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Program and Curriculum

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Emergent Curriculum

At Horsley Kids, our curriculum philosophy is inspired through an approach called “Emergent Curriculum”. An emergent curriculum allows learning activities to arise out of each child’s interests, actions or recurring events. In an emergent curriculum, both adults and children take initiative and make decisions. This curriculum is also negotiated between what interest’s children and what adults know is necessary for children’s education and development.

We believe that through ‘play’ activities children will develop the skills to become self-confident, self-motivated and self-disciplined.

At each developmental stage there are tasks to be mastered, such as: talking, listening, running, throwing or bouncing a ball and cutting with scissors. Our curriculum provides many opportunities for children to choose activities that gives spontaneous skill practice.

In our classroom spaces, children have opportunities to engage in sensory exploration, drama play, block building, game playing, puzzle work, writing and drawing, and reading. Children will play with their peers, dress up, be immersed in constructing with Lego or blocks, re-create and make with play dough, read books, sort tiny objects, or write letters and draw pictures.

Teachers will watch and listen to children, document their play, take photos, offer resources to support and extend their play, or play alongside them. We believe that children learn as they pursue their passions and questions; our objective is to deepen and extend that learning. The activities are interesting, inviting, developmentally age appropriate, open-ended and process oriented. If a particular activity is popular we may choose to repeat it often (with slight variations) until the intense interest passes.

For further information regarding the emergent curriculum and programming in childcare please visit the following selected websites:

Community Child Care Co-operative NSW: http://ccccnsw.org.au/programs/early-education-access

DEEWR Early Years Learning Framework: http://www.deewr.gov.au/EarlyChildhood/Policy_Agenda/Quality/Pages/EarlyYearsLearningFramework.aspx

Project Work and Small Groups

“As we undertake in-depth project work with children, we foster investigation, building relationships and appreciation of diversity and thinking. We want children to develop a love of learning and inquiry, an interest in taking new perspectives and in collaborating with others. We want to enrich their childhoods with a deepening sense of belonging to a group that has a growing, collective history.” – Reggio Children 2000

As an in-depth project begins to grow, the children continue to play in typical ways, engaging in role playing in the dress-up area, building with blocks, assembling puzzles, and exploring sand and water. Life in the classroom continues in its usual way, even as some children become absorbed in projects. During these times children are able to use various media to explore their ideas and represent their understandings whilst being engaged in exploratory work and sensory discovery.

Teachers will observe and work closely with children, facilitating their use of materials, asking questions, and offering materials that provoke children to stretch their thinking.

Documenting and Photo Sequencing

To carry out this approach, teachers engage in an ongoing process of planning, analysing, observing, and evaluating the children’s activities, ideas, needs and interest.

Social interactions with their peers and other people are also observed and recorded, class work transcribed, laminated and displayed. You’ll see teachers watching and listening to children, documenting their play with photos and notes.

Throughout the Centre, you will see a display of photographs of children at ‘play’. The visual media and pictures show children busily engaged in daily activities. Their words are recorded as they discuss what they are doing, feeling and thinking, and how they explain their interpretation of these experiences. The photographs are a valuable resource used in class discussions and incorporated into the curriculum.

‘Showcasing’ children’s work in this way enhances their self-esteem and self-confidence as well as providing parents an opportunity to see what happens throughout their child’s day.


A Portfolio is included into the Horsley Kids curriculum. At the end of the year each child will receive a personalised portfolio that will summarise a child’s year in the centre. The portfolio will display a collection of photographs, craft, artwork and written observations.

Computers and Technology

Appropriate pre-school computer programs will be readily available in the classrooms.

School Readiness Program

The area of school readiness looks at all of the factors that are most important in preparing each child for a successful and productive time at school. Readiness is often incorrectly perceived to be based upon whether a child can count to 10 or 20 or write their name. However, the most important factors associated with a successful start and continued learning in school relate to a child’s social and emotional maturity.

At Horsley Kids, developing those important social and emotional life skills doesn’t just start in preschool – it starts from their first day with us. Every child’s program is designed to allow our educators to guide and lead our children through to the next step or stage in their individual learning and development.

By providing numerous opportunities to learn, through varied experiences and activities, children are equipping themselves with those essential skills preparing them for the transition to school.

  • Language and comprehension
  • Positive social interaction
  • Positive and effective communication skills
  • Problem-solving and turn-taking skills
  • Basic mathematical and pre-reading skills
  • Understanding both natural and built environments
  • Health and physical education awareness
  • Cultural awareness and appreciation
  • Self-confidence and self-esteem
  • demonstrate curiosity about their world
  • complete simple puzzles and match objects
  • visual discrimination
  • the ability to draw a person and name some body parts
  • draw a picture of them selves
  • hold a pencil
  • cut out a simple shape with scissors
  • recognise primary colours
  • number concepts such as more/less, empty/full, large/small, ordering numbers
  • familiarity with the alphabet and introduction to phonics
  • recognise their name
  • have an awareness of words/signs in their environment
  • show an interest in learning to read and write and an interest in books


Excursions are an important part of a curriculum, however due to child safety and staff child ratios, Horsley Kids Early Childhood Centre do not participate in any out of centre excursions. We do organise in-house visitors, such as: Reptiles up Close,  Mobile Petting farms, pantomimes, Bonza Pony & Train rides, a musical show, and other interests to the centre.

The local Fire Brigade, Ambulance service and local Police also visit the centre at random times throughout the year, teaching children about safety, stranger danger, fire protection and other relevant youth rated issues.

In the section...

What other parents say about us..

These girls have been amazing and there enthusiasm and investment(general attitude) has really put myself and my daugther Stella at ease to say the least. If one or two of these girls are on of a morning at drop off, I know that I can walk out and go to work feeling happy and confident.

Michelle Hodges

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Director Phoebe interviewed by 'The Australian'

Horsley Kids Director, Phoebe Speranza was interviewed by "The Australian" Newspaper.

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Horsley Kids as Exceeding National Quality Standards

ACECQA awards Horsley Kids as Exceeding National Quality Standards. To achieve this result Horsley Kids Exceeded all 7 Quality Areas and its 18 Standards

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