The Early Years at Endeavour Hills Specialist School (EHSS) is made up of the Prep and Grade One classes. Students in Early Years use the Victorian Curriculum and structured play-based programs to facilitate student development of core skills such as academic goals, personal hygiene, feeding, toileting and developing social and play skills.
The Early Years classes have an emphasis on educators, parents and the school community collectively designing a program that meets the individual needs of our students to ensure their continual development. At EHSS, the littlest learners are celebrated as their own unique individuals, and programs are designed to encourage their learning using a range of supports. Staff consider the knowledge, interests and abilities students bring to a learning context, how the students will be organised for learning (individual, cooperative groups, interest), and the ongoing assessment strategies to help inform the teaching and learning cycle. They also use both the indoor and outdoor learning areas to create physical and social environments that expose children to learning experiences and physical activity.
In the beginning stages of the Early Years, there is a strong emphasis on beginning to build relationships with educators and peers, establishing new school routines and determining classroom expectations. With this, students have the opportunity to mix across the Early Years cohort during play experiences and explicit teaching activities to build relationships with unfamiliar educators and peers, while focusing on other supports to suit the needs of individual student. The educators work in consultation and collaboration with a team of other specialists based at the school including speech pathologists, occupational therapists and music therapists to ensure that the whole child is supported through each learning opportunity.
Some of the experiences on offer in the Early Years include: