St Nick's Kids enjoy framing their own experiences
St Nicholas Early Education at Lochinvar only opened recently, but already visitors to the centre can see the ingenuity and creativity of both the children and their educators on display. There are fairy gardens set up outside windows and three-year-olds solving the problem of how to retrieve dinosaurs from hard to reach places.
Educator Amanda Mamero has also introduced a fantastic idea in the Turumpul room – a community camera.
“We are using a digital camera to create a link between preschool and home which supports the Early Years Learning Framework Curriculum. When we link children’s care with their homes we strengthen that relationship, which benefits the children,” said Amanda.
The children take the camera home and take their own photos capturing their weekend or holiday adventures.
“When the child brings the camera back they participate in a ‘show and tell’ for the rest of the class, displaying the images they’ve taken on our smart TV. This helps the children become more familiar with each other, to recognise similar interests and, best of all, builds a sense of community, identity and belonging,” explained Amanda.
Children also participate in printing the photos, cutting them out and sticking them in a special community camera book. They then write about their photos and decorate the pages.
“By encouraging the children to talk and write about their photos we are helping them build confidence and a sense of ownership, as well as enhancing their school readiness skills. They are really loving being able to frame their own experiences by deciding what photos to take and how to display them in the book,” said Amanda.
Urie Bronfenbrenner, a developmental psychologist famous for his ecological systems theory of child development, is a key influencer of pedagogy at St Nicholas Early Education. Amanda has drawn on his contribution to quality early education by conceiving the Turumpul Community Camera. Bronfenbrenner said it best:
“There should be a positive link between a child’s home and learning environment. The more nurturing and supportive these interactions and relationships are within the child’s community, the more the child’s development is fostered.”