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Our School Early Learning Centre

The Early Learning Centre at Ivanhoe Girls' is a special place, not only for girls, but for the whole family.

The ELC is housed in St James’ House in Noel Street. Formerly the vicarage of St James’ Church, this beautiful Federation house has been restored to provide outstanding indoor and outdoor learning spaces tailored to the learning needs of three- to five-year-old girls.

The Early Learning Centre (ELC) draws on the best theory and practice from Reggio Emilio Philosophy and the Australian Early Years Learning Framework.

The children are provided with opportunities that promote the joy of learning while developing their sense of self through active exploration, manipulation of their environment and positive experiences. The ELC is a place where girls grow and learn through play, laughter, imaginative experiences, wonderful literature and nurturing relationships.

Through an integrated approach, the learning environment is designed to take into account individual needs, and enables each girl to participate in activities that are suited to her age and developmental level.

Our Early Learning Centre provides girls with a range of opportunities that promote learning, caring relationships and a positive self concept. Through active exploration and manipulation of their environment, girls are encouraged to develop a sense of themselves on their learning journey. Girls in the ELC explore learning in a range of specialist areas with specialist teachers in Art, French, Music and Physical Education.

"The ELC is a warm, friendly and nurturing environment, and the teachers attentive and caring. Our daughter has been challenged, but supported." — Current parent

There are two Groups in the Early Learning Centre: 

  • Kindergarten Group (Three-year-old), which girls may attend for two to five full days per week 
  • PrePrep Group (Four-year-old), which girls may attend for four or five days. 

A continuity of experiences, flexible routines and access to high quality material and resources, enables each girl to experience the joy of learning.

In 2021, the Centre received the highest possible rating under the National Quality Framework in accordance with the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law) in a national assessment by the Department of Education and Training. The ELC was rated as ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ in all of the seven Quality Areas assessed.

Pastoral Care

Establishing a strong and positive connection between home and the Early Learning Centre is important.

We know that when families develop trust and familiarity with educators, children settle into the program better and achieve better outcomes. Relationships with both children and their families are at the heart of the Early Learning Centre program.

Once families and children feel secure and supported, children begin to learn about their feelings and getting along with others. Educators support children to develop self-regulation skills. These are the skills that enable us to manage our own behaviour, our reactions to feelings and to calm down after something exciting or unexpected occurs. These skills are the foundation which children will continue to build upon throughout their lives.

These skills are supported through:

  • having high expectations for children and their learning based on their current age, stage and abilities
  • a supportive orientation program which includes home visits for new families
  • building a sense of belonging for families as well as children through events and open communication
  • a buddy program with older primary students
  • providing learning environments that are thought provoking and support children in forming relationships with others
  • intentional teaching in relation to social and emotional skills
  • learning about others and our community through incursions, special events, specialist classes and the daily program
  • viewing children as competent and capable, giving them opportunities to contribute ideas on matters that affect them
  • encouraging children to be independent and participate in experiences that are useful in everyday life
  • valuing children’s ideas and views through project work.