Our Program

Our Program

Up and Away Learning is an innovative program aimed at developing skills to ensure children are ready for kindergarten. The Up and Away Learning Program has been developed by a qualified speech pathologist and an occupational therapist who both have extensive experience with child development.

As parents of young children themselves, they recognised the need for a specialised program to help children develop the necessary skills for success in kindy and beyond. Their experiences providing child development services identified that many children were entering kindy with delayed speech and language and motor skills.

The first of its kind, this fun and engaging program aims to develop skills in the following areas:

  • Play and social skills
  • Confidence
  • Comprehension
  • Language structure
  • Early literacy and numeracy
  • Gross motor skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Sensory motor skills

Each session runs for 2 hours 45 minutes and will be facilitated by a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist, based on the developmental needs of the children. Sessions will revolve around purposeful play, structured activities, explicit teaching and free play, including opportunities for nature play.

Children will need to bring morning/afternoon tea in a labelled container, as well as a labelled water bottle and hat. Parents are required to apply sunscreen prior to the session. Parents are not required to stay with their child during the session, however are welcome to stay for the initial adjustment.

The sessions would most benefit children in their pre kindy year, specifically children turning three before June 30. Children need to be toilet trained to attend this program.

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Copyright: khamidulin / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Why Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists are specialised in the understanding of child development. Our expertise is using task analysis to identify areas of strength and areas for development in the domains of sensory, motor (fine and gross motor skills), perceptual skills, self-care, social/behavioural and self-regulation. Understanding the roles of children and the tasks they perform, we help facilitate the development of skills in these areas; for example:

  • Developing peer relations (turn taking, sharing, experiencing joy)
  • Independent play
  • Attending to tabletop activities
  • Gross motor activities
  • Fine motor skills – pencil grip, drawing and cutting, craft
  • Prewriting – name and patterning
  • Sensory motor skills
  • Discriminating shapes and colours and beginning to look at patterning related to letters
  • Increasing familiarity with early literacy and numeracy principles
  • Manual dexterity tasks – using their hands in play
  • Dressing themselves
  • Feeding themselves

Why Speech and Language?

Speech, language and communication play a vital role in our lives. Communication is central to everything we do. It affects who we are, how we learn and how we interact with other people at home, at school and at work.

Speech pathologists are specialists in speech, language and communication. In particular, speech pathologists who work with children have specialist knowledge about speech and language development and its impact on learning and literacy.

Well developed speech and language skills are crucial in order for children to develop:

  • Understanding of questions and how to answer them
  • The ability to follow instructions
  • Knowledge of grammar and how to use it correctly
  • Attention and listening skills
  • Story telling skills
  • Early reading and writing skills
  • Social skills
  • High level thinking and problem solving skills
  • Independent play

Speech and language development is crucial for future learning and school readiness.