Harris Park Preschool

Harris Park Preschool is located on the corner of Isabella & Lowe Streets and is in close proximity to central Queanbeyan and both Queanbeyan Public School and St Gregory’s Primary School.

We are passionate about early childhood and believe this period to be the most important years of a child’s development and learning. It is during this time that the majority of a child’s language, concepts, skills, values, attitudes and personality develop. As such we feel an obligation to provide a program of the highest standard and quality and the responsibility to ensure the children at our Preschool reach their full learning potential. We strive to provide a warm, relaxed and caring atmosphere for the children to learn in a happy and positive manner. Our integrated educational program provides a bridge between home and formal primary schooling.

Learning experiences are introduced through thoughtful planning of environments and learning experiences that are both child centred and teacher initiated. Our program incorporates the needs, interests and abilities of each child in fun and welcoming environments that are beautiful, soothing, and full of wonder and discovery. Learning programs and experiences are planned as a result of close observation, reflection and continual evaluation. We emphasise the process rather than the product, fostering a sense of accomplishment and pride in every child.

We believe all children are capable, curious and competent within their own right, and come to us with individual knowledge, skills, culture and unique ways of being. Current research and theory inform our programs, which are designed to include a wide variety of experiences in a balance of structured and free choice, as well as active and quiet times. Children are encouraged to attempt new and challenging activities as a means of extending their skills, attitudes and concepts and across their preschool years strengthen their independence, resilience and develop a strong positive self-esteem.
Our preschool is designed to be a shared and fulfilling experience for both children and families. Staff view their role as supporting parents in the care and education of their child. Parents are encouraged to work in partnership with staff to formulate developmental and learning outcomes. We value the active involvement of parents in all aspects of our program to ensure it maintains excellent standards.

Our curriculum reflects an anti-bias, gender inclusive and culturally diverse approach to learning. Through the development of children’s self-esteem, pride and confidence we endeavour to create a love of and curiosity about learning and nature that will continue well into future years.

Click Here to Register in Our Waitinglist!

The Symbolism of our shared Philosophy:

Our Philosophy Tree frame displayed in the foyer represents our service as a whole including the Children, Families, Community, Program, Staff and the Environment in the wake of new research and the wonder of teaching children.

  • The words on the supporting branches of the tree reflect our Early Years Learning Framework and are a constant reminder of the importance of Being, Belonging & Becoming.
  • The painting in the background that grounds our philosophy is created by the children and will be replaced yearly to reflect the children enrolled that year.
  • Our Philosophy Bonsai Tree is seen as our living document, continually evolving each day with nurture and respect, just like the Children, Families & Educators within our service.
  • And lastly, the rock-solid values at the bottom of the Bonsai Tree signifies each Families values – (Thank you so much to all our families who have shared their values with us).

Our Vision Statement:

We are a centrally located preschool which has been operating in Queanbeyan since 1952. Our symbolic practices nurture a deep sense of belonging to people and place for children and their families. We are enclosed by beautiful trees and pride ourselves on our outdoor environment. Not only are we a well-known landmark, but we hold precious and lasting memories for many generations of families in Queanbeyan. Our philosophy is seen as a living document, continually evolving in the wake of new research, the ideas of new team members, the wonder of teaching children and input from new families each year. To promote continuous improvement and lifelong learning within the service, Educators are encouraged to use self-reflection as a tool for growth to strive for excellence. Our holistic approach and the belief that play is at the centre of our curriculum assists in providing this. The educators therefore strive to give each child the best start in education and life by supporting each child to gain confidence in their own abilities to develop a sense of belonging to their preschool and community as a whole. We value children’s contributions to experiences at preschool and recognize them as unique individuals that are our future.

Programs: We believe that flexible routines within play enable children to reach their full potential to become resilient lifelong learners. Our curriculum is guided by the Early Years Learning Framework of Australia and encompasses child centred learning and intentional teaching practices in conjunction with family participation. Each classroom philosophy is used to place an equal value on learning through play that takes place both indoors and outdoors with all educators actively reflecting and evaluating on our ongoing program and practices (Echidna).Curriculum decisions are carefully considered as we recognise children and families’ diverse individual circumstances, cultural foundations and identities. Children’s learning and development is documented in a variety of ways to showcase their unique interests and learning styles (Kookaburra).

Children: Being connected opens possibilities to consider belonging, being and becoming in our everyday interactions with each other, children families and communities. This is not limited to people only but extends to everything that is in our environment (Martin, 2005). We view all children as unique, individuals with individual needs and capabilities, which need to be nurtured (Kangaroo). We value and encourage children to know they have a voice, are respected and celebrated. We recognise children’s strengths and interests as integral to their learning, development and achieving successes. We allow them to be involved in a meaningful way, promote responsibilities and a sense of purpose whilst exploring, creating and learning in their own time, in an environment that considers holistic development to be the foundation for ongoing learning.

Environment: We lead by example as we are aware of our impact on the environment and this is imbedded in our daily curriculum. We strongly believe children are the future and it is essential that we support and promote sustainable environmental practises for future generations. In order for us to prevent our global citizens taking for granted their environments Harris Park is finding ways to respect and use creative solutions and alternatives to reduce unsustainable habits and practices which are dominating the present. We try to make our environment developmentally appropriate and inviting for all children (Echidna). The environment influences thinking, mood, behaviour, learning and emotions. With this in mind we aim to establish an environment that is aesthetically pleasing, encourages the use of natural and found objects, appreciates the daily implementation of sustainability, whilst extending children’s knowledge about the environment in which they live and how to care for it (Koala).

Family and Community: We acknowledge and respect our first Australians and we ensure our practices accept the unique and vastly diverse cultures and beliefs of all families. We take an active role in supporting many local community events and we are continuously networking with various services within the wider community. We view every child as an individual, who comes into the preschool with their own family traditions, cultures, beliefs and abilities, which should be nurtured to ensure a sense of belonging, self-worth and connection is developed (Echidna). We acknowledge that children learn within the context of their family and extended community and believe open communication is an integral part of our evolving program to be accessible, meaningful & inclusive for all children and their families. We believe that these differences are valuable to each child and that these differences need to be embraced and acknowledged (Kangaroo).

Staff: Our Staff are passionate, knowledgeable, qualified and dedicated about their chosen profession and engage in continuous improvement and lifelong learning. As part of our ongoing commitment to the teaching community, Educators are encouraged to use self-reflection as a tool for growth to strive for excellence (Kookaburra). We continuously guide and mentor educators to update their personal and professional knowledge, skills and understanding so we can preserve high quality education for children attending our Preschool.

Harris Park Preschool consists of four classrooms.
Each of our four classrooms offer both a 2 day extended 7.5 hour Program or 3 day school hours Program on the following day/times;

Kangaroo Classroom:
− 2 Day Program – Thursday & Friday – 8.15am to 3.45pm
− 3 Day Program – Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday – 9.15am to 3.15pm
Teaching Team – Joanne Crammond (Head Teacher), Julie Southwell, Karman Leslie and Hannah Ireland

Echidna Classroom:
− 2 Day Program – Monday & Tuesday – 8.15am to 3.45pm
− 3 Day Program – Wednesday/Thursday/Friday – 8.45am to 2.45pm
Teaching Team – Amy McDonald (Head Teacher), Janet Lamont, Schannai Penney, Vicky Baker and Belinda Jurgens

Kookaburra Classroom:
− 2 Day Program – Thursday & Friday – 8.15am to 3.45pm
− 3 Day Program –  Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday – 8.45am to 2.45pm
Teaching Team – Holly Suitor-Fogarty (Educational Leader), Maria Papadopoulos, Min Kim, Janet Chandler and Briana Murtagh

Koala Classroom:
− 2 Day Program – Monday & Tuesday – 8.15am to 3.45pm
− 3 Day Program – Wednesday/Thursday/Friday – 9.15am to 3.15pm
Teaching Team – Dorcas Hancock (Head Teacher), Rowena Denniss, Rhiannen Sugars and Clare Hague

Contacts

Address: 61 Lowe Street, Queanbeyan

Team

Director:

Mandy Jackson

Assistant Director/ Educational Leader:

Holly Suitor-Fogarty