I love it when I get great questions with regard to how I program! Here is a great question from Awilda
How could you possibly organise a curriculum 40 weeks in advance, let alone have the portfolios ‘ready’ for the whole year?
Firstly let me give you some background with regards to the 40 Weeks Program.
My 40 weeks Program was designed a few years ago and has been used in family day cares, play groups (disadvantaged areas) and Pre kindy & Kindergarten programs. It is 4 sets of ten week blocks. It is designed to give a literacy and numeracy focus and importantly designed to bridge learning from early learning settings with home.
I designed my 40 weeks with this parent focus in mind as it was primarily designed with children who were at risk. The essential element was providing a program with home connection as well as a solid literacy base with many families being refugees and from an ESL background. Parents could learn with their children.
What is the Starskills 40 Weeks Program?
The 40 Weeks program has run in local Aboriginal Play Groups as well as picked up by Anglicare Community and The Salvation Army. The pre kindy programs were run in “at risk” areas and has a range of ages from babies to pre schoolers. Siblings often come and love the program as they can be involved with a multi age appropriate program.
Each week there is a short, sharp, focused session that involves weekly literature as outlined as well as weekly cards. The children LOVE collecting their cards and it is wonderful to pass these on to parents. Each week there is a focus BUT your whole classroom program does NOT have to revolve around these topics.
Each week children collect their vocabulary card, picture number card to which they will add a sticker dot depending on the number and there is a “Home Work” card which links the parents to the child’s learning.
Each week there is also a Weekly Early Learning Video that ties the vocabulary and number for the week all together.
I like to do my 40 weeks sessions in the morning keeping in mind – short, sharp, focused sessions.
The 40 Weeks Program is NOT meant to be your whole curriculum. As educators it is essential to firstly KNOW your students and have a play based program. Once the 40 Weeks program is running – I suggest your first session in the day. Children will move onto play that is designed for them. Educators must carefully observe then implement where their children are at. 40 Weeks is a starting point but not your end goal 🙂
40 Weeks & EYLF Portfolio
Each week there is a Portfolio entry that will tie in with the 40 Weeks. It may be quite difficult to do all 40 entries! You can pick and chose the ones that suite you.
I have tried to look at the whole picture. Portfolio entries cover the EYLF from hands on science to documenting play situations to numeracy and so on. Basically all EYLF outcomes. Capturing drawing development through the year and name writing. It is designed to give parents a wonderful encapsulation of their child’s early learning years. For me this is probably the most important – a Portfolio that has a range of things to document and will be a memory keeper too!
40 Weeks & EYLF Portfolio may NOT be for you….
- The 40 Weeks & EYLF Portfolio may not be for you if you LOVE planning your portfolios weekly yourself.
- If you use this and it is all you use then please can I recommend you do not use this.
- If you are not prepared to evaluate and observe your children’s play and be prepared to go with their interests.
40 Weeks & EYLF Portfolio is for you….
- If you want a framework to follow
- You are happy to follow children’s interests
- You understand 40 Weeks is only a portion of your program – educator assessment and observations and knowing your children are essential.
- You don’t want to reinvent the wheel 🙂 – I have done it all for you!
- You are happy with access online to watch videos and download resources