How children form relationships can influence their short-term and lifelong opportunities. Our educators pay careful attention to how your child socialises and will help them develop the skills to make friends, get along with others and feel comfortable in group settings. They will model respectful and kind relationships, support your child to develop their own strategies for managing conflict and ease them into settings where they lack confidence.

Developing an understanding of their place in the community also helps children grow socially. Our educators will encourage your child to think and talk about what’s happening in their community and provide opportunities to participate in activities and events where they can build relationships with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Developing important social skills for life

Human beings are social creatures and our drive to connect with others starts when we are babies, so it’s important that as a community we equip children with the social skills they need to relate to others and build strong relationships. More than just the ability to ‘make friends’, social skills help children express themselves, communicate, negotiate and resolve conflict.

When we talk about children’s development, the focus is often on skills such as language, motor skills and their physical growth. But the development of social skills is equally important.

That’s why we provide opportunities for children to create diverse relationships through mixed aged play, intergenerational experiences and participation in community events with our schools and parishes. It is also why our educators focus on demonstrating positive relationships for children, so they learn to respond to people with respect, to manage conflict and competition calmly and communicate their feelings effectively.

You can read more about how your child’s social and emotional skills are developing all of the time and how you can support this growth in our blog.

Bake for the drought

Noticing that many of the children had taken an interest in the drought and the plight of farmers, our kindergarten teachers took the opportunity to show children how their actions could bring joy to others.

We started a ‘bake for the drought’ appeal and asked families to donate ingredients. The children baked cakes and set up a stall to sell them to school families.

Apart from the fun we had baking cakes, the children learned the value of working together to make a positive contribution in the community. The experience had a lasting impact on the children and served as a reminder of the power of learning with purpose.

Mixed aged play

Your child’s social and emotional development is a priority for us. Our open learning environments that encourage mixed aged play are an important part of our approach to growing socially.

Playing with children of different ages helps your child develop important skills including kindness and compassion, leadership and responsibility. For our kindergarten children, playing with the toddlers who take longer to complete a task helps them develop patience. Quieter children, who tend not to lead in their own age group, might take on a leadership role helping the younger children. And through these interactions our nursery and toddler children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and communication skills as they chat with their older friends.

For all children mixed aged play is an opportunity to grow. This is why our kindergarten children also regularly visit the local schools to build relationships with these children.

Celebrating Harmony Day

The children at St Francis Xavier Kindergarten looked forward to Harmony Day and showing off their heritage to their friends. During the week the children discussed the many nationalities present in their group, investigated different flags and created their own. The children also came along in cultural dress and shared their family’s culture with their classmates, including working together to cook traditional foods. Harmony Day was the beginning of a new and ongoing experience for the children as they went on to learn daily greetings in the many languages and dialects of their group. For the children this was an opportunity to build their cultural competence and develop an understanding and appreciation of cultural differences.