Planned as an extension of children’s learning outcomes, the program educators are using intentional teaching and reflective practice to support language literacy with concepts including early maths, movement and musical development.
The program was recently recognised through Goodstart’s annual awards program, where they won a major award in the educational program practice category.
Rowville Liberty Avenue pre-kinder educator Louise Hiles said the centre initially had a paid program but some children were missing out because of the cost.
“We decided to we would do it ourselves and worked alongside (national inclusive practices consultant) Troy Dunn to ensure everyone would get access to the program,” Ms Hiles said.
“We really wanted to offer the program to all, knowing it would help everyone and especially those with additional needs.”
The Rowville team began collecting materials and making instruments – drums from margarine and ice cream containers, cardboard for guitars, and rice for shakers. They also bought instruments and now have class sets of all instruments including clapping sticks, triangles, ribbons, scarves and hula hoops.
“Music and movement is important to children, especially in the three to four year old age group and we really focus on the emotional and social aspects of learning.”
The physical component of the program is dance which is held every day and yoga which is held once a week.
Dance is a great opportunity for educators to help them develop coordination, creative expression, communication skills and social awareness. The children learn how to translate music expression in to words which helps with developing literacy skills.
Music making can also help children explore concepts like rhythm and beat and develop self-confidence and creative expression.
“The children just love it. And because we identified the learning outcomes before implementation we are seeing results in the areas of literacy and maths, but also wellbeing.”
The centre is also working on getting more parents involved in the music and movement program, including music from the children’s own culture.