TSS Preschool

A specialist kindergarten program for boys in Southport


Preschool Handbook

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the TSS Preschool Handbook

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National Quality Rating

TSS Preschool is the only service on the Gold Coast to have received two Excellent Ratings.

Currently rated Exceeding, TSS Preschool have reached the highest level in the Assessment and Rating process by ACECQA in all seven Quality Areas.

Quality Area 1: Educational program and practice

Educational programs and practices should be play-based, child-centred and enhance learning and development. In early childhood, the educational program includes all aspects of a child’s development including socialisation, life skills, hygiene and emotional regulation.

Quality Area 2: Children’s health and safety

Children’s health and safety relates to both the physical and emotional wellbeing of children. This includes supporting each child’s growing competence, confidence and independence, and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Quality Area 3: Physical environment

Physical environment refers to the spaces where children learn, play and rest. These spaces should be safe and provide opportunities for different experiences that contribute to both learning and wellbeing. Quality environments should reflect the interests and cultural background of the children who attend the service and include age appropriate opportunities for both individual and group play, sensory learning and physical activity

Quality Area 4: Staffing arrangements

Staffing arrangements relate to the qualifications and experience of staff members. Services must meet minimum ratio and qualification requirements under the National Law and Regulations.

Quality Area 5: Relationships with children

Strong relationships between educators and children are vital for the wellbeing of children. These relationships should foster trust and respect and provide children with a sense of security and belonging. This quality area also covers children’s relationships and interactions with each other and how educators help them to develop positive relationships that contribute to all aspects of children’s learning.

Quality Area 6: Collaborative partnerships with families and communities

Positive relationships with families and the wider community are an important aspect of service quality

Quality Area 7: Governance and leadership

Governance and leadership set the tone for the whole service. Strong leadership and good governance feed into all the other quality areas.

Modes of Attendance for Preschool

Full Time – 5 days per week term time.

Part Time – 5 day fortnight, attendance will be either:-

Monday Group – Mon/Tues/Wed (Week A) and then Mon/Tues (Week B)
Thursday Group – Thurs/Fri (Week A) and then Wed/Thurs/Fri (Week B)

As an accredited centre, for eligible families, the fee for attending the TSS Preschool Program will attract the Child Care Subsidy.

Boys are our Business

Excellent Rated Preschool at The Southport School our specialist knowledge in the education of boys ensures we create a kindergarten program with their needs as our focus. Changes to the National Curriculum mean that more than ever before it is important that all children have the best possible start to their educational journey. Boys who participate in a quality kindergarten program taught by qualified teachers with a real passion and interest in their learning enjoy a flying start to learning and life. TSS Preparatory School offers a Preschool program for boys in which they can grow into their potential.

Young Brains are Works in Progress

“What a child learns and experiences in their early years … will have effects that last a lifetime.” Give your child the best possible start. Neuroscience shows that early experiences impact upon brain development more than genetics. In other words, nurture trumps nature. Young brain development is dependent on a positive environment – good nutrition, health, and nourishing and stimulating parenting. At The Southport School, your son is at the centre of everything we do. Through our Preschool program, we want to inspire your son with a love of learning and to give your son a great foundation for the years ahead.


The Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines supports kindergarten teachers’ professional practice in a range of contexts across Queensland. The guideline is based on the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) and embraces the inclusive vision that “all children experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life”,

The EYLF describes a vision of children’s learning, characterised by:

Belonging – recognising the knowing where and with whom you belong is integral to human existence, providing a basis for children’s interdependence and relationships with others.
Being – recognising and valuing the “here and now” in children’s lives, and viewing childhood as more than simple preparation for adulthood for the future.
Becoming – recognising the rapid and significant learning and development that occurs in the early years, and the capability and potential of all children.
While the EYLF focuses on children from birth to five years, The Queensland kindergarten learning guidelines aim to specifically enrich children’s learning in the Preschool Year. In Queensland, the Preschool Year is the year before the Preparatory Year of schooling. Throughout the Preschool Year, children’s right to experience the joy of childhood is fundamental and learning is promoted through play, and emergent and planned learning experiences and interactions.

The Guideline recognises that parents are children’s first educators and values the vital role parents, carers and family members play in children’s lives and their ongoing learning. The term “families”, throughout the guideline, recognises the range of people who take on parenting roles and build close and supportive relationships with children in their home environments.

The relationship between the EYLF learning outcomes and Queensland kindergarten learning and development areas

Identity: Related EYLF learning outcome: Children have a strong sense of identity.
Connectedness: Related EYLF learning outcome: Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
Wellbeing: Related EYLF learning outcome: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
Active learning: Related EYLF learning outcome: Children are confident and involved learners.
Communication: Related EYLF learning outcome: Children are effective communicators.

The Sky’s the Limit

“It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” Joyce Maynard

What will my son learn at Preschool?

  • He will actively learn through play. In the kindergarten program, each boy will participate in play-based learning experiences designed to encourage his physical, social, intellectual, language and emotional abilities
  • He will engage in pre-literacy and pre-numeracy learning which will establish strong foundations for the more formal years of schooling ahead
    He will learn to use language to communicate ideas, feelings, and needs
  • He will learn how to make friends and learn how to cooperate with others
  • He will become more independent and confident in his abilities He will develop self-discipline
  • He will use his creativity to express ideas and feelings through the arts
  • He will identify, explore and solve problems

Key Workers – Quality of Care

“Teaching Kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” Bob Talbert

The TSS Preschool program will be taught by fully qualified teachers rather than child-care workers and each class will be taught by supplementary specialist teaching staff in Physical Education, Music and Life and Faith.

All TSS staff know that quality early learning experiences come from ensuring ‘best practice’ and that ‘best practice’ is achieved by constantly improving everything we do. In our Preschool, ‘best practice’ will include:

A stimulating, caring and educational environment
A cultural focus on building your child’s confidence, individuality, self-esteem, social skills and respect for others
Programming that is sensitive and easily tailored to a child’s individual needs, strengths, and interests
Opportunities for families to be involved in the centre
A nationally accredited learning framework.
By focusing on achieving, maintaining and exceeding best practice, we’re helping to ensure the happiness and health of the children in our care and their families.


The Southport School Preschool is housed in a state of the art facility on the grounds of our Preparatory School. Entry is off Benowa Road, Southport. You are cordially invited to visit and see for yourself one of the Gold Coast’s premier early childhood education centres.

Preschool Nature Pedagogy

With Time, children notice the detail around them. They see fascinations in everything, but when you connect the drive to explore to the natural world, you observe increased levels of autotelic learning (Warden, 2015)

Claire Warden says “Nature Pedagogy is my definition of a natural way of working with children that is all encompassing from the educational environments we create, the process of assessment & planning, through to the Learning Journeys that we encourage children & families to take throughout childhood.”

“Learning with nature across multiple spaces is beneficial for children for their intellectual, emotional and physical development. It is their fascination that drives their sense of curiosity. Imagine the potential when we embrace these fascinations and allow them to drive the learning in our educational settings.”

Educators at The Southport School Preschool recognise that in recent years there has been a cultural shift in our society that has reduced the access and use of outdoors for many young children. Contributory factors include increased fear amongst adults in relation to children’s safety and technological advances leading to an overwhelming prominence of more sedentary indoor activities, such as television, video and computer games. Educators identified some powerful arguments for taking every opportunity to take our boys beyond their immediate indoor environment and so developed Bush Preschool.

The boys spend one day per week in Bush Preschool and during this time they………..

  • extend their knowledge of their environment and natural surroundings
  • recognise the significance of land in Aboriginal culture
  • reconnect with and appreciate nature while learning how to work together and take turns in a small group environment
  • knowledge and interests are supported through exploration
  • take part in the planning and planting of bush tucker

Benefits of the boys engaging in Bush Preschool are:

  • Learning outside the classroom supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering the boys opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promoting a sense of well-being.
  • Learning outside the classroom gives the boys contact with the natural world and offers them experiences that are unique
    to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather and the seasons.
  • Playing and learning outside also helps the boys to understand and respect nature, the environment and the interdependence of humans, animals, plants, and lifecycles.
  • Outdoor play also supports the boys’ problem-solving skills and nurtures their
    creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.
  • Our boys need an outdoor environment that can provide them with space, both upwards and outwards, and places to explore, experiment, discover, be active and healthy, and to develop their physical capabilities.
  • The outdoor environment offers space and therefore is particularly important to those boys who learn best through active movement. Very young boys learn predominately through their sensory and physical experiences which supports brain development and the creation of neural networks.

TSS Playgroup

Reflecting on how TSS Preschool could support our community, we identified through a survey that quality programs for 0-4 years were lacking in our area. This prompted us to research playgroups and what that would entail. We linked with Playgroup Qld and they have supported us through the set up process. We have regular support and visits from their team and our membership with them provides insurance cover and free memberships for our families. All families in our area are welcome to join Playgroup (boys and girls).

Playgroup is held each Friday (term time only) from 9am – 10.30am in the OSHC area. The Educator who runs Playgroup also works in Preschool and so is familiar with current families. The Educational Leader and Playgroup Educator have been trained in the Abecedarian Approach and deliver this during Playgroup to support parents with their child’s developing language.

Children under five are going through a stage of rapid brain and skill development. For optimum development, young children need a stimulating environment to play and learn. Playgroups offer babies, toddlers and young children a wide variety of early learning experiences. Playgroup is a great way for children to learn about the world, make friends and develop social skills. Playgroup also gives mums, dads, grandparents and caregivers a chance to share ideas and experiences. Many long-term friendships begin at Playgroup.

Playgroup develops physical skills, teaches problem solving, communication and social interaction and, of course, it’s great fun!

Benefits for Children

  • Provides an environment for social interaction.
  • Provides an opportunity for children to play and learn.
  • Assists in language development and communication.
  • Provides a space for children to participate in and enjoy new activities.
  • Provides a stimulated environment where children can acquire new skills and learn.
  • Provides access to a variety of toys and equipment.
  • Provides a safe and happy place for children.
  • Assists children to become ready for the formal learning environment.
  • Provides an opportunity to attend excursions and events.

Benefits for Families

  • Gives parents the opportunity to play and interact with their child.
  • Provides a great space for social interaction.
  • Allows time for parents to share their experiences, ideas and to support one another.
  • Provides a routine that allows families to gather and interact
  • .Provides affordable membership and sessions
  • Fosters community spirit and assists social networks.

TSS Preschool is a Reggio Inspired Preschool

The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy started by the parents in Reggio Emilia, Italy after World War II. The parents believed that the destruction of war required a new, better approach to teaching their children. They believed that children form their individuality in the early years of development. The program they developed emphasised respect, responsibility and community involvement. Children were allowed to explore and discover in a supportive and rich environment where the children’s interests helped determine the curriculum.

It is unique to Reggio Emilia. It is not a method. Outside of the town of Reggio Emilia, all schools and preschools are Reggio-inspired, using an adaptation of the approach specific to the needs of their community. This is important, as each student, teacher, parent, community, and town are different. No two Reggio-inspired communities should look the same, as the needs and interests of the children within each community will be different.

The Reggio Emilia pedagogy views children as capable, inquisitive learners and educators plan experiences, called provocations, to spark creativity, thinking, planning and reflecting in line with the boys’ interests and Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline outcomes. Many natural “loose parts” have been added to the classrooms and outside areas to enhance the commercially bought resources. Children are innately curious about the natural world and experiences using natural materials is not only aesthetically pleasing, it is also delightfully open-ended, engages the senses and supports valuable connections with the natural world. To ensure the boys are able to connect with nature authentically, an area of woodland between The Pearson Building and The Cribb Building, called Bush Preschool, has been made available to enable to the boys to explore, create and collaborate. Many readings and professional learning undertaken in the area of Nature pedagogy confirms the importance of nature is a powerful teacher, supporting children to learn about themselves, others and the natural world.

Additionally, the Reggio approach involves the whole community and TSS Preschool endeavours to work with not only families but also the wider community to support the boys’ learning. Uncle Boomerang is a regular visitor to Preschool, who talks to the boys about Indigenous culture, much of which takes place in our natural environment around the school.

The Fundamental Principals of the Reggio Approach

Children are capable of constructing their own learning

They are driven by their interests to understand and know more.

Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others.

There is a strong focus on social collaboration, working in groups, where each child is an equal participant, having their thoughts and questions valued. The adult is not the giver of knowledge. Children search out knowledge through their own investigations.

Children are communicators and communication is a process, a way of discovering things, asking questions, using language as play.

Children are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore, to reflect on their experiences. They are listened to with respect, believing that their questions and observations are an opportunity to learn and search together. It is a continual, collaborative process. Rather than the child asking a question and the adult offering the answers, the search is undertaken together.

The environment is the third teacher and is recognised for its potential to inspire children. An environment filled with natural light, order and beauty. Open spaces free from clutter, where every material is considered for its purpose, every corner is ever-evolving to encourage children to delve deeper and deeper into their interests.

The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration, respects children as capable by providing them with authentic materials & tools.

The adult is a mentor and guide who observes children, listens to their questions and their stories, finds what interests them and then provides them with opportunities to explore these interests further.

The Reggio Emilia Approach takes a child-led project approach. The projects aren’t planned in advanced, they emerge based on the child’s interests.

Children’s thoughts and learning processes are documented through many different “visible” ways in a respectful manner.

The Hundred Languages of Children is probably the most well-known aspect of the Reggio Emilia Approach. The belief that children use many different ways to show their understanding and express their thoughts and creativity. A hundred different ways of thinking, of discovering, of learning; drawing and sculpting, dance and movement, painting and pretend play, modelling and music, each one of these Hundred Languages must be valued and nurtured.

These languages, or ways of learning, are all a part of the child. Learning and play are not separated. The Reggio Emilia Approach emphasises hands-on discovery learning that allows the child to use all their senses and all their languages to learn.

Reggio Emilia 100 Languages Poem

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