Our Program and Approach
At KU St Ives, we provide a high quality, play-based educational program for children aged 3 – 6 years old. Our large classrooms and natural bush setting provides children with a caring and stimulating environment where they are able to develop strong relationships, as well as the skills and strategies needed to successfully transition to school.
Our program is a combination of play-based activities and intentional teaching activities, based on children’s interests and developmental needs. Our educators use the Early Years Learning Framework, Marte Meo teaching strategies, Circle of Security strategies and developmental milestones to ensure the program helps to develop and extend all children throughout their time at preschool. We provide a stimulating environment that supports exploration and enquiry to encourage scientific thought processes.
Our program provides a large variety of experiences for children including language and literacy-based activities, mathematical activities, experiences that support STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) learning such as arts and crafts, sand and water play, growing pods, building and construction activities, imaginative play, physical skill development and a variety of challenging cognition games.
In addition to the high quality well-rounded programs we offer, all KU centres are also encouraged to develop an area of specialisation.
At KU St Ives Barra Brui Preschool, we specialise in a literacy based program known as the Helicopter Stories Project. This project focuses on developing literacy skills for story writing and telling, combined with developing strong self-esteem and self-image within preschool aged children.
The children are involved in Helicopter Stories every week, and through this we see strong literacies emerging prior to them transitioning to school.
The Helicopter Story Project originated in the UK from the organisation MakeBelieve Arts – UK
Our centre has been independently assessed by the the Department of Education NSW under the National Quality Standard, and are proud to be rated as 'Exceeding' the National Quality Standard.
However what matters most is what our families think...
“I am so grateful and humbled by the safe, loving, nurturing, creative, educational and fun environment you have given Olivia. I could not wish for a better start.” - KU St Ives parent
“KU St Ives Barra Brui stood out in the North Shore Area when we were looking for a preschool. It possesses a great outdoor space, a wonderful homely feel and a nurturing environment fostered by the amazing teachers and staff. Our son blossomed after he went there. The families of KU Barra Brui children are friendly and down to earth. We cherish some of the friendships and relationships we have built during our time there.” - KU St Ives parent
Each KU centre is unique. The best outcomes for children are created within relationships and interactions between children and staff, and children and their families, not within four walls. We work hard to create beautiful, interesting, homelike learning environments for children - whatever our setting.
“Barra Brui” is an aboriginal name meaning ‘Little Water’. This is because we are situated next to a creek that leads to Middle Harbour. Our preschool opened in 1972, and is attended by 70 children each week.
Our playground is designed to maximise the use of the natural environment and allow children to play and explore as they would in their own backyard. We offer stimulating activities that arouse children’s curiosity and encourage them to choose from a variety of planned experiences, expanding their learning potential. Our playground includes natural elements such as sand, water, grass, mud, leaves and twigs, and we also offer gross motor experiences such as climbing, jumping and physical play. We foster the holistic development of each child so they feel inspired to create, imagine and play.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan
KU was proud to launch its inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2016. At KU St Ives, we began our journey to develop our centre’s RAP in 2018 and we are proud to launch it now. Please view it here.