"Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!" - Dr Seuss
The National Quality Framework (NQF) is the result of all the Australian State Government working together to provide better educational and development outcomes for children who are using education and care services. The NQF along with relevant representatives have created a set of 7 Quality Standards, which aim to facilitate the improvement education and care in Australia. To facilitate this the Early Years Learning Framework was developed for children 0-5 and My Time, Our Place was developed for children five and up. Each framework has a set of outcomes designed to address all areas of childrens development and growth. For more information on the Quality Areas, Early Years Learning Frame Work or My Time Our Place, please see http://www.acecqa.gov.au.
Our Place implements the framework through our holistic approach to care and education, supported by the development of interactive 'Zones' and self reliant practices, which are each designed to facilitate play and exploration.
Personal Belonging and Well-being
At Our Place we leave our worries at the door with The Worry Tree. We can do this by writing a small note and placing it in on a catchment leaf or by touching our hand to the tree and visualising the worry leaving us and entering the tree. If we want, the Worry Tree can keep these worries forever, it is a very strong tree, or we can collect them at the end of the day and seek the help of an adult. We keep our personal belongings in our bags and hang them on The Fence, we can chose the hook we like most today, our friends respect our belongings and keep out of bags that don’t belong to them. Our Place is a place for dreaming, wishing and growing. If we have a wish or dream that we are not ready to share with everyone, we can write it or draw it on to a piece of paper and drop it in the wishing well. Here it can grow until we are ready to make it come true!
Zone 1 - Common Room
The Common Room is a place to enjoy our own solitude or interact in small groups, develop an interest in literature, explore our favourite genres, do puzzles or play board games with our friends. Portable music players are also available, to provide a sensory escape from the goings on around us. As one of the largest Zones, the Common Room has been designed to provide a comfortable and homely space to be, where personal space is respected and small groups can ‘hang out’ together. This space is unique in that it is open to use at all times and will provide a hub to begin and conclude the day at Our Place.
Zone 2 - Discovery
The Discovery Zone is a place to explore and research our own interests, creating projects and providing space to re-visit topics not fully explored at school. Supporting our natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge, with a range of both modern and traditional methods for researching, even the sky cannot limit our exploration. The Discovery Zone is where the perpetual ‘question asker’ will be most at home, able to follow their lines of inquiry as far as it can take them. Here we will also find the space and help we need to complete our homework tasks, leaving us free to enjoy time with our family later in the evening. The Discovery Zone is a bit like the room of requirement; it is open and contains what ever you need, whenever you need it.
Zone 3 - Creative
The Creative Zone is a place to show our creativity and imaginations, getting lost in the process, not the product. With many mediums at our fingers tips, expressing ourselves will never be more fun! As one of the largest Zones, the Creative area provides ample space to spread out, create and construct anything our imagination desires. We can take our time when creating our masterpieces, as this area is open every afternoon, and projects can be set aside for completion at a later time. In the mornings, limited media will be available for all budding artists, who simply cannot wait to express themselves using a creative outlet.
Zone 4 - Meals and Gardening
A place to share a meal, drink and conversation. Here we develop our self-determination, learn about making healthy choices and how to become self-sufficient. With most meals and snacks being available over an extended period, we serve ourselves, pour our drinks and eat at our own pace. We have the opportunity to participate in the foods growth, by helping out in the Our Place Kitchen Garden and then can continue on through to the meal preparation. Our Place’s reinvestment plan will see the arrival of Chickens, a worm farm and a compost bin, helping us to reduce our global foot print and engage with sustainable practices.
Zone 5 - Active
There is nothing worse then being stuck inside due to weather, buzzing with energy just begging to be released! This is where the Active Zone comes in! It is an enclosed indoor play area where we can run, jump, roll and even get a bit noisy, without having to go outside! Initially we will be able to play with hoops, balls and circus equipment, balance on beams and tumble on mats. Our Place’s reinvestment plan will see this area receive an upgrade in the form of a three level indoor play structure, where we can really test out height limits and expel our energy. Open from 7am to 5:30pm everyday, if sitting still is not our thing, it’s not a problem!
Zone 6 - Dramatic
The Dramatic Zone is the perfect place to develop our interpersonal skills, self-confidence and self-expression, through role-play, drama productions, dance routines and puppet shows. The Dramatic Zone is stocked with all our traditional favorites usually found in ‘home corner’ and all the resources we required to engage in open-ended self-expression. This includes multi-media equipment to produce our own films and record our concerts. This zone is open after breakfast and until 5:30pm. Our Place’s reinvestment plan will see this Zone fitted with its own stage and runway.
Zone 7 - Construction
Build it and they will come! With opportunities to experiment with different construction methods, tools and materials, the Construction Zone is a place to build our dream homes, stage epic battles between clans, build towers and rockets to the moon. With a white board permanently fitted to the wall, we can draw our own blue prints, taking our ideas from conception to construction.
The Construction Zone is positioned within Our Place in such a way that no foot traffic inhibits the way we build, and with ample space it is possible for multiple projects to be undertaken at the same time.