St Spyridon College to launch new Kinder Minus One program in 2021

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St Spyridon College is making waves with its plan to open a Kinder Minus One “Leading Edge Centre” in 2021, which will prepare young children to enter formal schooling with confidence and success.

The centre will provide a coherent Early Intervention and School Readiness (EISR) program, where teachers will work closely with allied professionals to effectively address children’s physical, intellectual, emotional and sensory needs.

“The information gained from this program will be used by the Junior School teachers to adapt programs for the range of needs, in preparation for entry to Kindergarten class,” Head of College, Mrs Efrosini Stefanou-Haag, said.

“A buddy system between Kinder Minus One children and Year 5 students, and going to church as part of the school’s ethos, will also enhance the child’s experience.”

Classes of approximately 25 children will be educated by a fully qualified classroom teacher and teacher’s aide, who will use learning activities guided by the Early Stage One outcomes of the New South Wales Curriculum.

Children take part in a science lesson at St Spyridon College. Photo provided by: St Spyridon College

“Our Centre will work with the children to develop all the necessary reading, writing, speaking and comprehension skills which will help them have a successful start to formal school,” Mrs Stefanou-Haag said.

“As a Greek Orthodox College, the children will also be introduced to Jesus and His Church, and will learn simple prayers, hymns and traditions.”

When asked about the Centre’s philosophy, Mrs Stefanou-Haag said it is all about seeing ‘the treasure within’ children and following the Reggio approach of early childhood philosopher, Loris Malaguzzi.

Children have fun in an art class. Photo provided by St Spyridon College.

According to Loris Malaguzzi, the space in which children learn is the third teacher as it has the potential to not only ‘promote pleasant relationships among people of different ages,’ but it also ‘sparks all kinds of social, affective and cognitive learning.’

It is for this reason that the new Kinder Minus One “Learning Edge Centre” will be held in the college’s Doran House, which has a flexible learning area via operable walls, as well as a broad front verandah for outdoor activity under shelter.

“Every child is capable and powerful. Every child is driven to explore their world with curiosity and a formidable sense of wonder,” Mrs Stefanou-Haag said.

“Our Kinder Minus One staff will work together with other staff of the College to create an environment for children, and with children, that develops their natural attributes and builds their sense of identity, belonging and self worth.”

Centre enrolments will only be accepted for children aged 4-years-old (on or before May 31), and who will be commencing Kindergarten at St Spyridon College in 2022.

To submit your expression of interest and find out more about the new program, you can visit the college’s website here.

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