DR MICHAEL SLATTERY: Early Learning Policy Launch

Last week the Early Learning Policy was launched in our diocese. Its procedures set a system wide commitment to Early Learning and a direction for us all.

Its aim was to identify and ensure a focus on quality practice and intervention strategies in the early years and at key transition periods.

The Position Paper aimed at providing discussion around the following key issues:

  • Who is the Early Learner entering our Catholic Primary schools?
  • What is our image of the Early Learner and why is this important?
  • How are our schools catering for the Early Learner in relation to the formal school context from Kindergarten to Year 2?
  • Do we need to rethink our image of Early Learner and if so, what are the implications that emerge from this reimaging?

Early Learning is a part of the CSO Strategic Plan 2017-2019 under the Domain Statement 2 as Domain Priority 2: A system-wide approach to the needs of Early Learners. It respects the rights, capabilities and needs of the Early Learner, specifically children transitioning into Kindergarten and children in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2.

Our Policy on Early Learning will be implemented by all of our Diocesan schools. No Policy comes without challenge - challenge to think, observe, plan and implement, according to the cultural and educational setting - that is to think and reflect upon the particular cohort, their specific educational needs, the cultural setting of the school and the specific priorities that exist.

I believe that the challenge will be to think about the existing pedagogies and practices in implementing the Early Learning Policy and its future practices in our schools.

The CSO is committed to the Policy and its implementation. It is committed to providing quality support though Kim Moroney and her work, and the work of her colleagues in the Teaching and Learning Team at CSO.

It was my pleasure to officially launch the Early Learning Policy for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. In particular I would like to acknowledge and thank Kim Moroney, her Committee and Teaching & Learning for the hard work that has gone into producing such excellent work.

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Dr Michael Slattery Image
Dr Michael Slattery

Dr Michael Slattery is the Director of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.