Innovative thinking benefits children at Mona Vale
Children at Mona Vale are benefitting from the centre’s innovative use of the Goodstart Practice Guide.
The Guide provides Goodstart teachers and educators with evidence-informed practices that are known to achieve positive outcomes for children, and is organised into a framework called ISTEP (which stands for Interactions, Space, Time, Experiences and Planning).
You can read more about ISTEP here
, but in a nutshell it helps our teachers and educators plan their daily activities in ways that evidence shows work best for children.
Innovative centres, like Goodstart Mona Vale
, have extended the utility and benefit of ISTEP and found novel ways to use the framework.
Centre Director, Amy Meatchem, has embedded the framework in her centre and uses it as a tool for planning, review, managing challenging behaviours and for troubleshooting.
“As a planning and troubleshooting tool, ISTEP is brilliant. We go through element by element to ensure all areas of our practice are aligned with the outcomes we want to see.
“We recently used ISTEP to diagnose a particular hour in our day that consistently wasn’t working when we were juggling breaks for educators, lunch and sleep time for children.
“The environment seemed busy and directionless at this time which was frustrating as the other 10 hours of our day were very planned and structured.
“So we used the ISTEP framework to troubleshoot this period element by element and contrast it against what we wanted our interactions, space, time and experiences to look like.
“It resulted in us restructuring our break patterns for educators to limit the overlap, creating a progressive lunch to build a predictable routine, and building facilitated experiences into the hour like Yoga or creative arts sessions.
The ISTEP framework has also been used to create plans for children with challenging behaviour, which has delivered benefits both at the centre and in home environments.
Creating an ISTEP plan for a child helps parents understand and build on the interactions, spaces, times and routines that work for the child in the centre environment and encourages documentation and observations at home to track interests and development.
“Last year we had a child who was quite unpredictable with his behaviour and wouldn’t follow directions.
“We put together an ISTEP program for his parents, and identified that his behaviour improved when he started his day with a lot of physical play, and that afterwards in learning time he was more ready to engage with his educators and peers.
“Taking ISTEP from the centre to his home environment gave him consistency and provided support and structure for his parents.
“It’s really helped us partner with families in more meaningful ways.”