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Kinder students thrive in age-specific programs

PARTICIPATION in early childhood education is on the rise in Australia with more than 1.3 million children attending approved early childhood education services last year, an increase of 67 per cent over the past decade.

Gippsland Grammar Early Learning Centre Director Lisa Burgess said this increase reflects a greater understanding of the importance of early childhood education.

“Studies show these early years are crucial for intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth,” Mrs Burgess said. “In fact, 90 per cent of brain development occurs in the first five years of a child’s life so the opportunities and experiences we provide for a child really do matter.”

During October Gippsland Grammar’s two ELC’s celebrated Early Learning Matters Week (Oct 17-21), which is a national celebration of the importance of high-quality, play-based early learning. This year’s theme is ‘Learning Through Play’, which helps children to both learn and thrive, and is a central focus of Gippsland Grammar’s ELC programs.

“At the ELC the children are immersed in an environment which provides plenty of experiential early literacy and numeracy experiences, a mix of adult and child-directed learning, as well as opportunities for open-ended interest-based exploration,” Mrs Burgess said.

ELC student Bonny develops independence and confidence by learning how to put away her bag and lunch when she arrives at the ELC each day; and three-year-old kinder students Xavier and Henry learn through play while pretending to be firefighters.

Mrs Burgess said the two distinct ELC programs are targeted specifically to either the three or four-year-old age groups.

“At the ELC we know the needs of a three year old are very different to those of four and five year olds, which is why we run age-specific groups that cater for each child’s unique level of development,” Mrs Burgess said. “Highly-skilled teachers and educators and our small group sizes ensures that each child’s needs are supported right from the beginning.

“And there are key things that children need to learn when they are three years old and just starting their educational journey, as opposed to when they are four years old and are preparing for starting school,” Mrs Burgess said.

“For example, children in our three-year-old Reception program are learning independence, gaining confidence, developing key social skills, developing speech and language and establishing the key fundamentals of literacy and numeracy. We know that, guided by educators who are experts with this age group, our three year olds thrive without being overwhelmed by older children in the same group.

Gippsland Grammar Bairnsdale Campus’s three-year-old program teacher Sommer-Lea Collins said Term 4 is a satisfying time to reflect on how far the School’s youngest students have come throughout the year.

“This year has been challenging for some of our three-year-old students as they have had limited access to social activities due to the pandemic,” Mrs Collins said. “But the children have shown remarkable resilience in learning to become independent and it is a delight to see them excited to unpack their bags, ready to participate in a day full of stories, songs, creative and physical play.”

Bairnsdale Campus ELC educator Sommer-Lea Collins with three-year-old kinder students Henry, Xavier and Hannah.
Bairnsdale Campus ELC educator Sommer-Lea Collins with three-year-old kinder students Henry, Xavier and Hannah.

Daily programs at Gippsland Grammar ELC integrate the arts, science, mathematics and language, the development of thinking skills, growth mindset precepts and education about sustainability. The three-year-old program is enriched with weekly Music lessons and the Need to Read early literacy program. The four-year-old program also includes Music, Japanese, Library, a Perceptual Motor Program (PMP) and ‘buddies’ program with Year 5.

Gippsland Grammar has limited places remaining for next year in the School’s three-year-old Reception programs at both the St Anne’s (Sale) and Bairnsdale ELCs and the four-year-old Transition program at the Bairnsdale ELC.

Families wanting to know more about what a Gippsland Grammar early childhood education can offer are invited to call ELC Director Lisa Burgess on 5143 7123 during business hours.


Gippsland Grammar background:

Gippsland Grammar is one of Australia’s leading co-educational Anglican schools, with a tradition of excellence in education extending almost 100 years. Located in the heart of Gippsland, the School has more than 1100 students across three campuses including St Anne’s junior campus and the Garnsey senior campus, both at Sale, and the Bairnsdale junior campus in East Gippsland. Enrolments at both junior campuses begin with a 3s and 4s kindergarten program at their respective Early Learning Centres (ELC) and Garnsey caters for students from Years 7-12. Gippsland Grammar is also the only boarding school east of Melbourne’s suburban fringe and is a home-away-from-home for students from far East Gippsland, South Gippsland, Victoria’s High Country and the Latrobe Valley as well as for a cohort of international students.

Gippsland Grammar’s 2021 VCE results:

Gippsland Grammar’s class of 2021 was among some of Victoria’s highest achieving Year 12 students. An amazing 21 per cent of the School’s Year 12 students achieved an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) above 90 and 38 per cent above 80, which places them in the top 10 percent, and 20 per cent, in the state respectively. Gippsland Grammar’s Dux for 2021 was Demi Edward with an ATAR of 99.2, two students achieved a perfect study score of 50 while 28 per cent of students achieved a study score above 40. Gippsland Grammar is also proud to acknowledge the 21 students from the 2021 cohort who made a successful transition into the workforce through an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Join our Community:

If you’d like to join our Gippsland Grammar Community please phone us on 56143 6388 or email to request a Prospecus, book a campus tour or simply inquire about a future enrolment. Or click here to read our Gippsland Grammar Information Book.

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