Our Philosophy - ‘Empower’

Education = fun.

Orana Community Preschool strives to foster children’s enthusiasm for education. Inspiring a love of learning through child initiated experiences. Our dedicated educators aim to extend on children’s ideas and interests, and facilitate their potential for learning, confidence, resilience and nuture social interactions.

“I tried really hard to pull the tug rope with my friends and we won!”

TH Orana child, aged 4

Meaningful

As a team, we view the whole child, taking into account a child’s age, stages of development, their cultural background, individual strengths, abilities, and needs. This perspective promotes meaningful and inclusive collaborations with each child and their family, as well as the local community. We celebrate and accept our diversities & appreciate how they complement our Orana community. Educators critically reflect on their practices and program to ensure inclusivity is maintained for all. Any potential barriers that limit meaningful participation are identified & addressed to ensure every child and family feel they belong and are valued.

“Orana really values where our child is up to developmentally and makes sure they include meaningful activities into their day. We are always so impressed everytime we are asked to update the about me form, so this can remain current”

MD, Orana Parent

Play

Play is paramount in how children learn and discover about their world. Children’s voices drive the daily program and we seek to create an environment that fosters curiosity and wonder within a safe and inviting setting. We value children’s involvement to extend on their knowledge and to validate their ideas. Non interrupted play for extended periods allows children to have the space and the time to fully explore and develop their play. Children can then start to view themselves as capable learners as they prepare to transition to school.

“So appreciative of how fantastic all the teachers are at Orana and how committed you all are to helping our children grow. Grace absolutely loves Orana and asks me everyday when is her school day. Thank you so much for the way you all invest into the lives of all our kids!”

CA, Orana Parent

Ongoing

As children grow, so does our preschool. Processes are constantly evolving to ensure we are mindful of new approaches & ways of thinking. With each new family, they plant their own unique footprint into our Orana History. Parent input is consistently sourced to ensure different views are considered as we change and improve. As educators we take time to critically review our practices and update our knowledge through professional development and engaging in informed discussions.

Welcome

The origin of the word ‘Orana’ is an Aboriginal term that means Welcome. We open our doors to our community and invite our families to be actively involved in their child’s time at Orana. We are passionate about the need for inclusion and believe ALL children should have a right to access preschool prior to starting formal education. We encourage our community to understand how valuable their input is within the Orana family. As a team, we welcome our colleague’s views and draw on our wealth of experience within the range of early childhood experience and training we each bring with us.

“Orana went above and beyond to accommodate my eldest son when he was newly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Three years later we returned to Orana with our youngest son and it just felt like we were returning home to an extended family as we were warmly greeted by familiar faces.”

NH, Orana Parent

Earth

We encourage children to cherish the beauty of our outdoor environment and the opportunities it creates. We promote positive connections to our surroundings. This nurtures children’s appreciation of the world, both natural and man-made and our impact upon it through sustainable practice. As a preschool, we strive to reduce our footprint on the land through embedding thoughtful values and educating children on the implications of our everyday choices.

Respect

We acknowledge and respect the land on which we meet and its traditional owners of the Awabakal region. We value each individual child’s family history, their cultural identity and what is important to them. We take pride in our Preschool’s history, have welcomed, and valued the generations of families that have contributed to make us the preschool we are today. We support our local community businesses and services, and have formed strong connections through these unique interactions.

“For several years now, I have been bringing our elderly residents to visit the children here at Orana twice a week. To the ‘Grandfriends’, this part of their day is very special, is a highlight of their week and gives them a purpose and something to look forward to.”

LP Activity coordinator, Wallsend Aged Care Facility.