Lynedoch Early Learning Centre
Imagination, creativity and learning are grounded at Lynedoch in early childhood development. The Lynedoch Early Learning Centre was established in 2000 by Lynedoch Development (NPC) for 19 children from the Lynedoch Valley. Further developed by the Sustainability Institute, today over 65 children attend the Infant Community (0 – 3 years) and Children's House (3 – 6 years). A Montessori approach sees in each child an innate love of learning. If children are encouraged to develop freely, within sensible boundaries, they connect to a small community and the world around them. Safe and welcoming, the centre aims to nurture every facet of the extraordinary potential in the lives of these tiny humans. These foundational years are formative for a life-time of learning and development, in deep love and respect for nature.
The Lynedoch Early Learning Centre provides integrated and ecologically focused learning and nature-based play. The buildings are designed according to ecological building principles, children play in the natural gardens and participate each day in growing, harvesting and cooking of organic vegetables.
The following principles are core to Lynedoch Early Learning:
• Place-based and applicable to the local context and simple daily living
• Focused on educating for human development in formal and informal ways and recognising multiple intelligences – visual-spatial, musical, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, naturalistic and intrapersonal
• Taught in relational and transdisciplinary ways that incorporate literature, art, drama, numeracy and immersion in nature
• Aimed at promoting problem-solving abilities, critical thinking and active decision-making
• Eco-centric in approach encouraging understanding of human-nature reliance and connection with all life, and the ecosystems in which we are embedded
• Core values that infuse respect, responsibility, independence, quality and community
The Montessori environment is one of beauty, generosity and kindness. Areas for Language, Arts, Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics and Cultural Studies make up a place of exploration and care. The children have a natural sense of freedom, within practical limits, to explore and interact with carefully prepared materials. Teaching staff play a facilitative role (as guides), following the child in a flow of natural development. The process that the child follows is more important in this setting than the results or outcome of any specific activity.
Meaningful transformation and positive development can be achieved through healing, empowering and inspiring the children and youth in our communities. Our approach is holistic in nature, working not only with the children themselves but also their families and wider community. Constant engagement with parents ensures that the children are supported throughout their learning experience. Each quarter teachers conduct home visits, which are followed up by parent meetings, workshops and events during the course of the year.