Home' Capricornus Quarterly : CQ Jan 2018 Contents 8
With an expected full Early Learning Centre
in 2018 (214 children), The Rockhampton
Grammar School Early Learning Centre,
which is celebrating 10 years of service
to the community this year, will participate
in a three year research project that
will focus on its education excellence
and highly rated service to families.
The Centre has entered into an
agreement with Charles Sturt University
and Queensland University of Technology
to conduct a study about Australia’s
national child care quality framework.
“Childcare is changing. Expectations
are greater than they have ever been
before,” said RGS Early Learning Centre
Director Ms Adeina Shackleton.
RGS had to attain top qualifications
across the National Quality Framework
to participate in the study. It is rated as
‘Exceeding’ qualit y outcomes across
all seven standards and elements.
Researchers will look at the value society
and industry places on staff members
and how organisations and professional
Educators achieve and maintain high
quality procedures and outcomes.
One area which will be studied will
be RGS’s rigorous training of Early
Learning Educators. The Centre screens
approximately 50 candidates annually for
two highly contested Trainee positions.
“Educators talk to applicants about
what they like and enjoy about child-care.
Applicants have to answer a series of
questions including information about their
career goals,” added Ms Shackleton, about
the three day application process she
employs to identify strong candidates.
“Quality, continuity, and long-term
qualified educators are what parents want
and what we provide, alongside excellent
resources,” explained Ms Shackleton.
34 full time staff work with 175 enrolled
RGS Early Learning Centre families.
“We are not a general child care centre where
you drop your kids off. We are an extension
of family and acknowledge parents as their
child’s first teacher,” explained Ms Shackleton.
“ We talk to parents about what they do
at home, what they got up to over the
weekend for example and how we can
incorporate their family experiences into
our teaching and learning. Our children’s
learning is linked to things they really like.”
RGS holds monthly sessions for prospective
families at its facility on Reservoir Street to
share information about its programmes, which
operate from 6.30am to 6pm, Monday through
Friday and are based around parent work
times. The Centre’s Long Day Kindergarten
programme runs from 8am to 4pm.
“I explain to parents that they need to
investigate other facilities. Ask to look at
learning journals, see what sort of information
staff are putting up on the walls and observe
how educators engage with children.”
RGS recommends www.startingblocks.gov.
au, as a site for parents to learn about early
childhood education, standards and options.
TAKING SHAPE: RGS Early Learning Centre Educators will work with researchers to learn
more about the value communities place on high quality education providers and services.
Early Learning Centre to
be studied for excellence
Rockhampton Grammar School Year 7
students participated in a two -day Science,
Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM)
Experience, opening them to a world of
exploration, design and problems solv ing.
“In order to be skilled to work in the future,
we need our students to become social
innovators, to be able to work collaboratively,
draw upon all their knowledge and resources,
and think outside of the box to problem
solve,” said RGS Science teacher Mrs Sam
Meager, who with teachers Alana Mikkelsen
and K irsty Cooper, delivered the program.
Drawing upon their knowledge of water and
water problems from various units studied
in class, students worked at CQUniversity
with Env ironmental Scientist Adam Rose
and Agricultural Scientist Dr Trotter to
determine the health of a water sample.
Together, they identified and counted the
macro- invertebrates, the ‘bugs’ in the water.
Students used their knowledge
to address a wide range of water-
related issues including domestic use,
agricultural applicat ions, conser vation
and developing nations’ requirements.
They created what they call the Shower
Howler, a waterproof speaker that tells you
how long you can shower for by playing
music; a Mop Dog, a type of robo mop and
other products designed to save water.
Throughout the whole process,
students recorded their thoughts, ideas
and reasoning on paper and on v ideo.
Boys and girls also hosted an expo to
present and display their prototypes.
The young scientists also learned how
to create holograms; taking their new
knowledge back to school to develop their
own ideas, images and prototypes.
“Students would like to continue
with this program as they progress
through school, particularly exploring
Virtual Reality,” said Mrs Mikkelsen.
“ You learn so much through this process
[because of its] complexity and focus on
specific skills,” added Mrs Cooper.
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