News and events
Monday 5 March 2018
Globe Wilkins Preschool awarded 'Excellent' rating
The Inner West Council’s Globe Wilkins Preschool has been awarded the highest possible rating from the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).
“We all know that early childhood education makes more difference to children’s life chances than anything else,” said Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne.
“The kids at Globe Wilkins are literally receiving the best start to their education of any group of children across Australia.
“The awarding of the Excellent rating is a really impressive endorsement of Council’s children’s services.
“Congratulations to Globe Wilkins Preschool teachers and educators, who are obviously embracing continuous professional learning and development,” added Mayor Byrne.
This year, the centre is recognised for:
• Collaborative partnerships with professional, community and research organisations.
• Commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin and practice.
• Creating environments that deeply enhance children’s learning and growth.
• An oath, and a commitment to embedding and nurturing strong connections to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture into the service’s practices and programs.
• Employing an Aboriginal educator to foster and reinforce a sense of cultural identity and to provide a strong Aboriginal role model while learning in an authentic way.
• A strong commitment from the preschool staff to engage with our community and to advocate for the rights of the child.
Gabrielle Sinclair, CEO of ACECQA, said Globe Wilkins Preschool “has shown exceptional practice in a number of areas, including the way it respects, reflects and celebrates diversity through its culturally safe learning environment”.
The Excellent rating is the highest rating an education and care service can achieve under the National Quality Framework, which was first introduced in 2012.
Currently in NSW, only 13 services are rated Excellent. The Excellent rating is awarded for up to three years if the service continues to meet the requirements.
The presentation is at Globe Wilkins Preschool, Wilkins Public School, McRae Street, Marrickville, on Tuesday 6 March at 10am.
Guests will include Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne, ACECQA Manager of Educational Leadership and Excellence Michelle Hilton-Moon, and Senior Officer, Educational Leadership & Excellence at ACECQA, Sofie Sega.
Cooks River Kids (CRK)
The Cooks River Kids (CRK) program is an outdoor classroom set on the Cooks River and is a part of the May Murray Early Learning Centre curriculum. It began in October 2015, taking children down to the river for half a day twice a week. The program runs from April to October and offers the opportunity for children to engage with, learn from and care for nature. As well as engaging in open ended, risky play on the boulders, trees and grass, children investigate, hypothesise and develop solutions for sustainability and contribute to the environment they are a part of.
The CRK have also established a garden that they weed, water and maintain on every visit. They notice changes in the environment; investigate them, discuss them, draw them and create play around those changes. The CRK is a place to imagine, engage, learn and develop relationships. From the ‘pirate ship’, ‘magic forest’ and the native fauna that visit, children are connected to the land. At the story poles they acknowledge the land and to quote one child from the CRK, “We belong to the Cooks River, and The Cooks River belongs to us.”
In 2016 the CRK were awarded the Neil Rankin award. It is a prestigious award that recognises a community group/individual’s contribution to the sustainability of the environment and the Cooks River. This level of environmental awareness and advocacy is conducted with community collaboration that continues to sustain the CRK and its purpose of education, community and sustainability.
Exploring Callan Park
Our intention with the excursion to Callan Park (and future excursions) was to provide children with an environment where they could effectively learn outside the service, to take supervised risk, be pushed out of their comfort zone and be faced with problems that they had to overcome, and where the children could engage in play that involves and immerses them.
One of the key benefits for learning outside the classroom is the opportunity for children to learn about risks for themselves (David Gill 2010). Providing opportunities for children to explore and experience the natural environment allows for these learning moments to occur, whether it be balancing on the roots of a tree or figuring out how to climb over or through a tree trunk. These are the moments where children are able to build on their skills in being resilient, test out their capabilities and manage risk and their willingness to try new things.
Risk taking is integral to early childhood education, it allows for children to develop, build and strengthen their skills in taking responsibility for their own safety which benefits them in their later life. This is highlighted in the Early Years Frame Work in outcomes 1, 3 and 4 as children become decision makers and taking considered risks and approaching new situations with confidence (p.22, 31).