Early Learning Centre
St John’s Grammar ELC Overview
Giving a positive start to your child’s education journey, our ELC students learn to soar through a strong curriculum, building relationships, and gaining confidence and resilience.
An entry point to St John’s Grammar School, our Early Learning Centre (ELC) provides Montessori-based education programs for 3 and 4 year olds, delivered by qualified teachers. Established student buddy programs, visiting specialist teachers and incorporation into Junior School events and life provide a strong connection with the Junior School for the children to make the transition to the Junior School a seamless experience.
Located in a picturesque bushland setting on an acre of land with views across the city of Adelaide and coastline, our students learn from nature-based play and education as they share the land with flora and fauna. The expansive outdoor space allows for an array of nature play activities and adventures.
Together, we make a vibrant St John’s Community for each child to connect, thrive and learn to soar.
Full-day bookings on your choice of days
St John’s Grammar Early Learning Centre offers full-day sessions from Monday to Friday, for both our 3 year old and 4 year old programs during Term time.
We offer a simple, full-day booking option, on the days that suit you and the number of days that suit you, with a minimum of two days per week. Your booking preferences can be updated each semester if necessary, in line with any changes to your personal circumstances.
Our ELC is open from 7.30am to 6pm each day, with a Montessori-based curriculum delivered during the School terms by qualified teachers between 9am and 3.30pm.
To enhance our services to families, we also offer an ELC Vacation Care program specific to our 3 and 4 year-old students, separate to our existing Junior School Vacation Care program, which can be booked on a casual, needs basis for each child.
We understand families have a range of commitments in their lives, and this allows for greater opportunities and flexibility in accessing the ELC’s offerings around these commitments.
Fees and subsidies
From the beginning of Term 1, 2023 the ELC daily fee will be $130 per child, which includes the Montessori-based curriculum program, and allows access to the Centre anytime between 7.30am and 6pm on the day of booking.
As an approved childcare provider, the St John’s Grammar ELC offers families an opportunity to claim the Child Care Subsidy, which provides families with financial assistance towards the costs of childcare. The ELC is also eligible for the Federal Universal Access to Early Childhood Education funding which ensures that every child will continue to have access to a quality preschool program for 600 hours (15 hours a week) in the year before school.
ELC accounts are generated through our Finance team and billed weekly in arrears.
More information on eligibility and assistance is available from the Australian Government.
The ELC uniform is designed for warmth and comfort. Items of clothing include shorts, t- shirt, tracksuit and rugby top, which can also be worn in the Junior School. For more information about where to purchase and the uniform price list, click here.
Prior to entry, children will have commenced toilet training and will be capable of independence when toileting, although we do understand accidents may occasionally happen. As the Centre does not have nappy changing facilities, we are unable to accommodate children wearing nappies.
The ELC provides a fresh fruit snack in the late afternoon with families supplying food for morning snack and lunch. The notion of ‘fresh is best’ is supported by the ELC and food with minimal packaging is also encouraged to instil in children an understanding about waste reduction and environmental impact.
Click to download a copy of our ELC Handbook.
St John’s Grammar ELC educational programs for three and four year olds are based on the Montessori approach to the education of children, which was established by Dr Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) and has been continually developed over the last 100 years.
Through her research, Dr Montessori observed that children possessed different and higher qualities than those we usually attribute to them, such as ‘amazing mental concentration’, ‘love of repetition’, ‘love of order’, ‘love of work’, ‘no need for reward and punishment’ and ‘a sense of personal dignity’. Dr Montessori believed in a ‘Values Education’ in which children learn to respect themselves and others, leading to inner peace and in turn the ability to offer peace to others.
She also discovered, and recent brain research corroborates, that the human brain seeks knowledge and processes information from birth, and that there are ‘sensitive periods’ during the early years that are critical times for learning.
Dr Montessori also believed in a ‘prepared environment’ to instill a love of learning; a planned environment that is multi-sensory, calm and orderly, one that facilitates the natural inquisitiveness of a child and allows for brain encoding through repetition.
Fundamental therefore to the philosophy of St John’s Grammar ELC is the need to treat children with respect, dignity and patience in a ‘prepared environment’ that is stimulating yet nurturing. The structured freedom of our environment is designed to promote the child’s growth of independence and their quest to understand the world around them.
ELC Learning Program
As the beginning stage of your child’s exciting learning journey, St John’s Grammar prioritises the importance of developing an appreciation for learning, in addition to genuine relationships and personal connections.
The ELC offers an outstanding curriculum and service to your children, in an intimate group setting, delivered by fully qualified teachers, giving your child a positive head start on their learning journey.
Each child at St John’s ELC thrives in an enriched learning environment that inspires individual curiosity, exploration and creativity. Resilience, perseverance, confidence and courage are all key learning dispositions our ELC students begin to develop during this pivotal time.
We focus on positive wellbeing, helping your child to understand their identity and equipping them with strategies to enable them to socialise effectively with their peers.
Based on Montessori principles, our fundamental philosophy is to instil a love of learning by providing a planned environment that is multi-sensory, calm and orderly, one that facilitates the natural inquisitiveness of a child and allows for brain encoding through repetition. The structured freedom of our environment is designed to promote the child’s growth of independence and their quest to understand the world around them.
Alongside these Montessori-based principles, the educational program runs hand in hand with the Early Years Learning Framework – Belonging, Being and Becoming, a key component of the Australian Government’s National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care. This describes the principles, practices and outcomes that support and enhance young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school.
As the entry point into St John’s Grammar Junior School, the Preschool children regularly attend and take part in Junior School life and special events. Additionally, Junior School specialist teachers undertake regular lessons at the ELC in subjects such as Science and Music. A formal buddy program with the Year 3s also provides another strong connection to the Junior School.
There are two transition points for entry into Reception at the Junior School. There is Term 1 entry for children who turn five before April 30 and mid year entry for those who turn five after 1 May but before the end of October. A structured orientation and transition program is a cornerstone of the Preschool program and is designed to provide a seamless transition into ‘big’ school.
An acre of land to explore
Located in a picturesque bushland setting with views across the city of Adelaide and coastline, our students learn from nature-based play and education as they share the land with flora and fauna.
Students are free to roam our secure sanctuary covering an acre of land dotted with natural and constructed elements including water courses and rock pools, mud kitchens, shelters and cubbies, rocks and logs and an array of native plants.
Learning Early Series
St John’s Grammar invites all parents of young children to view our Learning Early Series, hosted by Psychologist Jodie Benveniste.
The series provides answers to common questions and gives information to guide you through the joys and challenges of parenting young children.