Bass Coast,

Linking Learning Launched In Bass Coast

The Linking Learning Birth to 12 Years Bass Coast Project was officially launched at a special event last week.

Hosted by the Department of Education and Training at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club on Tuesday, 3 March, the event was well attended by local and neighbouring schools and early years service providers.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, said the project aims to enhance children’s learning from birth to age 12 by supporting families, educators and service providers to work together more effectively to develop a seamless and integrated approach to learning.

“Eight locations were selected out of 77 expressions of interest to lead the project and Bass Coast was fortunate to be chosen, along with Wodonga, Yarra Ranges, Cardinia, Warracknabeal, Thomastown, Central Goldfields and Whittington,” Cr Brown said.

“Each location involves a partnership between early childhood services, primary schools and local council.

“Over the course of the project, these locations will build an evidence base for collaborative approaches to learning and partnership models which will then be shared across other communities.”

Linking Learning Bass Coast comprises Bass Coast Shire Council, Cowes Primary School, Wonthaggi Primary School and Bass Valley Primary School.”

Cr Brown said Council’s Education Plan 2013-2017 has identified the Early Childhood sector as one of its three key principles.

“It lists a number of key areas, such as the importance of the early years in a child’s development and improving educational outcomes for vulnerable children and families,” Cr Brown said.

“It also encourages and promotes a culture of lifelong learning in the community.

Cr Brown said both Bass Valley and Wonthaggi Primary Schools have well established parent engagement programs as part of their early year’s intervention programs which are working ­ Ready, Set, Go! And Leap into Learning.

Cowes Primary School has recently taken over management of the Phillip Island Early Learning Centre, an integrated facility for long day care, kindergarten and early year’s specialists.

“This provides an environment where services begin at infancy and allows for easier transition through kinder and school,” Cr Brown said.

“Linking Learning Bass Coast will focus on supporting environments that promote early childhood development and take a focus on oral language, which will greatly increase the probability of achieving better learning outcomes for children from birth to 12 years of age.

“The Linking Learning project will enable Cowes, Wonthaggi and Bass Valley Primary Schools to focus on these areas in a more strategic way and to be resourced in doing so.”

The Victorian Government’s Linking Learning Birth – 12 Years Project was launched at Bastow on 22 May 2014 by Wendy Lovell, Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, and Martin Dixon, Minister for Education.