In their Early Learning years children are encouraged to be curious, to ask questions and explore answers through a range of experiences based on the world-renowned Reggio Emilia approach to learning.
Early Learning is a caring environment with highly qualified, experienced staff and generous staff-to-child ratios. Children are grouped into four classes; two classes for three to four-year olds (Early Learning 3) and two classes for four to five-year olds (Early Learning 4).
Children generally commence at the beginning of the school year, but children may join the Early Learning 3 class throughout the year, once they have turned three. Class sizes are purposely kept small to allow teachers to develop and maintain genuine relationships with each child, and for children to develop socially and emotionally within a supportive environment. Children usually attend Early Learning for two or three years before starting Prep.
The Geelong College Vision for Learning and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework underpin all our programs. Children’s thinking and interests contribute to the curriculum, and teachers and children develop projects together which incorporate all aspects of children’s learning. Creative arts, science, early literacy and numeracy are all embedded in the play-based program. Thoughtful displays of children's words, drawings and photographs are a feature of each classroom.
This documentation makes learning visible for the children, creates a sense of belonging in the space, and invites children, parents and teachers to revisit and reflect on learning, stories and projects as they go about their daily activities. Weekly specialist classes are offered in Music, Library, Languages, Yoga, Mindfulness and Fundamental Motor skills. Children can see and experience their future learning at school, and easily access outstanding facilities and specialist staff in these programs.
Outdoor learning is an important feature of our program, allowing children to learn to appreciate nature and care for our environment. Children frequently access the many natural environments around the school, as well as regular visits to our Bush Connections site at Dog Rocks in Batesford. The partnership between parents and the College is highly valued, and trust is built through regular meetings and parent participation in our programs including classroom assistance with project work and excursions.
Many special occasions are celebrated throughout the year, including Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day, Grandparents Week and project celebration evenings. Our Early Learners regularly interact with students from Prep to Year 3 at Junior school, as well as at Middle and Senior Schools, and visit both campuses to use sports facilities and explore the whole College.
Geelong College Early Learners have priority entry into Prep, with a seamless transition provided by our Early Learning and Prep teaching team.