the program.

Library

Marian Library is a place where all students are made to feel welcome and are encouraged to grow and learn. The students and teachers love and value their library and use it every day to acquire knowledge and discover literature to read for enjoyment. The library is a safe haven for all students to think, create and share their ideas. It is a hub of learning and a favourite spot to discover new information, to celebrate books and to engage collaboratively with their peers.

The library staff regularly collaborate with classroom teachers to support student learning, providing essential resources in all curriculum areas which supports subject areas school-wide. During library lessons the students examine and respond to a range of literary texts and have the opportunity select stories by their favourite authors and illustrators. The library contains and promotes the best quality children’s literature to engage the students love of books and reading. Essential research skills, using print information books and the World Book online encyclopaedia are also taught to students.

The Library is the heart of the Marian community. It serves as a central space where parents and students are welcomed each morning and afternoon to read and to borrow books. The library also provides information for parents who wish to borrow literature on various  topics such as resilience, self-esteem, death or welcoming a new baby into the family. The library staff are always available to assist parents if they require help or ideas regarding the books and resources they need.

SeeSaw

Parents of primary school students can use SeeSaw to engage with their child’s learning experience. The platform is used by teachers to showcase the work of your child and the work of the class. Think of this as the mechanism to enlighten your understanding of your child’s education. No longer when you ask the question, “what did you do at school today”; will the answer “nothing” suffice. SeeSaw displays images of your child’s work, assessments, tasks and more. It allows parents to interact with this work and with the teachers.