Name and position: Kathy Phipps- Teaching Director and Nominated Supervisor
Qualification: Masters in Education

“Children are miracles.  Believing that every child is a miracle can transform the way we design for children’s care.  When we invite a miracle into our lives, we prepare ourselves and the environment around us.  We may set out flowers or special offerings.  We may cleanse ourselves, the space, or our thoughts of everything but the love inside us.  We make it our job to create, with reverence and gratitude, a space that is worthy of a miracle!  Action follows thought.  We can choose to change. We can choose to design spaces for miracles, not minimums.” – Anita Rui Olds, 1999.

Like Anita Rui Olds I believe that if I create a place of warmth, beauty, security and where relationships are valued it will provide children with the opportunity to play, to enjoy the experiences of discovery and exploration.  For me as an educator this type of environment enables children to apply knowledge, skills and concepts to their world that they will use for life, when they are given the opportunity to explore both structured and evolving natural spaces and take calculated risks that will foster their growth.

Theoretical Underpinnings:

“Learning is seen as a function of ongoing transformation of roles and understanding in the sociocultural activities in which one participates.” (Rogoff, 1994, p.210)

“Here ‘transformation of participation’ means that knowledge is continually enacted through human participation in a changing environment.” (Rogoff, Matusov & White, 1996)

“People change through transforming their participation in sociocultural activities – in which both the individual and the rest of the world are active.” (Rogoff, 1997, p.266)

Name and position: Amanda Spooner – Educator
Qualification: Diploma of Children’s Services

I place a lot of value in providing a nurturing environment for children and families, if children feel cared for and nurtured it supports healthy emotional, physical and mental development and embeds a sense of belonging, self-worth and connection.

I consider play and inquiry-based learning to be essential in the lives and learning of young children and place high importance in play outdoors and spending time in nature which nurtures a deep respect and a positive attitude towards the environment.

Each child is unique and on their own journey, I believe through play-based learning in nurturing environments we can inspire young minds and give them the foundations for life long success.

Theoretical Underpinnings:

“Each child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possible be.” (Rita Pierson)

“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are a part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one unity.” (Maria Montessori)

“Every child is born a naturalist.  His eyes are, by nature, open to the glories of the stars, the beauty of the flowers, and the mystery of life.” (Rita Ghatourey)

“At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair should be messy and your eyes should be sparkling.” (Shanti)

Name and position: Kellie Winter – Educator
Qualification: Certificate 3

In order to recognise how children learn we need to notice, recognise and respond to children’s individual needs.  We need to provide a safe, caring, happy place where children can laugh, play, have fun and where children are free to be children.  We need to offer opportunities (community circles) for children to explore, investigate, create, experiment and participate in learning, and enable children to learn to respect and care for living things.

Theoretical Underpinnings:

“Children’s learning occurs through scaffolding.” (Lev Vygotsky)

“Children learn through their senses; tasting, touching, seeing, hearing and smelling.” (Maria Montessori)

“Children learn by watching and copying people; they learn language and behaviour.” (Albert Bandura)

Name and position: Lisa Thompson – Educator
Qualification: Diploma Childrens Services

My educational philosophy is a belief of early childhood being the foundation for growth.  This begins with authentic relationships in which each child with different needs, strengths, backgrounds and abilities is viewed as capable and is able to be supported to grow and be nurtured.

Urie Broffenbrenner states how early years organisations interact with children will have an effect on how the child grows; the more encouraging and nurturing these relationships and places are, the better the child will be able to grow.

Theoretical Underpinnings:

“This then is the first duty of an educator: to stir up life but leave it free to develop” (Maria Montessori).

“I never teach my pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn.” (Albert Einstein, 1879-1995)

“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.” (Maria Montessori)

“Play is the highest form of research.” (Albert Einstein)

The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.” (Maria Montessori)

Name and position: Kate Heffernan – Educator
Qualification: Diploma in Children’s Services (Release person)

“Our highest endeavours must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.  The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education” (Rudolf Steiner).

As an educator I believe that play makes us happier, healthier and smarter.  I believe that children need security to explore and test themselves and their experiences in a dress free and innovative environment with trusting relationships.  They need to know they can rely on the adults in their lives to provide a sanctuary for them, both while exploring and when the exploring has finished.

Theoretical Underpinnings:

“Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead they should embark together on a journey down the water.  Through an active, reciprocal exchange teaching can strengthen learning how to learn.” (Loris Malaguzzi)

Name and position: Emily Meredith – Children Service’s Support Worker

Name and position: Roger Smyth – Maintenance