With a wonderful outdoor area, a closeness to their community, a daily sustainability focus and a common theme of indigenous studies – Highett Preschool works to educate their children through experiences and engagement. With committed educators, a dedicated working committee and a close community, #TRYHighett work’s hard to uphold its great reputation. We had a chat to Katie Stretch about her year working at the service and why she thinks Highett stands out from the rest!

“Definitely the outdoor space and the natural environment is what sets us apart” says Katie.

With a huge outdoor space and a variety of different activities, it’s no wonder why daily environmental and sustainability practices are put into place. The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is an integral part of the service, giving the children the opportunity to grow, harvest, prepare and share their food but most importantly it gives the children the opportunity to learn!

These environmental practices then lead into the study of the land – and the first people of the land. The educators incorporate Indigenous studies into their day-to-day teachings by asking questions such as “what did the first people eat, how did they use the land and what did they grow.”

“It’s really important to introduce it this way because it makes more sense to the children and they are able to understand it from that perspective” says Katie.

The families are really special here at Highett Preschool, and it shows from the great participation for their VIP days, the tight-knit community and the incredible working committee. The families on the committee go above and beyond to make sure that Highett Preschool continues to succeed.

“Without them I think Highett may have been a little bit lost” says Katie.  “They work just as hard as the teachers do to make sure that Highett excels!”

With really consistent and complimentary teaching styles from each educator, the staff at Highett know the importance of a child’s first teacher.

“Children learn best by being a part of what’s going on” says Katie, “not by being told what to do and not necessarily by being shown what to do. It’s so beneficial to have someone engaging with them, getting down to their level and really helping them to understand their own learning.”

To see timetables and other information for Highett Preschool click here