History of Elsa MacLeod

Elsa MacLeod Kindergarten has been educating and caring for ‘the youngest children of the oldest town’ for three generations since it was officially opened in 1962. It is named after Elsa MacLeod, to commemorate her tireless efforts in establishing Portland’s first kindergarten.

Elsa MacLeod was the first president of the Portland Pre-School Play Group, which opened in 1947. She was a theatrical performer in Perth before she married Hugh MacLeod, who was the Mayor of Portland from 1946 to 1948. She was involved in the Red Cross and served as the District Commissioner for Girl Guides for many years. In 1956, Elsa MacLeod commenced leadership of a lengthy campaign to found a first-rate kindergarten in Portland. This was achieved with the support of the Portland Apex Club, who assisted the committee in selecting and establishing the site on which our kindergarten continues to educate pre-school children today.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide every child with a quality early childhood education experience. We are committed to teaching and learning through play where children feel safe, secure and respected.

Our Vision

At Elsa MacLeod Kindergarten, we offer educational experiences that are personalised to the student cohort.  Our kindergarten program promotes engaged and inclusive learning based on The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) and Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF). At the core of these frameworks are the key concepts of ‘Belonging, Being and Becoming’, which provide the foundation of our principles, practices and learning outcomes and guide our curriculum decision-making. Our aim is to extend and enrich children’s learning and ensure our students transition smoothly to primary school education and develop a solid foundation for future success in learning and life.

Our Values

  • Each child has unique interests and strengths and the capacity to contribute to their communities.
  • Children are citizens from birth with civil, cultural, linguistic, social and economic rights.
  • Effective learning and teaching is characterised by professional decisions that draw on specialised knowledge and multiple perspectives.
  • Partnerships with families and communities support shared responsibility for children’s learning, development and wellbeing.
  • Democratic, fair and inclusive practices promote equity and a strong sense of belonging.
  • Respectful, responsive and reciprocal relationships are central to children’s education and care.
  • Play and leisure are essential for children’s learning, development and wellbeing.
  • Research, inquiry and practice-based evidence inform quality education and care.