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Professional Experience - Final Report

Block Placement

Early Childhood Education

(Please highlight)

Year 3 (Undergraduate) Year 1 (MTeach)
Final Year
3/7, 10/7, 16/7, 17/7, 18/7, 22/7, 23/7, 24/7, 25/7, 26/7, 29/7,
30/7, 31/7, 1/8, 2/8, 12/8, 13/8, 14/8, 15/8, 16/8, 19/8, 20/8, 21/8,
22/8, 23/8.
Melanie Kenton YEAR LEVEL(S) TAUGHT (if


SITE Goolwa Children's Centre
Janet Whitten

Site Context (to be completed by the Pre-Service Teacher)
Please write a brief statement about the centre/school you have worked in during your placement

Goolwa Children's Centre is an early years integrated learning centre, catering for children from 6 weeks to
school age. Children and families who use the centre live in the river port township of Goolwa and the
surrounding rural areas. It is a 65 place rural integrated children's centre which provides child care and
kindergarten within the one site. Community Services such as playgroup, Child and Youth Health Clinics and
parenting and health workshops are also offered from the centre.
The centre is set up well, providing a safe and caring environment and the yard fosters a child's curiosity and
need to explore, with its many natural elements and spaces for adventure. The centre has a high level of
engagement with the local community and presents a welcoming environment for children and their families.
The staff are well educated and knowledgeable, taking pride in what they do. Learning opportunities are based
on the requirements of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). The centre is currently undergoing re-
development, which will expand opportunities for outdoor play and develop connections with the adjacent
primary school campus.

Summary Statements
(to be completed by the Pre-Service Teacher and Mentor Teacher)

Professional and Collegial Learning
Teachers actively engage in personal and
collegial learning within the professional
I have developed relationships with staff and worked co-
operatively to plan my inquiry focus. I have responded to
feedback from my mentor and supported the routines and
activities of the centre.
I observed the strategies which experienced staff used to
engage and manage young children, and gradually
established a repertoire of responses for difficult situations,
such as when children refuse to share.
I learnt from planning experiences and also from observing
and supporting those planned by other educators. As the
placement proceeded and my knowledge of the childrens
interests developed, my plans became more flexible and
Learner Respect
Teachers foster trusting and respectful
relationships with all learners
I have formed trusting and respectful relationships with a
diverse range of children. I built upon interests, ideas and
thoughts that the children presented in order to nurture
their enthusiasm and curiosity.
As I came to know the children better, I was able to foster
deeper learning experiences and conversations with them.
Parent/caregiver & Community Partnerships
Teachers work effectively with
parents/caregivers and the wider community
At first I found connecting with parents quite daunting. I
created a poster to introduce myself to parents and I took
advice from my mentor teacher about how to initiate
conversation. I was involved in a Family Fun Night at the
centre and gradually gained confidence in meeting and
developing relationships with parents.
Learning Processes
Teachers know about learning processes and
how to teach and implement
I observed the children in my care and drew on these
observations to plan future learning experiences. I
developed strategies for sharing, patience and persistence
for a range of children, as I learnt more and more about
their thinking processes and their learning styles.
Learning Content
Teachers know the content they teach
With each of my experiences I created an environment to
provide for expected relevant outcomes. I made sure I
facilitated curiosity and adapted my activities for different
children at various levels of development, so that they
could build the skills relevant to them.
Learner Context
Teachers know about learner contexts and
This integrated centre includes a diverse range of children
with different needs, dispositions, temperaments and
personalities. Some of my focus children needed verbal
prompting for persistence, while others did not need verbal
prompting at all.
Planning & Teaching
Teachers plan and implement teaching strategies
for successful learning experiences
During the last two weeks I have refined my observational
skills. I have used the facilities and resources available to
plan and implement learning experiences with groups of
children and individuals. I negotiated time to practise in-
depth learning moments with my focus children both
indoor and outdoor.
Feedback & Reporting
Teachers assess and report learning outcomes
Each day, the Kindy staff writes in the Daily Log Book
that is available for parents to look through. It outlines
what the children have been doing that day, and how this is
related to the EYLF Outcomes. I have assisted in the
writing of this, gradually writing the whole day by myself.
I have written learning stories for each of my focus
children, both in my own style and from samples I have
seen at the centre.
Learning Environment
Teachers create a safe, challenging and
supportive learning environment

I have observed and taken note of children's tendencies to
share and take turns and have tried to implement strategies
relevant to each child within my learning environment. I
plan to develop these skills further in my next placement. I
have learnt to support other staff and to seek their
assistance when managing complex behaviours. In all my
learning experiences I have made sure I am inclusive of all
ages, abilities, genders and cultures. I can always find a
way to adapt my activities to suit different children with
different abilities or skills.
Mentor Teacher Summary Statement: Mel conducted herself in a professional manner and always sought
guidance when she was unsure about anything. She sought guidance for assisting children with challenging
behaviours and developmental differences and showed great understanding and patience in this area. Mel was
very quick to build relationships with children across the age and ability spectrums, displaying a natural
aptitude for diversity and inclusive practices. She began her time here with exploratory play experiences for
children, knowing that would create a platform for dialogue with a number of children. Mel observed children
on a deep level, looking for their different ways of thinking and how they prefer to display that thinking. She
focused her experience particularly on persistence, acquiring tools and skills from various staff within the
centre. She also attained knowledge of how to document various ways for various reasons. Mel contributed to
the team, writing numerous learning stories and collecting work samples for the childrens learning journals.
Mel used appropriate Early Childhood language in all her written and verbal documentation as The Early
Years Learning Framework guides our curriculum. I was really pleased that Mel stuck to a topic so relevant
and important for Early Childhood Development. I hope she will be able to use what she knows now as a solid
foundation for her future learning and teaching.

Site Coordinator/Director/Principal Summary Statement:
Mel has a very quiet and gentle nature and began her time at the centre building a relationship with her mentor
teacher, observing routines, children and staff. Over her time at the centre her confidence grew and this was
evident in her day to day interactions with children, staff and families. She took all the opportunities offered to
her in her time at the centre to attend a special family night. Mel always conducted herself professionally and
asked questions, sought clarification, accepted feedback and reflected on her practice.
Mel was able to take on challenges offered. For example leading group time for children, managing childrens
behavior and planning form childrens interests and ideas. Building relationships with parents and carers was a
challenge and one she was aware of. Over time as her confidence grew she was able to develop strategies to
better support her to interact with families.
Mel focused strongly on developing her skills in observation and documentation of childrens learning. She
documented the days learning in the daily reflection book for children and families and wrote learning stories.
She developed a very close relationship with her mentor teacher and children and contributed to the staff team
in many ways. We wish her all the best for her future in the education of young children and see her desire to
continually improve her skills, abilities and practice.

University Liaison Summary Statement:

It was my pleasure to visit Melanie on two occasions during her placement at Goolwa. During these visits, I
was able to talk to Jill Griffen and Kate Baldwin, to discuss Melanie's plans and observations, and to see her
actively engaged with the children in her care.

From the start, Melanie demonstrated an eagerness to learn more about the children and their interests. She
responded to advice and encouragement from her mentors, collected resources and ideas, and planned relevant
leaning opportunities based on observations of the children. Writing objective, informative and professional
observations is not an easy task, but Mel demonstrated a relative strength in writing useful observations. She
also displayed a responsive and encouraging manner, and it was a delight to see her gently supporting children
and extending their play.

This was a strong performance.

Consideration has been given to the complexities and degree of challenge of the professional experience context in evaluating the
students ability to meet the assessment criteria for the professional experience.

Place the letter X in the relevant box


Kate Baldwin
Mentor Teacher

Date: .......19/09/13..........

Janet Whitten
University Liaison

Date: 16/10/13

Jill Griffen
Site Coordinator/Director/Principal

Date: ...............19/09/13.........

Mel Kenton
Pre-Service Teacher

Date: .............29/08/13............

The pre-service teacher will submit this report with an application for employment. Please avoid the use of acronyms as
student reports are often viewed by interstate and international employers who are not always familiar with South Australian
nomenclature. Please submit the completed report to the Professional Experience Office.

Please keep an electronic copy of this report and submit the report to the Professional Experience Office.


Professional Experience Office
School of Education
Telephone: 8201 2114
Fax: 8201 2568