The Early Years Curriculum Guidelines (EYCG) provides teachers with a framework for interacting with children, and planning, assessing and reflecting on an effective Preparatory Year curriculum.
The guidelines are based on active learning for children through real-life situations, investigation and play. They incorporate descriptions of 4 early learning and development phases to help teachers to monitor children's progress and preparedness for Year 1.
Social & Personal Learning
The focus in Social & personal learning has two dimensions. The social learning dimension focuses on building children’s awareness of being members of many social groups, including family, cultural and community. In this area, learning experiences contribute to developing children’s abilities to respect and cooperate with other people.
Social learning develops understandings, capabilities and dispositions related to constructing understandings about social and cultural identities and sustaining relationships.
The personal learning dimension focuses on developing children’s positive identity, self-esteem, resilience, personal organisation and independence as they interact successfully with others and their learning environments.
Health & Physical Learning
The focus in Health & physical learning is on gross- and fine-motor development, and making healthy choices to foster a sense of wellbeing in children. In this area, learning experiences contribute to developing children’s positive health choices and movement skills as they interact successfully with others and their learning environments.
Language Learning & Communication
The focus in Language learning & communication is on spoken language and early literacy. In this area, children construct, communicate and interpret meanings for a range of purposes and in a range of contexts as they speak & listen, read & view and write & shape. While Standard Australian English (SAE) is used and explored in the early years curriculum, children’s home languages are also valued and included in the program.
In the Preparatory Year, language experiences involve children in learning about the purposes for using language, the patterns (grammatical structure) and conventions (expected practices in particular contexts) of language, the concepts of print, phonemic awareness and alphabetic knowledge.
Early Mathematical Understandings
The focus in Early mathematical understandings is on children investigating their environment and communicating their mathematical ideas. In this area, children develop those mathematical understandings that are the foundations for future success in mathematical thinking. Early mathematical understandings promote children’s developing understandings, capabilities and dispositions related to number, patterns & algebra, measurement, chance & data and space.
Active Learning Processes
The focus in Active learning processes is on thinking, investigating, imagining and responding. In this area, children develop investigative processes, positive dispositions towards investigating, and understandings about natural, built, social, technological and virtual environments. Children also develop their abilities to express ideas creatively using a variety of experiences, media and artistic forms related to dance, drama, media, music and visual arts.
Thinking processes are embedded in all early learning areas. Teachers need to consider explicitly what types of thinking are included in learning experiences when planning for, interacting with, monitoring and assessing, and reflecting on learning across the curriculum.
Some important thinking processes evident in the learning statement overviews include inquiring, exploring, investigating, challenging, planning, evaluating, considering alternative strategies/ways, analysing, reflecting, predicting, designing and comparing.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) is also embedded throughout the early learning areas. Examples of how teachers can plan ICT learning experiences are included in the learning statement overviews.
This curriculum recognises how significant high-quality early childhood education programs can be in children’s lives. The EYCG reflects extensive research showing that early childhood programs encouraging active learning, problem solving, effective communication, creativity, social adjustment and participation benefit children’s long-term success in education and citizenship.
The curriculum recognises the diversity of experiences and relationships that shape children’s lives. Queensland is a highly decentralised state where children may experience life as members of urban, rural, remote and/or mobile local communities. Within these communities, many children also experience changing patterns of family life and multiple care experiences, bringing them into contact with various social and cultural practices. In addition, local communities are situated within wider communities and shaped by global trends. The preparatory curriculum acknowledges that, by the time children enter the
Preparatory Year, their development will already be influenced by many complex and interacting factors.