Kindergarten has had a fabulous term of learning and connecting. Through our unit: Our ‘own individual identity’ supports and impacts our ‘group identity’, the children have indeed developed understandings around their community, the way we interact and how we can work together. This unit comes under the transdisciplinary theme ‘Who we are’. This theme is built around the ‘human commonalities’ irrespective of location and age; what allows us to be connected, understanding our relationships, exploring our identity, understanding our community, and what it means to be human. In the kindergarten context this means understanding who we are in our families, understanding our likes and dislikes, exploring who we are as a group and learning about how we connect to work and learn together.
The children are developing their appreciation of how the difference and diversity of individuals brings strengths to a community. This supports children in understanding their own identity and valuing their unique contribution.
We have explored traits of the learner profile to further develop our group dynamics. It has been delightful to see children develop their ability to be ‘caring’ and to recognise how our routines and team work support us individually and as a group.
Children recognise they can support and help another child who is distressed and sad, and equally that conflict can be resolved through talking and considering how others feel. Through Bush School and PlayWorlds we have been able to extend these ideas to include nature and to consider other community groups.
We have explored our unit through the following lines of inquiry:
• Identity and expression (perspective)
• Understanding ourselves and others (Connection)
• How we interact as a community (Responsibility)
In kindergarten we have seen children develop their own voice and feel confident about expressing their ideas and concerns. They are all beginning to contribute to discussions and we see children happily inventing, painting, creating and writing stories orally and through role play. They are developing a stronger sense of themselves and what they can share and do at kindergarten.
At the beginning of the term children were more inclined to spread across our learning space and begin working through their own individual interest. Increasingly as the term has progressed we are seeing children planning their inquiries with others in mind. They choose to work in closer proximity to others and they are engaged in not only their pursuits but the pursuit of others. We have loved seeing the children practise using important social language around inviting others to play, initiating play, and also respecting when others want to spend time learning alone. It has been wonderful to see children begin collaborative projects, develop negotiation skills and gain confidence in their own ability to solve problems. Children are more open with their ideas and we hear more questions, wonderings and curiosities about what we create, what we learn and what we see. This shows the growing sense of community, the sense of belonging, and the recognition that we are an important group of individuals who value each other and what we can do together. The kindergarten community of children, families and teachers has formed, and we are all excited to be a part of it!