Curriculum Development

Curriculum Development Policy

Best Practice – Quality Area 1

Purpose

This policy will provide guidelines to ensure that the educational program (curriculum) and practice at Elsa Macleod Kindergarten is:

  • based on an approved learning framework
  • underpinned by critical reflection and careful planning
  • stimulating, engaging and enhances children’s learning and development.

Policy statement

1.   Values

Elsa Macleod Kindergarten is committed to:

  • providing an educational program that is based on reflective practice, critical analysis and planning
  • supporting each child to achieve learning outcomes consistent with the national Early Years Learning Framework and/or the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (refer to Sources)
  • providing an educational program where children can learn through play and are supported to make decisions, problem-solve and build relationships with others
  • creating an environment that supports, reflects and promotes equitable and inclusive behaviours and practices
  • involving families in the development and review of educational program and practice.

2.   Scope

This policy applies to the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, Certified Supervisor, educators, staff, students on placement, volunteers, parents/guardians, children and others attending the programs and activities of [Service Name].

3.   Background and legislation

Background

The Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law) requires services to deliver an educational program (curriculum) that is based on an approved learning framework. In Victoria, approved learning frameworks for the early childhood sector are the Early Years Learning Framework (Belonging, Being & Becoming) (refer to Sources) and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (refer to Sources). These documents are underpinned by practices and principles that encourage reflection and provide educators with a thorough understanding of the pedagogy of early childhood curriculum in a contemporary context.

Part 4.1 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 (National Regulations) outlines the operational requirements for educational program and practice within services, including the requirements for documentation of assessments in relation to the educational program. There is no prescribed method in the National Law or National Regulations for documenting assessment of children’s learning. Each service must determine a method that suits their individual circumstances. To meet the documentation requirements of the National Regulations, the assessment must include an analysis of children’s learning. Collecting this information enables educators to plan effectively for each child’s learning and development. It can also be used by educators to stimulate reflection on their own values, beliefs and teaching practices, and to communicate about children’s learning with children and their families.

The National Regulations requires the appointment of an Educational Leader to lead the development and implementation of the educational program (or curriculum) at the service (Regulation 118). This person will have suitable qualifications and experience, as well as a thorough understanding of the Early Years Learning Framework and/or the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, enabling them to guide other educators in planning and reflection, and to mentor colleagues in implementation practices (Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations, p85 – refer to Sources).

The National Quality Standard is linked to the approved learning frameworks. Quality Area 1: Educational Program and Practice focuses on “enhancing children’s learning and development through the:

  • pedagogical practices of educators and co-ordinators
  • development of programs that promote children’s learning across five learning outcomes”
    (Guide to the National Quality Standard, p20 – refer to Sources).

The educational program must also be underpinned by the service’s philosophy.

Legislation and standards

Relevant legislation and standards include but are not limited to:

  • Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010: Sections 168, 301(3)(d), 323
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011: Regulations 73–76, 118, 148
  • National Quality Standard, Quality Area 1: Educational Program and Practice

–    Standard 1.1: An approved learning framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child’s learning and development

–    Standard 1.2: Educators and co-ordinators are focused, active and reflective in designing and delivering the program for each child

4.   Definitions

The terms defined in this section relate specifically to this policy. For commonly used terms e.g. Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, Regulatory Authority etc. refer to the General Definitions section of this manual.

Approved learning framework: A document that outlines practices that educators and co-ordinators must use to support and promote children’s learning. The Early Years Learning Framework (Belonging, Being & Becoming) and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework are approved learning frameworks for use in Victoria (refer to Sources).

Critical reflection: Reflective practices that focus on implications for equity and social justice (Early Years Learning Framework, p45 – refer to Sources).

Curriculum: All interactions, experiences, activities, routines and events, planned and unplanned, that occur in an environment designed to foster children’s learning and development (Early Years Learning Framework, p45 – refer to Sources; adapted from Te Whariki).

Each child: A phrase used in the National Quality Standard when an individualised approach is warranted and educators are required to modify their response to meet the needs of an individual child. An example is ‘each child’s current knowledge, ideas, culture and interests provide the foundation for the program’.

Educational Leader: The Approved Provider of an education and care service must designate, in writing, a suitably qualified and experienced educator, co-ordinator or other individual to lead the development and implementation of educational programs at the service (Regulation 118). This person must have a thorough understanding of the Early Years Learning Framework (or other approved learning framework), be able to guide other educators in their planning and reflection, and mentor colleagues in the implementation of their practice.

Learning: A natural process of exploration that children engage in from birth, as they expand their intellectual, physical, social, emotional and creative capacities. Early learning is closely linked to early development.

Learning framework: Refer to approved learning framework above.

Learning outcome: A skill, knowledge or disposition that educators can actively promote in early childhood settings, in collaboration with children and families.

Learning relationships: Relationships that further children’s learning and development. Both adult and child have intent to learn from one another.

Play-based learning: A context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social world as they engage actively with people, objects and representations.

5.   Sources and related policies

Sources

Service policies

Procedures

The Approved Provider is responsible for:

–    developing a strong sense of identity

–    being connected with, and contributing to, his or her world

–    having a strong sense of wellbeing

–    being a confident and involved learner

–    being an effective communicator (Regulation 73)

  • designating a suitably qualified and experienced Educational Leader to direct the development and implementation of educational programs at the service (Regulation 118)
  • ensuring the staff record includes the name of the Educational Leader at the service
    (Regulation 148)
  • ensuring that the service’s philosophy guides educational program and practice
  • ensuring that assessments of the child’s developmental needs, interests, experiences and participation in the educational program are documented (Regulation 74(1)(a)(i))
  • ensuring that assessments of the child’s progress against the outcomes of the educational program are documented (Regulation 74(1)(a)(ii))
  • ensuring documentation of assessments includes reflection on the period of time the child is at the service, and how documented information will be used by educators at the service (Regulation 74(2)(a)(i)&(ii))
  • ensuring documentation is written in plain language and is easy to understand by both educators and parents/guardians (Regulation 74(2)(b))
  • ensuring a copy of the educational program is displayed at the service and accessible to parents/guardians (Regulation 75)
  • ensuring that parents/guardians are provided with information about the content and implementation of the educational program, their child’s participation in the program and documentation relating to assessments or evaluations of their child (Regulation 76)
  • developing and evaluating the educational program in collaboration with the Nominated Supervisor, educators, children and families.
  • ensuring that the educational program is stimulating and engaging, enhances children’s learning and development, and is based on an approved learning framework (refer to Definitions)
    (Section 168)
  • ensuring the developmental needs, interests and experiences, and the individual differences of each child are accommodated in the educational program (Section 168) (refer to Inclusion and Equity Policy)
  • displaying a copy of the educational program at the service in a location accessible to parents/guardians
  • ensuring that each child’s learning and development is assessed as part of an ongoing cycle of planning, documentation and evaluation
  • ensuring that there is a record of learning and development for each child, and that it is updated and maintained on an ongoing basis
  • developing and evaluating the educational program in collaboration with the Approved Provider, educators, children and families
  • ensuring regular communication is established between the service and parents/guardians in relation to their child’s learning and development.
  • delivering an educational program that is stimulating and engaging, enhances children’s learning and development, and is based on an approved learning framework (refer to Definitions)
  • considering the developmental needs, interests and experiences, and the individual differences of each child in the educational program (refer to Inclusion and Equity Policy)
  • assessing and documenting each child’s needs, interests, experiences, participation and progress in relation to the educational program in a way that is easy to understand for parents/guardians
  • making information available to parents/guardians about their child’s participation in the educational program
  • communicating regularly with parents/guardians in relation to their child’s learning and development
  • developing and evaluating the educational program in collaboration with the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, children and families.
  • communicating regularly with the service in relation to their child’s learning and development
  • providing input to the development of the educational program in collaboration with the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, educators and children.

The Nominated Supervisor is responsible for:

Certified Supervisors and other educators are responsible for:

Parents/guardians are responsible for:

Volunteers and students, while at the service, are responsible for following this policy and its procedures.

Evaluation

In order to assess whether the values and purposes of the policy have been achieved, the Approved Provider will:

  • regularly seek feedback from everyone affected by the policy regarding its effectiveness
  • monitor the implementation, compliance, complaints and incidents in relation to this policy
  • keep the policy up to date with current legislation, research, policy and best practice
  • revise the policy and procedures as part of the service’s policy review cycle, or as required
  • notify parents/guardians at least 14 days before making any changes to this policy or its procedures.

Attachments

Nil

Authorisation

This policy was adopted by the Approved Provider of Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc in June 2013

Review date:    June 2019