Skip to main content

Early Learning Program

Three to five years old

At Ignatius Early Years we curate a unique and nurturing environment which celebrates the diversity of children and creates quality outcomes for each and every child.

Learning and Teaching Framework

The curriculum of Ignatius Early Years is based on the characteristics of Jesuit education and influenced by the schools of Reggio Emilia. The Reggio Emilia approach to early learning is seen as the world best practice and we see strong parallels between our Ignatian ideas and those of the Reggio Emilia approach. The curriculum is also guided by the National Early Years Learning Framework - 'Being, Belonging and Becoming'. Ours is a curriculum that emphasises the formation of the whole person: body, mind, will and heart.

Our curriculum and teaching approaches seek to provide children with the freedom and choice to make meaning using a variety of possibilities such as drawing, movement, music, clay work, dance and painting.

Our programs are play-based and embrace the interests and investigations of the children, being responsive to their curiosity and thinking. Through this enquiry process children are given time to explore, wonder, create and construct meaning about themselves, their community and the wider world.

The five important pillars of the Ignatius Early Years:

Play - teachers promote curiosity, exploration and making sense of the world around the child.

Inquiry - teachers look for the awe, wonder and special interests of the children that can link to a big idea or enduring understanding. Teachers then use these links to build, extend and co-construct their knowledge and understandings.

Creativity - the great minds of the world regard creativity to be of number one importance. The children are encouraged to express their imaginations and creativity in many ways.

Environment - awareness, respect and responsibility for the care of our environment is embedded into our program and practices from the past and into the future.

Community - the children learn to be part of our vibrant and caring Ignatius community, as citizens of the world, where their voice is heard and connects people together.

Spirituality & Ignatian Values

At Ignatius Early Years we introduce children to prayer, celebrations of the Church Year, and the stories of scripture through story tables, drama, small world play, and songs. We explore symbols, words, music and gestures used in rituals and celebrations. Through our beautiful setting nestled along the creek, children experience the awe and wonder of the natural world. Their careful observations and reflections celebrate their grace and gratitude and how we share this with others.

Our nurturing environment and caring staff reflect God's love, empowering children to be kind, fair and independent thinkers who make their own choices and become aware of how their choices can impact others.


Play is the basis of a young child's world of learning. Our play-based curriculum emphasis' that children in early years take in information through open ended play experiences, through a hands-on approach. A learning approach where children are active learners both indoors and outdoors, surrounded by opportunities for play which promotes literacy and numeracy.

As we take care to listen deeply to our children, to their stories, understanding and thinking we recognise the power of story and language. Children are immersed in a literacy rich environment with a focus on oral language, phonological awareness, reading, viewing, mark marking and writing, listening and engaging in meaningful text, which supports the development of foundational skills and the confidence to use language in all its forms.

Stories that have rich beautiful language and engaging illustrations provide opportunities to build children's knowledge and skills on the concepts about print but also build a love of books and language. A sound knowledge of nursery rhymes is important, as is playing around with words and sounds in fun games. Our program encourages children to explore the world around them and ask big questions.


In the early years opportunities to engage in mathematical concepts are everywhere. In their play, children measure, sort, count, discuss number, monitor time, recognise and make patterns, order, use spatial terms, do puzzles, sequence events, make maps, problem solve, collect data, interpret data, and record their understandings.

Mathematical experiences at Ignatius Early Years are intentionally provided to children through first observing what children are doing in their play and then ensuring access to materials that can be used independently in their preferred activities. Mathematical knowledge is actively constructed and acquired as the children interact with the environment and each other. Through play, children are able to engage in higher order thinking enabling the acquisition of newly acquired skills and concepts. When teachers observe children's play, they are able to notice how the numeracy vocabulary is being used and provide scaffold of new words and ideas when the time is right.

Child Protection Curriculum

We believe that for a child to grow towards their full potential it is necessary to provide them with a spiritual, emotional and physical environment that is enriching and safe. As part of our safeguarding children and young people policy, all our teachers are trained in the Child Protection Curriculum. This program provides developmentally appropriate strategies to help children keep themselves safe. We cover the topics: 'the right to be safe, relationships, recognising safe and unsafe touching and protective strategies' and these are taught using the early years learning framework principles and practices. Beautifully illustrated picture books, Kimochi dolls, songs and games gently introduce the concepts of feelings and relationships to support all children on this journey.


All Australian children, from the earliest age, deserve to learn about our ancient country and the rich and diverse culture of First Nations people that continue to this this day.

At Ignatius Early Years we embed cultural learning in the early years to impart the wonder of Indigenous knowledge and promote a culture of understanding and respect towards cultural diversity for all children. Our program also supports Aboriginal children's sense of identity and belonging. Our reconciliation action plan outlines our goals and strategies as a college and reminds us to provide opportunities for children to connect with present and emerging elders to share Kaurna culture, identity and connection. Together we celebrate diversity with children and their families, and the opportunities diversity brings to know more about our world.

Once children see themselves as authors and inventors, once they are helped to discover the pleasure of enquiry, their motivation and interest explode.

Loris Malaguzzi, founding father of Reggio Emilia