About J B Cleland Kindergarten

The kindergarten has been established in St. Georges within the Burnside Council since 1962 as a Department of Education and Child Development centre for early learning.

The community celebrated the 50th Birthday of the kindergarten in 2012 with the opening of a new garden with a commemorative artwork from mosaic artist Deanna Kernick.

The diverse range of cultural backgrounds within the J B Cleland community contributes to the richness of the curriculum as traditions, values and beliefs are respected and are an integral part of the opportunities for children’s learning.

Our pedagogy is guided and informed by the principles of the Early Years Learning Framework which include the building of trusting relationships and partnerships with the children, parents, staff and the wider community and supporting high expectations and equitable outcomes for all children through professional learning, inquiry and reflective practice.

Statement of Philosophy

We acknowledge and respect the right of every child to an education that incorporates learning through play both as a process and a context for learning; an education that respects each child’s family, cultural identity and language and an education that fosters a sense of agency and resilience in every child.

We acknowledge the uniqueness and potential of all children by valuing and incorporating their views and perspectives in everyday learning. We encourage children to be independent thinkers, share their voice, show respect and take responsibility for their immediate and wider environment.

We are committed to an inclusive curriculum through the implementation of a holistic approach to teaching and learning where similarities and differences are celebrated in order to build stronger connections between children, families and communities.

We acknowledge the importance and value of developing and maintaining strong partnerships with families and the community in ensuring that all children have equal opportunities to achieve learning outcomes and are able to experience successful transitions between settings.

We believe that ongoing learning and reflective practice for educators is paramount to the delivery of quality education for our children. A process of planning, acting and self reviewing form the basis of our pedagogical practice.

We value, respect and embrace the culture and heritage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We are committed to adopting a collective and collaborative approach in the delivery of educational programs to the children of these communities.

We encourage children to understand their role as global citizens by nurturing a sense of responsibility for the appreciation, care and sustainability of natural and man-made environments.

We provide a welcoming, secure and healthy learning environment that fosters a sense of wellbeing and comfort, belonging and autonomy independence and exploration.

Most of all, we believe that learning should be FUN!

There exists a vital connection between a time for learning and a time for play (Leo Buscaglia) and therefore we believe that in order to give a child the best start in life, one needs to give them abundant opportunities to PLAY!


Our planning for children’s learning is guided by the Early Years Learning Framework – a foundation of Principles, Practice and Learning Outcomes to assist in designing and supporting the kindergarten curriculum.

According to the Framework, ‘curriculum’ in the early years ‘encompasses all the interactions, experiences, routines and events, planned and unplanned, that occur in an environment designed to foster children’s learning and development’.

Children have a capacity to initiate, construct and lead learning in many different ways. Our learning program comprises a combination of some planned activities with room for the curriculum to emerge and evolve as children’s questions, wonderings and little discoveries steer learning in new and unexpected ways!

The following beliefs underpin our planning for children’s learning:
  • Play is the most powerful way children learn as it promotes creative flexibility in thinking; assists children in building their own knowledge and fosters language and social abilities;
  • Parents have a unique knowledge and understanding of their child and are their first and foremost educators.
  • Children have prior knowledge and abilities when starting kindergarten.
  • The learning environment is stimulating, safe and enjoyable.
  • There is respect for children’s diverse range of knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and dispositions.
  • Children develop at their own individual level and in different ways emotionally, intellectually, morally, socially, physically and spiritually.
  • Children learn when they are involved in initiating and negotiating their own learning, which is enhanced and supported by positive, challenging interactions.
  • Children are encouraged to develop life skills, which foster a sense of resilience and optimism within themselves.
  • Children need lengths of uninterrupted time and space (space to be alone, with a friend or with a group of friends) to maximize learning opportunities.

We foster an inquiry based approach to learning wherein children take ownership of their learning through active engagement, thinking, enquiring, questioning, critiquing and researching. Through this approach children play the role of architects of their own learning, designing the process and creating and building on their learning in unique and individualised ways.

The kindergarten also offers programs to meet additional needs of individual children. These include:

  • Preschool Bilingual Support Program – to provide bilingual support to children and families who have English as a second language.
  • Preschool Support Program – to provide support for children with additional needs.


The staff team at our kindergarten:

  • Director
  • Teachers
  • Early Childhood Workers
  • Bi-lingual Support Workers
  • Preschool Support Workers
  • Administrative and Financial Support
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