Foundations for success guideline for extending and enriching learning for aboriginal and torres strait islander children in the kindergarten year



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4.4 Being a learner
4.4.1 Involvement in learning
A kindergarten child is a confident and involved knower and learner. They build dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity. They apply a range of skills and processes such as problem-solving, enquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating.

A. Planned learning


Educators focus on the following aspects of children’s learning — delight and wonder in the environment and world around them; curiosity, motivation and enthusiasm for learning; the ability to sustain involvement and concentration in play and learning; awareness of useful strategies and skills for learning; desire to find out, research, discover, test, solve problems and consider possibilities; confidence to become involved in and contribute to learning conversations; willingness to pursue interests, carry out plans and participate in ongoing investigations; creativity and imagination in representing thoughts and ideas; ability to generate ideas and solutions, to innovate and invent; and ability to revisit and reflect on the learning process.
As you reflect on your practices, ask yourself:
What do I know about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and learning and how are these incorporated within the program?

Do I model curiosity and wonder in my interactions with children?

Am I listening to and extending on the children’s ideas?

How can I organise the day to incorporate long periods of uninterrupted play?

Do I allow time and space for projects and works-in-progress to evolve over a number of days or weeks?

How could families contribute their ideas?

How could I extend children’s interests and ongoing projects into the community?

B. Pedagogy


Educators intentionally promote this learning, for example, when they build on culturally valued ways of knowing and learning, e.g. through storytelling, visual and kinesthetic learning, relationships and connections. They should provide multiple opportunities for children to creatively represent their thoughts and ideas through the visual arts, music, dance, performance, imaginative play, puppetry and storytelling, and encourage experimentation by adding complexity to children’s thinking and ideas — ‘Perhaps we could try this way?’, ‘Can you think of another way?’, ‘I wonder what happens if we try it this way?’.
Involvement in learning is promoted when educators make connections to past, present and future learning — ‘Can you remember how you did it before?’, and use explicit language to describe thinking processes — ‘That’s a good idea’, ‘Let’s think about that a bit more’, ‘We could solve this together’. They should question children about their thinking — ‘How do you know?’, ‘Can you show me how to do it?’, ‘How could we find out?’ They should celebrate new ideas and creative ways of doing things, and create environments that encourage collaborative and independent learning.
Involvement in learning is also promoted when educators map and document learning for the purposes of revisiting and reflecting with children, e.g. ‘Let’s take a photo so we can remember’, ‘We can write it down’. They should provide reference books, pictures, posters, maps and technologies to support children’s investigations, and ensure that the environment can accommodate creative experiences and ongoing investigations that continue over a number of days. They should involve children in reflecting on their own learning by revisiting documented experiences, and display delight, encouragement and enthusiasm for children’s attempts to gain new skills and knowledge.

C. Documenting and reflecting


Educators look for evidence of children’s learning, such as the following.
In the familiar contexts of family and community, evidence is seen when children demonstrate curiosity, enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning. They use their skills as an observer to learn, and watch carefully what others are doing, imitate their actions and repeat ways of using objects and materials. They look to other children for support in learning, e.g. older brothers, sisters, cousins and friends, and use ‘where’ as an important and frequent question, e.g. ‘where your mob from’, and avoiding questions about ‘why’ or ‘when’. They prefer collaborating with others and achieving collectively. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In new and unfamiliar contexts of kindergarten, evidence is seen when children show interest by listening to or observing others engage with learning materials, and prefer to listen to or watch others discuss and solve problems. They respond to demonstration and modelled ways for exploring materials, and show caution about making mistakes. They contribute their ideas in small group situations with the support of familiar or like-speaking adults. They explore ways to use materials to represent their thoughts and ideas in creative ways with encouragement and support, and make choices about and sustain interest in learning experiences with support. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In the familiar contexts of a culturally secure kindergarten, evidence is seen when children sustain concentration to identify problems and experiment with solutions, and use novel and creative strategies to achieve tasks. They contribute ideas in group discussions, and seek out and organise new learning opportunities individually and with others. They ask questions to enquire about and extend their interests. They reflect and give reasons for their choices. They use books and technology to enquire about topics. They record ideas, share stories and make plans with others, and comment on their own learning, e.g. ‘I’ve got an idea’ ‘I think …’ (Add points relevant to your context.)

4.4.2 Investigating environments
A kindergarten child explores, investigates and connects with people, land, place, time and technology. They transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another and from one time to another. They resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies, and natural and processed materials, and use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking.

A. Planned learning


Educators focus on the following aspects of children’s learning — ability to transfer and adapt knowledge and skills used in one situation to another and from one time to another; interest and engagement in finding out how things work, how things grow, how things move and how to make things happen, including cause and effect; confidence to plan, resource and organise their own learning; interest in investigating the ways ICTs can be used to access information, communicate, entertain, design, compose and create and represent; and interest in and engagement with the traditional and contemporary visual art, craft, live music and performance of the community and the wider world.
As you reflect on your practices, ask yourself:
In what ways do I use the cultural tools of the community to inspire children’s thinking?

What do I know about children’s knowledge of land, place and technology?

Have I considered the sacred nature of children’s connectedness to the land? Are there protocols that need to be investigated before discussing certain aspects of land and place?

Have I consulted with Elders and community members to learn more about land, place and technology within the context of community?

Are children able to represent their ideas in their own ways and are materials always available to support children’s creative endeavours?

Are children’s creative representations displayed respectfully?

What do I know about children’s knowledge of ICTs? Do they know how to use, and have access to, cameras, the internet, mobile phones, satellite, iPads, DVDs and CDs?

B. Pedagogy


Educators intentionally promote this learning, for example, when they build on children’s knowledge of people, land, place, time and technology, e.g. knowledge of local environmental cycles including seasonal change, bush food and seasonal animals, relationships, hunting, fishing, tides, heat, wind, oceans and navigation. They should invite Elders to share knowledge about local features of spiritual significance, and adapt stories, songs and games to reflect local names, places and phenomena, in FLs and SAE.
Investigating environments is also promoted when educators research and become familiar with aspects of the local community and the cultural protocols pertaining to them. They should incorporate opportunities for children to investigate the ways technology is used within the context of community, e.g. mobile phone networks, computers, radio, rock breaking, prawn farming, mining, satellite navigation. They should provide access to computers, software, projectors, lights, digital cameras, scanners, white boards, mobile phones, iPads, keyboards and other forms of digital technology to support learning, and to a wide range of natural and manufactured materials and resources — clay, rocks, pebbles, sand, water, fabrics, palm leaves, feathers, shells, drift wood, wood, fibres, natural dyes and pigments, ochre. They should provide a range of scientific resources to support investigations — hoses, pumps, magnets, funnels, scales, magnifying glasses, wheels, pulleys.
Investigating environments is also promoted when educators incorporate opportunities for children to explore culturally valued artistic representation, material culture and craft, and introduce opportunities for children to work alongside community artists, musicians, craftspeople, performers and musicians. They should provide opportunities to investigate the sounds, smells and tastes of the community and the communities of others, and to explore sound, rhythm and beat through traditional and contemporary music, movement and dance.

C. Documenting and reflecting


Educators look for evidence of children’s learning, such as the following.
In the familiar contexts of family and community, evidence is seen when children show interest in, and ability to watch, repeat and practise, the actions of others to learn. They show an ability to orient themselves within the wider geographic area, and comment on natural phenomena, animals, birds, sea creatures, plants, landmarks, and familiar aspects of land and place. They notice and comment on changes in the environment — seasons, shadows, reflections and the passing of the day. They have experience with a range of digital technologies, e.g. satellite navigation, mobile phones, internet. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In new and unfamiliar contexts of kindergarten, evidence is seen when children, with the support of FL-speaking adults, share their knowledge and connection with the natural world. They show some interest in investigating how things work, and in taking photos using digital cameras, which they show to peers and adults. They follow an adult’s lead to plan, organise and resource their learning and explore ways of using materials and resources. They interact with computers to navigate games, e.g. manipulate the mouse, scroll, navigate the screen, touch the screen, with the support and encouragement of familiar adults. They show interest in engaging with the visual art, craft, music and performance of their community and others. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In the familiar contexts of a culturally secure kindergarten, evidence is seen when children confidently share their knowledge, connection and interest in the natural and technological world. They experiment and demonstrate delight in finding out how things work, cause and effect, and how to make things happen — blowing, pushing, pulling, rolling, sinking, swinging, taking apart and putting together. They apply knowledge learned in one context, time or situation to another, and experiment with ways to create music. They use websites, interactive whiteboards, books, maps and posters to access information and investigate ideas, and a digital camera to record images and voices, and reflect on their own learning. They experiment with colour, line, shape, texture, size and repetition as they paint, draw, sculpt and model using objects, tools and materials in new and novel ways. (Add points relevant to your context.)

4.5 Being a communicator (EYLF Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators)
4.5.1 Language/s
A kindergarten child explores and expands ways to use language. They interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.

A. Planned learning


Educators focus on the following aspects of children’s learning — enjoyment and engagement in communicating and interacting with peers and adults; ability to construct and clearly convey messages that exchange ideas, thoughts, questions and feelings; vocabulary for describing experiences, sharing interests and communicating knowledge and understanding; confidence to contribute ideas and experiences, share information or retell happenings; use of different sentence structures to comment, ask a question, give direction or explain a relationship; awareness that there are different ways to interact and communicate in particular social and cultural situations; skills for listening and taking turns in conversations; and ability to attend to, interpret and follow directions.
As you reflect on your practices, ask yourself:
What languages do the children in the kindergarten speak? Where do I go for support to find out about the children’s first languages?

Do I work with adults who speak the same languages as the children in the kindergarten program?

What strategies and resources can I use to support children’s first language/s development?

What strategies and resources can I use to help children who speak a language other than SAE develop their awareness about and use of SAE?

What are the traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language/s associated with the area where the kindergarten is located?

Where can I go for help with developing a kindergarten program that supports children’s language learning?

N.B. children may experience delays in FL and auditory skills due to the effects of conductive hearing loss. If children appear to have delays in FL compared to their FL-speaking peers, this should be investigated.

B. Pedagogy


Educators intentionally promote this learning, for example, when they know about, recognise and support the development of children’s FL as well as SAE, and work in partnership with first language speaking colleagues, families, Elders and community members to support children’s language learning and traditional language heritage. They should model language and encourage children to express themselves in their FLs and SAE, and respond sensitively to children’s efforts to communicate.
Language is promoted when educators engage in conversations and interactions with children that intentionally include open-ended questions, extension of ideas and labelling of unfamiliar concepts. They should incorporate songs, jingles and rhymes that immerse children in the sounds, structures, patterns and intonation at every opportunity. They should provide ample opportunity for children to speak and listen to first languages and SAE, e.g. during group sharing times, routines and rituals, and throughout play, and respond to children’s attempts and approximations by repeating, modelling and expanding words.
Language is also promoted when educators contextualise shared texts, songs and rhymes to reflect children’s experiences in family and community They should use puppets, familiar artefacts, photographs, pictures and visual supplements to extend vocabulary and promote understanding, and use visual cues to support children’s understanding of verbal information, e.g. stop, look , listen chart, pair of eyes or an ear. They should introduce new words during conversations, familiar routines and shared rituals, and provide games, dance and movement experiences that involve simple directions and instructions. They should make explicit the speaking and listening practices used in group and social situations, e.g. ‘Can I have a turn please?’

C. Documenting and reflecting


Educators look for evidence of children’s learning, such as the following.
In the familiar contexts of family and community, evidence is seen when children notice the existence of languages in the community and the wider world, and use or respond to several languages and varieties, e.g. traditional languages, creoles, varieties of English, e.g. Aboriginal English, SAE, American English. They confidently interact and convey meaning with peers and familiar adults in their first languages, and use non-verbal interactional skills and a variety of signs and gestures. They show understanding of the conventions of social interaction appropriate to their community and home culture. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In new and unfamiliar contexts of kindergarten, evidence is seen when children attend and give cues that they are listening to and understanding what is said to them, and use body language, point, look and gesture to express feelings and communicate understanding. If they are first language speakers, they respond in ways that may seem inappropriate when not able to be understood by others or in comprehending interactions. They use one-word utterances or a short series of single words to convey feelings, needs, ideas and experiences, and answer questions by pointing or using non-verbal gestures. They join in or mimic others in finger plays, songs and rhymes using some word approximations, gestures and related body movements, and take some initiative in communicating independently in conversations. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In the familiar contexts of a culturally secure kindergarten, evidence is seen when children convey and construct messages with purpose and confidence in at least one language. They verbally share ideas and engage in conversations. They listen to the ideas of others during play and small and large group experiences, and listen without prompts to stories, music, discussions. They seek assistance to learn new words, describe experiences and interests or articulate thoughts, and use an increasing vocabulary to describe what they know, think, hear, feel, see, taste and touch. They retell happenings, ask questions and follow simple instructions. They show sustained interest in conversations with others by contributing ideas or sharing information, listen to the conversation of others, and wait for a turn to speak. (Add points relevant to your context.)

4.5.2 Literacy
A kindergarten child engages with multiple forms of literacy that build bridges between family and community contexts and new learning. They engage with a range of texts and gaining meaning from these texts. They express ideas and make meaning using a range of media, and explore symbols and patterns in language. They build confidence and interest in exploring reading and writing behaviours.

A. Planned learning


Educators focus on the following aspects of children’s learning — interest and enjoyment in engaging with multiple forms of literacy including music, movement, dance, storytelling, visual arts, media and drama, technologies and digital media; pleasure and engagement in viewing, listening to and sharing a range of texts, including the oral traditions and stories shared through Elders and community members; confidence to respond with relevant gestures, actions, comments or questions to oral, printed, visual and multimedia texts; awareness of key literacy concepts and processes, including the sounds and patterns in speech, stories and rhymes, letter–sound relationships, concepts of print and the ways texts are structured; understanding that symbols convey meaning and that ideas, thoughts and concepts can be represented through them; and awareness that texts can be viewed from a range of different perspectives.
As you reflect on your practices, ask yourself:
Is this environment saturated in the print, signs and symbols of children’s first languages and SAE?

What opportunities do I provide for children to learn through observation, participation and non-verbal communication?

Have I considered children’s full repertoire of verbal and non-verbal literacies, such as dance, music, symbols, custom, ICT, kinships systems, oral traditions and stories, material culture and art?

Do I know about the songs and rhymes that children sing in the context of family and community?

How can families and community contribute to my understanding of children’s literacy learning?

How could I extend children’s literacy learning in the home?

B. Pedagogy
Educators intentionally promote this learning, for example, when they learn about and build on the literacies children bring from family and community in consultation with Elders and community members. They should read and tell stories, sing and interact with children at every opportunity, and provide FL translations to stories, songs and rhymes written or spoken in SAE. They should allow ample opportunity for children to select, engage with, share and enjoy quality picture and information books, images and multimedia, and provoke children’s thinking about the features of books, stories and websites, e.g. ‘I wonder what will happen next?’, ‘Let’s turn the page’, ‘The end!’ ‘Let’s google it’ ‘I think we need to scroll down a bit further’.
Literacy is promoted when educators draw attention to using print in everyday situations, e.g. ‘Let’s write this down so that we can remember’, ‘This says …’, ‘Look, this is your name!’ They should provide intentional prompts to assist children in recalling stories, e.g. ‘Can you remember when …?’, and talk about letters and their sounds in emerging situations relevant to children’s experiences and interests. They should scribe children’s spoken words, plans and ideas in FLs and SAE and explain that spoken words can be written down and read later. They should acknowledge and value children’s effort and experimentation in their emerging literacy understandings, e.g. ‘What story will we read today?’ ‘This must be your favorite?’ ‘I bet you know what comes next’.
Literacy is also promoted when educators provide multiple materials that support children’s literacy explorations, e.g. books, writing tools and natural and man-made implements, materials, magazines, newspapers, technologies, music, charts, diagrams, maps, plans, recipes and instructions. They should provide special spaces for viewing books and reading quietly together. They should encourage and support families in contributing to their children’s literacy learning, and support children to document and share their experiences, using drawings, written comments or digital technologies.

C. Documenting and reflecting


Educators look for evidence of children’s learning, such as the following.
In the familiar contexts of family and community, evidence is seen when children confidently use and understand non-verbal body language. They read and interpret local symbols of the natural environment, e.g. seasonal cycles, stars and constellations, animals and their tracks. They possess some understanding of the complex relationships in their extended family networks and their own languages and dialects. They repeat patterns with dots, lines, circles in the dirt using sticks or fingers, and recognise familiar logos in the community. They listen attentively to the stories of communities, connections to country, seas, waterways and sky, spiritual beliefs and cultural practices as shared by Elders and community members. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In new and unfamiliar contexts of kindergarten, evidence is seen when children initiate reading experiences by handing a book to familiar adults. They become aware that their name can be written, and locate their name or name some letters or sounds from their names with some support. They interact with texts in a random manner, e.g. flip through the pages, point to pictures. They make personal links to familiar texts, e.g. ‘I got dog’, and make random marks to represent an image or experiment with making marks on paper. They follow sequences of photographs to complete tasks, e.g. washing hands, and enjoy looking though photo collections to recognise themselves and familiar peers and adults. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In the familiar contexts of a culturally secure kindergarten, evidence is seen when children demonstrate pleasure and interest in new and familiar texts and stories. They display reading-like behaviour, e.g. hold a book the right way, turn the pages, pretend to read. They demonstrate interest in using symbols and approximating writing messages during play and shared experiences, e.g. pretend to write emails, letters, notes or signs and contribute to group plans and lists scribed by others. They recognise and respond to print and symbols within the environment and community, notice their name or point to some familiar letters or words. They create random shapes and lines when painting or drawing, and demonstrate an understanding of the difference between writing and drawing. (Add points relevant to your context.)

4.5.2 Numeracy
A kindergarten child engages with numeracy experiences that build bridges between family and community contexts and new learning. They begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work. They build confidence and interest in counting, and explore mathematical thinking, concepts and language.

A. Planned learning

Educators focus on the following aspects of children’s learning — interest in exploring, recognising and making connections between patterns and relationships in everyday situations; developing awareness and understanding of the symbol systems associated with number, time and money; interest in counting, sorting, categorising, ordering and comparing collections, and in predicting sequences and events; developing ability to describe the attributes and properties of shapes, objects and materials; developing vocabulary to convey mathematical thinking and ideas; increasing understanding of mathematical concepts using vocabulary or gesture to describe size, length, volume, capacity, number, position, direction, time and money; and interest in creating and using representation to organise, record and communicate mathematical ideas and concepts.
As you reflect on your practices, ask yourself:
What everyday numeracy experiences can I use to introduce new learning?

In what ways do the children demonstrate their numeracy knowledge in the context of their family and community?

Do the learning opportunities that I plan connect with what the children know?

How can I embed opportunities for numeracy learning across all areas of the kindergarten program?

What do I know about the numeracy concepts in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures?

B. Pedagogy


Educators intentionally promote this learning, for example, when they use numbers spontaneously or in everyday conversations and interactions, e.g. during finger plays, games, songs, rhymes and chants. They should incorporate cultural events, symbols and experiences that involve patterns of repeated sequences, e.g. in movement, songs, art, games, dance, manipulative play, routines and stories. They should draw children’s attention to patterns in the environment such as leaves in sunlight, waves on sand, spider webs, bark on trees, birds in the sky, tracks in the sand, and encourage experimentation with space, measurement, position, sorting and classification.
Numeracy Is promoted when educators provide explicit prompts to help children make abstract connections, e.g. ‘Look at this one — it’s bigger than that one’, ‘Can you see a big one too?’ They should draw attention to and label concepts of difference, such as ‘more’ and ‘less’, ‘big’ and ‘small’, ‘over’ and ‘under’, and numerical symbols in the environment, e.g. calendars and clocks, page numbers in books, number plates on cars, signs and advertising, keyboards, mobile phones, GPS. They should engage children in discussions about symbol systems, such as letters, numbers, time, money and musical notation.
Numeracy is also promoted when educators model the process of counting to solve everyday problems, e.g. ‘How many do you think we need?’ ‘Let’s count together?’ They should provoke thought in children’s everyday conversations, e.g. ‘I wonder if it’s full yet?’ ‘That’s a big one!’ ‘Let’s look under the table?’ They should provide intentional prompts to assist children to recall numeracy ideas, e.g. ‘Can you remember when we counted up to 5?’, and support children’s contribution to mathematical and scientific discussions and arguments. They should acknowledge children’s effort, interest and experimentation with numeracy ideas, e.g. ‘Let’s make a list’, ‘Draw a plan’. They should provide multiple opportunities for children to experiment with the properties of sand, water, blocks and natural materials, and incorporate opportunities to make a whole, take away from, or cut in half, e.g. games, clay, play dough and cooking experiences.

C. Documenting and reflecting


Educators look for evidence of children’s learning, such as the following.
In the familiar contexts of family and community evidence is seen when children use environmental markers to determine direction and position, and make sense and order of their world through kinship patterns and relationships. They mimic counting, e.g. 1, 4, 3, and hold up fingers to indicate ‘how many’ or ‘how old they are’, e.g. ‘I dis many’. They show an acute sense of spatial awareness and an intuitive feel for the surroundings and the objects in them. They understand time in terms of, for example, night time, day time, bird hunting season, bush food picking seasons. They make designs and patterns in play, dance and art. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In new and unfamiliar contexts of kindergarten, evidence is seen when children play randomly with materials and resources. They use gesture to communicate size, e.g. use hands to indicate ‘how big’ ‘how long’, and use modelled language to talk about the properties of shapes or patterns. They experiment with combining objects and parts, e.g. a puzzle, a mobile truck, and attempt to use words to describe shapes, e.g. round, square, star. They imitate adults or other children using money in play, and begin to respond to simple one-step directions to show understanding of position, e.g. ‘Sit on the chair’, ‘Put the rubbish in the bin’. (Add points relevant to your context.)
In the familiar contexts of a culturally secure kindergarten, evidence is seen when children explore, sort and describe the attributes of objects and collections. They experiment in play with mathematical tools, such as rulers, tape measures, calculators, scales and measuring cups, and dismantle, reassemble and combine objects and parts with purpose. They recite number names in familiar songs, finger plays and games. They respond to directions involving position, e.g. ‘over’, ‘under’, ‘on’, ‘up’, ‘down’, and to concepts such as big, small, long, short, high, low, full, empty, heavy, light in play. They recognise some comparative language, e.g. ‘This one is bigger’ ‘I need more’, and use words like ‘long’ and ‘tall’ in simple sentences. They pretend to exchange money in play. They respond to ‘time’ words such as start, finish, begin and end. (Add points relevant to your context.)



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