When our youngest learners join a kindergarten or childcare centre, they are traditionally grouped according to age.
This tends to continue on into school where children spend their education surrounded by learners of the same age.
There is much to celebrate when younger and older learners spend time together.
At Preshil, its progressive traditions have its youngest learners in a mixed-age kindergarten; three and four-year-old children share a learning community together, and have regular sessions with primary school children of all ages.
Each week, Preshil kindergarten children head off to a bush nook for Bush School with their friends in the Preshil Prep class.
There they might enjoy a camp fire, cook damper, and play and explore the setting with their older friends.
Kindergarten children have a ‘Biggie’ – a child in the Grade 5 and 6 class who is their special buddy.
They spend time together every week in the kindergarten, playing, reading and chatting together, forging a friendship and a learning partnership.
Recently, Preshil’s French students in Year 10 visits its kindergarten children to read from FRench fair stories they had written and illustrated.
Some Year 11 and 12 students elect to spend time with their kindergarten counterparts as part of the Creativity, Activity and Service component of their International DBaccalaureate Diploma Programme.
These opportunities are unique to Preshil, where staff understand that children’s emerging sense of belonging is a key component of their success in learning.
Belonging in our kindergarten means belonging in our whole school.
Children learn through social interactions and through strong relations with their educators, and, at Preshil, with their peers of all ages.