Our Program and Approach
At KU Phillip Park, we see childhood as a time of playful possibility, where children become imagined explorers, discoverers and inventors as they act upon their natural curiosities to learn through questions and be in relationship with others. We also believe as children respond to the world around them, we can better support them to become all they desire to be, by sparking in them a love for lifelong learning.
Our education programs illustrate our professional commitment to inquiry and interest based teaching and learning. Educators respond to the individual needs, interests and experiences of each child. We also value opportunities to promote social skills and positive interactions between children by creating small group learning initiated from children’s shared interests and thinking. In facilitating social, emotional and physical development through social settings, we are able to build upon their confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
Our programs are founded upon the belief that children learn best in settings where they feel safe, secure and loved. It is through relational play that the infant and toddler aged child begins to make sense of the wider world of relationships, especially with significant others beyond their home and family.
Our learning environment is constantly changing to respond to the children’s play ideas, needs, interests, and projects that they are involved in on a daily basis. We utilise the natural and built environment to give context to their learning and play by providing a range of everyday materials, objects and tools that reflect real life experiences. We regularly set up curriculum areas that promote music, art, active movement, dance, dramatic play, cooking, puppetry, water and sand play, construction, science and technology, to extend children’s current interests. Early literacy and numeracy are integrated throughout these experiences and the routines of the day, and are most visible in storytelling opportunities, circle times as individuals and groups in planning their day and communicating their ideas.
We greatly value the strong relationships between our staff, children and families, and we look forward to incorporating your family in the life of our centre.
We Focus On
In addition to the high quality well-rounded programs we offer, all KU centres are also encouraged to develop an area of focus.
At KU Phillip Park, we focus on Building a Community of Inquiry and Investigation.
We incorporate this into our programs in partnership with our community through regular walks, outings and excursions to local sites of significance, such as The Australian Museum, Botanical Gardens, Art Gallery, visits to Cook and Phillip Park and neighbourhood walks to local businesses and restaurants. We anticipate that through these known and unknown journeys into the local community the children will have opportunities to revisit, reflect and retell shared experiences beyond the centre gate. This focus encourages relationships with places, people and objects as landmarks of our community and extends children’s natural curiosity.
Our centre has been independently assessed by the Department of Education NSW under the National Quality Standards, and are proud to be rated as Exceeding the National Quality Standard.
However what matters most is what our families think...
“Having watched my three children grow and excel through play based learning, I will be saddened when the time comes for our boys to move onto ‘big school’. The boys enjoy their days at the centre and have developed strong relationships with their peers and educators.” - KU Phillip Park parent
"The team at KU Phillip Park are as devoted to our children's emotional and physical development as we are as their parents. We know that the educators there care for our children in a way beyond being an Educator. They see our children as individuals and acknowledge that they need to be supported on a variety of levels in different ways. Those ways include love, affection, laughter, inquisitiveness and encouragement. "Thank you" isn't enough to show them that we appreciate all that they do for our children." - KU Phillip Park parent
Each KU centre is unique. The best outcomes for children are created within the relationships and interactions between children and staff, and children and their families. We work hard to create beautiful, interesting and homelike learning environments for children to be surrounded by.
KU Phillip Park is strategically located next to Cook and Phillip Park, which offers an array of natural and man-made landscapes that include towering trees and historic architecture for children to view and engage with.
Our playground is our outdoor learning environment that includes natural elements such as sand, grass, water, mud, leaves and twigs and kitchen gardens. Wherever possible we avoid using lots of fixed, plastic equipment in our playground, instead we provide open ended items that can challenge and stimulate creativity, where children and educators can create things together. Additional outdoor activities can help with the development of children’s gross motor skills, enhancing their overall health and wellbeing as they discover their strengths and abilities and feel inspired to create, imagine and play.
In 2019, Bonnie Te Ara Henare, Director at KU Phillip Park, was awarded the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) New Voice in Early Education and Care Scholarship, which recognises "forward thinking, contextually relevant and responsive educational leaders whose work has had an impact above and beyond their immediate context."
The KU Phillip Park team were awarded the 'Making the KU Difference to Quality' Award in 2019, recognising the team's commitment to providing a high quality program to support the best outcomes for the children in their care. Bonnie was also awarded the 'Making the KU Difference by Representing KU' Award in the same year, recognising her work in representing KU in the wider early education sector.
The Annual Making the KU Difference Awards were introduced a number of years ago, as a way of acknowledging KU staff who have made a significant contribution to KU. These annual awards are open to all KU staff, at any level (either individual staff or a team), who have worked above and beyond their normal duties.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan
KU was proud to launch its inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2016. At KU Phillip Park, we began our journey to develop our centre’s RAP in 2018 and we are proud to launch it now. Please view it here.