Our Learning Program

A qualified teacher leads a team of caring staff in implementing the learning program. The Early Learning Centre (ELC) aims to develop children intellectually, socially and physically, while meeting their emotional and spiritual needs. The ELC aims to provide an innovative play-based inquiry curriculum designed to cater for each child’s individual learning style and needs. The learning program is based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.

Children will be exposed to a curriculum where they are encouraged to question, investigate and learn about the world around them, preparing them for the transition into their first year of Junior School.

The ELC provides a preschool program within a long day care centre 4 year old children. The preschool teacher is in attendance during school terms and hours. All other times the centre is open, the team leader programs for student learning using the EYLF and in consultation with the preschool teacher and educators.

Children can attend full-time or part-time with the choice of: school hours (8.15am - 2.30pm) or long day care (7.00am - 5.30pm). Please refer to the Fee Schedule: Early Learning Centre Fees 2018

Campus / College Relationship

Good Shepherd Lutheran College has two Early Learning Centres, located at the Leanyer and Howard Springs Campuses. The Howard Springs Campus facilities are new, custom designed and include:

  • Large, open resource-filled learning room
  • Large securely fenced outdoor play space
  • Ample shade
  • Sand / water play areas
  • Separate administration area for parents / staff meetings
  • Spacious, highly functional kitchen area

Advantages of Junior School Location

  • Visit the school library for literacy enrichment
  • Use undercover hard court and play facilities
  • Access to the campus' wireless network
  • Purposeful interaction between Junior School students and the ELC children
  • Attend campus-based Chapels and Assemblies
  • Share curriculum resources between ELC and Junior School
  • Participate in special events such as Book Parades and Athletics Carnivals
  • Access Learning Enrichment teachers

In addition, children will experience a smooth flow into school entry. The ELC is the starting point for a student’s Good Shepherd journey right through to Year 12, utilising the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, together with the EYLF, (ELC then Transition - Year 5), moving through the Middle Years Programme (Years 6 - Year 9 at the Howard Springs Campus) and finally finishing the school journey in Senior School (Years 10 - 12) utilising the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET).

Staffing

College Board

Good Shepherd Lutheran College entrusts the overseeing and general management of the College and the Early Learning Centre to the College Board. The Board consists of Top End Lutheran Parish members and College parents. The Principal, Business Manager and Pastor are non-voting members of the Board.

The College Board acknowledges the Principal as the College’s educational and spiritual leader. The Board’s role is to help the Principal develop a framework of policies for the good management and development of the College. It is the Principal’s responsibility to implement these policies.

Approved Provider College Board
Key Contacts Rachel Boyce and College Board
Nominated Superviser Elizabeth Baff - Head of Junior School
Team Leader Belinda Norfolk
Educational Leader Robyn McMeiken - Preschool Teacher
Educators Rebecca Davis, Kristyn Andt, Shiann Patterson, Sophie Blake

How to Contact the ELC

Good Shepherd Lutheran College:  8983 0300 (during business hours)

Howard Springs ELC - 8983 0380
Head of Junior School: headjunior.hs@goodshepherd.nt.edu.au

Philosophy and Broad Goals of the ELC

College Mission Statement

'With Christ at our centre we equip our students to become flourishing, knowledgeable and compassionate people who enrich the lives of others with a servant heart'.

In the ELC, this is lived out by what we believe:

  • We believe that children learn through play
  • We believe that all children can succeed and are unique, special people created by God. We accept and value children’s cultural differences and abilities, and promote a sense of belonging
  • We believe that children's voice is to be valued and respected. Children’s voice drives our learning environment. Children are free to express and develop their identity and share their feelings and ideas
  • We believe that positive, mutual relationships empower children to be respectful, caring and independent. The dignity of all children is a right
  • We believe partnerships with families, the College and wider community is critical for all children, and accessing resources enables children to explore, enhance and enrich their learning experiences
  • We believe that regular reflection and review is important for continual growth for all children, families and educators. We encourage and are open to children and families contributing and being an active part of our centre

The Howard Springs Early Learning Centre caters for 4 and 5 year old children and is licensed for a maximum of 33 children.  

Staffing ratios are set by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and educators hold appropriate qualifications at our centres.

Being part of a Lutheran College means a Christian ethos flows through the operation of the ELC. It aims to provide nurturing care and engaging learning experiences for children, to the highest possible standard.

Uniform

Children in the ELC are required to wear the College's Physical Education uniform and College hat, available from the Uniform Shop. Shoes need to be secure sandals or joggers. For child safety, thongs and slip-on type shoes are not permitted as students need to be active and able to complete a range of activities safely.  

What to Bring

Spare Clothes

A spare set of 'named' clothes in your child’s bag is needed as children are often involved in water, messy or active activities. These do not need to be College uniform. All items must be named.

Sun Safety

We have a sun safety policy, which requires all children to wear sunscreen and sun hats outside. The centre will provide sunscreen . If a special sunscreen is required for your child it is requested that you provide this.

Food

The Centre provides morning tea and afternoon tea. You are required to pack your child a healthy lunch. Please place the lunch box in the fridge on arrival at the centre. The weekly snack menu is displayed in the kitchen and on the parent information board at the entrance of the centre. Breakfast is not provided, but if brought to the centre will be supervised. Cold water is always available, milk and / or water is provided at meal times.

We encourage parents to make suggestions about our menu including ‘favourites’ children like or recipes that are simple enough for children to help prepare. Healthy lunchbox ideas can be found by a simple search on the internet. The Howard Springs ELC has a 'Celebration Day' on the second Wednesday of each month. This is the only day birthday cakes may be brought in to share. Should you wish to bring a treat on your child’s birthday this needs to be healthy : e.g fruit kebab, fruit cup or similar.

Nut Minimisation Policy

Please note that we have some members of our College community who are allergic to nuts or products containing traces of nuts / peanuts / tree nuts, and so we ask that you don’t send any products into the centre that may contain these.

Home Toys

We ask that home toys stay at home as they can be lost, damaged or misplaced and this usually leads to upset children. From time to time, teachers might request home items to be used in the learning program. If this occurs, items should be clearly labelled and kept in lockers until needed.

The Policies / Procedures and Operating Plan

These are available in hard copy within the centre. They contain valuable information on how the centre is managed and operated. Our helpful staff can also explain any procedure or policies of the centre if preferred.

Communication, Accident Register and Sign-in Book

It is important that parents sign in and out each day to ensure the safety of our children (this is also used as a roll during an emergency) and so that Childcare Benefit can be rebated. Should you wish another adult to sign your child out, the centre requires notification of this in writing.

The communication book and accident / incident folder are located near the sign-in area. These folders are there for your use to make any notations or confirm verbal requests about your child.

Medications

From time to time children may need medication to be administered by staff while at the centre. Only medication that is in its original package with a pharmacist’s label which clearly states the child’s name, dosage, frequency of administration, date of dispensing and expiry date is able to be administered by centre staff.

A medication authority form must be filled out each time you require staff to administer any prescribed medication to your child. It must state the name of the medication, dose required, time to be given and instructions on how to administer it, and MUST BE SIGNED by the parent / caregiver at the beginning and end of each day.

Sickness

If your child has been unwell, please advise staff. As a preventative measure we encourage that children must have 24 hours away from the Centre if they have had diarrhoea or vomiting. If they are sick during the day, we will advise you by phone if they need to be taken home. Children should not attend the Centre if they have a temperature of 37.5c or higher. Please advise staff if your child or other family members have a contagious illness e.g. chickenpox, conjunctivitis etc.

Immunisations

It is the responsibility of the parent / guardians to ensure their child’s immunisations are up to date as recommended by the Family Assistance Office. A copy of your child’s record is required for their file upon enrolment. Children who do not have a complete immunisation record on file at the centre will be treated as un-immunised and sent home if an outbreak occurs.

Emergency Procedures

This centre has an emergency plan for the protection and care of children and staff in the event of emergencies that could affect the centre; such as cyclones, earthquakes or fires. We need you to ensure your contact details are always up to date as well as sign your child in and out each day. Evacuation and lock-down procedures are practised regularly.

Cyclone Warnings

In the event of a Cyclone Warning before 7:00am, the centre will remain closed. If a Cyclone Warning is issued during centre hours, and the forecast indicates 12 hours or less, or NT Counter Disaster Controller requests parents to collect their children, you will be contacted and asked to collect your child immediately. Children not collected within six hours of the cyclone will be taken to a safe place for shelter. Emergency Services will be notified of their whereabouts and also a notice placed on the centre’s door. The College's cyclone policy will be adhered to in such an event.

Guidance

Staff use positive reinforcement principles to guide the children’s behaviour, we offer choices where applicable and do not allow corporal punishment. Parents are requested not to smack their child in the centre environment.

Some ways to guide behaviour:

  • Suggest rather than direct
  • Use praise and encouragement for acceptable behaviour, instead of drawing attention to inappropriate behaviour
  • Give suggestions in a positive form e.g. rather than saying “no, don’t hit” try saying “hitting hurts, try and use your words”
  • Avoid comparisons with older children
  • Understanding the child’s developmental needs
  • When limits are set these should be clearly explained and maintained
  • Try to change behaviour by methods that esteem the child
  • Give guidance when frustration could create a problem
  • Give clear, concise instructions in order to complete a task
  • Give choice (not threats) that have the same end result e.g. “can you do it yourself or do you want me to help”
  • Children’s health and safety are of primary concern at all times

Parent and Family Participation

We welcome parent / carer / family involvement and hope you will contribute in some way to the operation of the centre.

  • Helping on excursions – parents need an Ochre Card and are required to have attended a Valuing Safe Communities workshop
  • Making or caring for equipment
  • Collecting resources
  • Sharing a special talent e.g. music, craft, workplace related
  • Joining ‘Friends of Good Shepherd’ (FoGS)
  • Supplying information about the child's development and interests
  • Working Bees
  • Feedback for policies and procedures
  • Program suggestions
  • Recipes the kids love from home
  • Photos of interests at home or holiday
  • Accessing the Parent Forum on SEQTA to see the weekly happenings

We aim to promote a positive partnership between home and the ELC.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Head of Junior School or any member of the staff should there be any matter you wish to discuss.

We trust that your involvement with Good Shepherd Lutheran College and the Early Learning Centre will be rewarding and that your child’s experiences are happy and ones to be cherished.

We look forward to working with you and your child as they commence their educational journey with Good Shepherd Lutheran College.