The Yuendumu Pre-school conducts a play-based curriculum in which we endeavour to live up to the principles of the South Australian document called 'Respect, Reflect and Relate' that has been adopted by the NT as well. This is an enlightened document that promotes observation of children at play as a lead into further depth in their areas of interest being followed. The children have access to a wide range of quality resources to stimulate play and talents like musical experimentation/artistic exploration/many books to read and listen to and a host of other materials.
The curriculum is taught mainly in Warlpiri with a gradual introduction to English because most students arrive speaking the Warlpiri language. Many opportunities are given for the development of language and basic mathematical concepts. Individual needs are catered for wherever possible. The low level of structured teaching has created an atmosphere of relaxed interactions amongst the children. With the equipment we have children are able to discover many concepts through play. They are also read to individually or in small groups as often as possible. Children begin by dictating their favourite word to the teacher so that they can read this word as an introduction to print concepts, such as, initial sounds; the difference between a letter and a word and later a word and a sentence.
The atmosphere is generally very relaxed, friendly and vibrant. Children respond to social and emotional principles quickly on most occasions and they also enjoy fairly regular outings into the bush and in summer, the pool, often with other local agencies such a FaFt and Playgroup and the Child-care centre. Pre-school is definitely a gentle and enjoyable introduction to school life. Parents are very welcome to be present at any time with their child.