Our Philosophy is at the core of what we practice every day. The Acronym UNIQUE embodies our little community here at Wallsend Community Preschool . We invite you to come and be a part of it and will warmly welcome you and your family.
We have been an integral part of the Wallsend and wider community for over 55 years and have maintained an excellent reputation amongst families and other professionals.
We partnered with The University of Wollongong as 1 of 90 centres in NSW in the FEEL Study ( Fostering Effective Early Learning) which investigated the effectiveness of an evidence based professional development program and the impact this had on educators practices and what outcomes were identified for children in key domains.
In 2019 we began to undertake professional learning to support a mentally healthy generation . Be You is an integrated initiative to promote mental health from the early years to 18 years. Be You is led by Beyond Blue in partnership with Early Childhood Australia and Headspace funded by The Australian Government . Our early childhood service supports the mental health and wellbeing of young children, their families and early childhood educators using a promotion, prevention and early intervention framework.
We were one of 200 services in NSW selected to participate in the Ngroo Sector Development Program . This program used the two way Walking Together Model and combined cultural education training, cultural audit and the development of a 12 month action for our preschool to respectfully engage with the local Aboriginal community to achieve increased enrolments and develop meaningful relationships while breaking down barriers .
Our educators and children are involved in building strong relationships and engaging with our community in many ways . We are currently involved in a pen pal relationship with some of the residents at an Aged care Facility We exchange letters, photos, drawings and stories .
Kylie the Director is involved in a Cluster of Preschool Directors from the wider community . The NSW Community Preschools Cluster Management Trial was an initiative of the NSW Government based on Professor Deborah Brennan’s recommendations. Our participation commitment was 2 years, and now the cluster continues to runs independently over 3 years later. We have also established through this cluster, an Educational Leaders group which meets termly.
Our outdoor environment is lush, with areas for running, nooks for exploring, gardens for planting and growing produce and areas with open ended materials for meaningful play and investigation . We have mature trees, abundant gardens and opportunities for developing an appreciation of the natural environment through the use of our water tank, worm farm , veggie gardens, composting and reticulating stream .
We implement an indoor- outdoor program . This supports and gives educators time to be with and listen to children, explore their ideas and interests, support and extend their play and prompt and provoke deeper thinking and ideas. Our physical space s are one learning environment and our educators set up each space to encourage, support, and challenge children to explore, investigate, problem solve, imagine, create and experiment. Through our All Weather policy , children have access to gum boots and rain coats to play in the rain. Educators also wear gum boots and raincoats.
We supply a selection of in season fruit and vegetables for the children for morning tea . We have a strong commitment to developing and supporting children’s healthy eating behaviours that will be lifelong. In conjunction with our vegetable garden experiences, we aim to work alongside families to provide early positive repeated exposure with healthy foods .
Our staffing team is made up of 2 early childhood teachers ( The minimum is 1 University Qualified) and nearly 70 %of staff have a Diploma Qualification ( The minimum required is 50% ) , with one additional educator currently studying for the Diploma . The evidence from research is very clear in support of children that attend high quality learning programs, characterised by high qualified and engaged educators, achieve better outcomes in terms of their cognitive, social and behavioural learning and development by the time they transition to primary school through the provision of improved learning environments , interactions and sensitive care .
Our team of staff has a very low turnover and is made up of educators with extensive experience in developing respectful, professional and collaborative relationships with the families.