Affinity Education Launches Lifelong Learning Curriculum

In a national first, more than 2500 early childhood educators and early childhood teachers collaborated in Community of Practice sessions held nationally over three nights in March 2023, as Affinity Education Group Head of Education and Pedagogy Dr Lesley Jones and our Education team launched our Lifelong Learning Curriculum.

“Our Lifelong Learning Curriculum is Australia’s most progressive approach to delivering the Early Years Learning Framework for children aged birth to five years,” Dr Jones said.

“In more than 30 years of working in early education I have never seen this level of engagement in a single week across a national community of educators and teachers, it truly is history in the making for us and for the future of early education in Australia.”

Commenting on the challenges that many educators and teachers had expressed, Dr Jones said a key consideration in the Lifelong Learning Curriculum was the careful combination of play-based and intentional teaching practices including Play Schemas and the principal of the environment as the third teacher.

"Our Lifelong Learning Curriculum has emerged from a philosophy established by Affinity in 2015 and is based on what children learn, where children learn and how children learn. The feedback from our educators is that this really supports them as they undertake their observations of children and respond with thoughtful programming to deliver the Early Years Learning Framework,” explained Dr Jones.

“Our Curriculum is distilled into three key age groups which enable early childhood educators to meet children’s needs.”

  • Healthy Beginnings (Birth to 1 year) Our Lifelong Learning: Healthy Beginnings Curriculum emphasises the establishment of secure attachments and positive relationships between babies and educators through the use of Primary Caregiver (Key Educator) approaches, the Circle of Security and learning zones focused on play schemas.

  • Early Experiences (1-3 years) Our Lifelong Learning: Early Experiences Curriculum emphasises guiding toddlers’ language and social development using the Abecedarian approach within our intentional learning zones focused on play schemas.

  • School Readiness (3-5 years) Our Lifelong Learning: School Readiness Curriculum emphasises enquiry-based projects and foundation learning skills to support children’s development of key 21st century school-readiness skills. Our Education Team supports our Bachelor Qualified Early Childhood Teachers with outstanding programs which enrich their state-based preschool or kindergarten curriculums.

Educators at Kids Academy Woongarrah shared their enthusiasm for our Lifelong Learning Curriculum through in-depth critical analysis and participation in breakout sessions.

Sarah Lillie from Papilio Early Learning in Turner, ACT, said her team believed the Lifelong Learning Curriculum was ‘developmentally appropriate’. “We received inspiration about how we can re-think and re-fresh our environments at our beautiful centre, and were so proud of our team for representing their professionalism,” she said.

Centre Manager Belinda Dwyer said a highlight of the Community of Practice events was the opportunity to collaborate and connect with their sister centres. “We’re all very excited about what we’re learning, and by the passion and knowledge that Affinity’s Education Team share with us so readily,” Belinda said.

Milestones Early Learning Tingalpa shared photos of their event on their centre Facebook page. “The opportunity to collaborate and discuss their practices and methods of teaching in depth was a truly rewarding professional development opportunity,” explained Centre Manager Amy Owen.

Affinity’s launch events will be complemented by their 2023 Professional Development series for educators and teachers, and by free eLearning programs designed to deliver in-depth expert knowledge in programs including Play Schemas, Circle of Security, Abecedarian language and Primary Caregiver approaches.