At Explorers we are inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early education and its principles as a catalyst for excellent practice in the cultural context of Australia. We strive to embrace excellence and foster relationships with the communities in which we live.
Child safety and wellbeing are embedded in organisational leadership, governance, and culture, and we actively reflect on and implement the Victorian Child Safe Standards. We acknowledge the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and provide culturally safe and inclusive environments for children to thrive. We value and promote diversity and inclusion to enhance every child’s sense of belonging.
Children as Citizens
At Explorers, children are viewed as active participants and citizens with rights. We welcome their thoughts, ideas and theories and recognise that their unique and diverse experiences contribute to their questions, curiosity, and wonder.
We uphold an image of the child who is interconnected with others, rich in potential, powerful, competent, and capable. We believe all children are intelligent, have agency and co-construct knowledge in collaboration with children and adults. We listen to children with our hearts and minds and encourage them to participate in decision-making.
We value our relationships with children and nurture them through respectful interactions and environments to explore, experiment and learn.
We recognise the social nature of learning and provide play-based experiences for children. Play is critical and essential for young children’s learning, and we recognise our professional responsibility to ensure that all children engage in rich, imaginative interactions and shared sustained thinking in this context. We recognise children as protagonists and believe they learn and communicate through different languages or modes of expression.
We design curriculum with intentionality, using both adult and child-initiated provocations. We honour children as individuals and group members. We relaunch children’s learning through open-ended questions, thoughtful interactions, and collaborative group research projects. We provide documentation to make children’s learning visible in the social context.
Time is an essential context for children’s learning, and we respect the rhythm of the children during the day. We deliberately and purposefully create opportunities for uninterrupted time to allow children to pause, think, play, and discover.
Explorers have a strong commitment to continuous learning and quality improvement.
Ongoing professional learning for educators is undertaken regularly to ensure that practices are contemporary, innovative, relevant, and exemplary.
Families are the children’s first teachers, and Explorers is committed to developing collaborative and respectful relationships with them. We acknowledge each family’s diverse perspectives, values, beliefs, and aspirations for their children. We honour every family, consider their culture, language, traditions, and lifestyles, and invite partnership, participation, and feedback.
Connecting with the community is an ethical responsibility, and we value relationships with local schools and organisations. We explore the community with the children and discuss essential ideas such as environmental awareness and care for the planet.