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GSG'S Early Childhood Centre is committed to providing students with a holistic education that prepares children to participate and achieve in the community and in society.

The GSG Early Childhood Centre (ECC) provides children with their first experiences of Great Southern Grammar. We build upon children's existing knowledge and understanding of the world around them, creating a safe and secure environment to begin their learning journey at our school. 

We create a warm, caring and nurturing environment that exhibits creativity, learning through play, intentional teaching, strong relationships and opportunities for each child to strive for personal excellence.

Early childhood is a time of significant development for the child physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. At Great Southern Grammar, we recognise the importance of this phase of schooling.

We provide a child-centred, educationally rich programme that provides a sound transition from home to school, based on the importance of creative and social play.

The ECC places emphasis on knowledge and skill acquisition within a stimulating learning environment based on the principle that children learn from playing and doing while having fun. Children’s social world continues to expand as they experience playtime with others. Language-rich learning experiences provide children with many opportunities to develop essential pre-literacy and numeracy skills.

Children are encouraged to become thinkers through exploring interesting, real-world questions and problem-solving.

Foundation numeracy and literacy skills are the key focus from Kindergarten through to Year Two. Considerable teaching emphasis is given to ensure that each child receives the best start for further learning.

At GSG the ECC is an integral part of the school. Theorists that influence our teaching practice include:

  • Piaget
  • Vygotsky
  • Montessori
  • Malaguzzi
  • Steiner
  • Froebel

What We Believe:

  • Each child is unique and capable
  • Each child has the right to be an individual
  • All families are a respected and integral part of our school community
  • Relationships between home and school as essential

ECC Students Learn Best Through:

  • Social experiences
  • Interactions with others
  • Real-life experiences
  • Social and emotional competencies
  • Adequate scaffolding
  • Multi-sensory modes
  • Curiosity
  • Discovery learning and immersion
  • Engaging play and nature-based experiences
  • Child-centred learning
  • Whole child development (academic, social, emotional, physical, cognitive)

Early Childhood Centre Principles:

  1. Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
  2. Partnerships
  3. Inclusion and participation
  4. Respect for diversity
  5. Ongoing learning and reflective practice
  6. Sense of belonging

Early Childhood Centre Practices:

The principles outlined above underpin the practices that teaching staff adopt to provide an enriching early childhood programme. 

1. An integrated and holistic approach

2. Responsiveness to children

3. Learning through play

4. Intentional teaching

5. Learning environments

6. Cultural competence

7. Continuity of learning and transitions

8. Assessment for learning

ECC Parents Expect:

  • To develop strong relationships within the whole school community
  • Strong communication between home and school
  • Great Southern Grammar to embrace the diversity that families contribute to our school.
  • Strong Christian values
  • To create a partnership between staff and families to ensure we achieve the best results for your children

The Importance of Nature Learning

GSG is situated on 144-acres of picturesque oceanfront land. Our campus enables students to have unique onsite access to both bushland and foreshore environments.

Great Southern Grammar is part of what has become an international movement to reconnect children with nature. We value that children learn a great deal from interacting with the natural environment. The deep learning that happens through engagement in the outdoors includes the development of language concepts and relationship development. Such engagement also teaches children how to assess and take risks.

The benefits of outside play are countless. Aside from the emotional benefits of fun, enjoyment and self-expression, there are endless developmental benefits in cognitive, affective, social, physical, attentional and language development. Importantly, play encourages risk-taking and gives children opportunities to be involved in real life meaningful experiences. Outside play allows children to problem-solve situations and develop their sense of creativity. 



Learning music is a challenging and rewarding experience that all Junior School students are encouraged to pursue. Students have fun while learning the skills of persistence, concentration and coordination. All students participate in weekly music lessons and instrumental tuition is available for most instruments. All Year Two students have the opportunity to try the violin or cello and many continue this into their senior years. A variety of choirs, bands and ensembles provide students with a wonderful opportunity to shine in this important area. 



To provide a child centred, nurturing environment for toddlers and their parents, that supports the development of the young child and encourages social contact with other children. In developing the GSG playgroup we endeavour to provide a smooth transition from home life to the Great Southern Grammar Kindergarten.

Playgroup places are currently available to all members of the local community, however, preference will be given to existing GSG families and those enrolling into the school.


The playgroup programme is based upon the work of Malaguzzi, Montessori, Froebel and Vygotsky. Recognising each child as unique, infinitely capable, creative and intelligent, the teacher provides challenge and support in order for each child to reach personal excellence. In this early learning setting we support the child to be autonomous – doing it for themselves. We encourage the child to explore, discover, wonder and learn through play.

In reflecting this approach to learning, playgroup morning consists of indoor and outdoor play opportunities, shared snack time, stories and songs. Activities will vary weekly and will reflect the interest of the children in the group and will include visits to the GSG Wild Space. Through participation in playgroup sessions your child will have the opportunity to develop their cognitive, social, emotional, physical and creative selves.

Session timetable (indicative only):

9:00 – 9:15


9:25 – 10:15

Indoor/Outdoor activities

10:15 – 10:45

Snack time

10:45 – 11:00

Story/rhyme/song time and farewells


Literacy: Literacy learning begins long before formal schooling. Singing, talking and reading are the first steps and these are integral parts of the playgroup programme. Along with opportunities for experimental writing, drawing and painting.

Motor Skills: For our children to become adept at future schooling we need to nurture and promote the development of muscle groups through gross and fine motor skills. During playgroup sessions there will be practical and realistic opportunities for your child to practise these skills. Activities such as using tongs, spooning mixtures, threading, climbing and swinging will be encouraged.

Creativity: Creativity is to be encouraged and celebrated! During playgroup sessions there will be opportunities for your child to engage in art, craft and constructive activities as well as make-believe play.

Numeracy: Opportunity to engage with and practice foundational mathematical skills will be provided through games, sorting, song and rhyme.

Wonder: The ability to pose questions and wonder about the world are vital for critical thinking and inquiring minds. During our playgroup sessions we engage the child with the natural world. We utilise natural materials, the natural environment and encourage the use of the child’s senses in exploring the environment.

Snack Time: Parents are requested to provide a piece of fruit for a shared platter. Snack time allows children to learn skills associated with socialising in groups. The snack time routine involves handwashing and turn-taking. Tea and coffee will be provided for adults.

Pack Away Time: We believe children are capable and autonomous. This means we believe children can pack away with our guidance. We do not pack away for them! Please assist with clean up and encourage your child to help.


Playgroup sessions will run on Friday mornings from 9.00am – 11.00am in the Kindergarten room. Families interested in joining our playgroup are invited to attend a session without obligation. Families who wish to attend playgroup on an ongoing basis are requested to complete an enrolment form.

Places are limited to 15 children.


There is no charge for the GSG Playgroup programme.


Playgroup will be facilitated by a qualified Early Childhood Educator.

For information or to book, contact Mrs Jackie Boyce on 9844 0314 or