Coordinating an OSHC Program with Camp Australia
I have been employed by Camp Australia since March 2011. I started out as an emergency Assistant but was soon offered the position of permanent Assistant at Toorak College OSHC. After this, I also became an emergency Coordinator for Toorak College OSHC and other schools on the Mornington Peninsula. In October 2012 I took on the role of permanent Coordinator at Toorak College OSHC, running their before and after school care program. In Summer 2013 I began coordinating the Vacation Care program at Mt Eliza Primary school as well.
Working as a Camp Australia Coordinator for before care, after care and vacation care has provided me with a range of experiences that have contributed to my continuing development as a teaching professional. These include:
- Family-centred practice: I am very passionate about getting to know my students and their families. I believe that parents hold valuable knowledge about their children, and when they share it with me it means I can better cater for their child's individual interests and needs. I include parents and families into my OSHC program by publishing regular newsletter articles; implementing a daily reflective journal that is completed by children, families and staff; encouraging parents to take part in our incursions; and inviting our parents to spend time with their children at drop off and pick up times.
- Catering for individual needs: I have had extensive experience catering for each child's individual needs (physical, social, educational, medical) and interests. I achieve this by maintaining close relationships with the children's families, classroom teachers and school principal. This has helped me to ensure that all children are engaged and happy whilst at OSHC.
- Following an educational framework: The curriculum within a primary school must have strong links to AusVELS, and similarly, OSHC programs must be linked to a different framework called the National Quality Framework. I am constantly ensuring that the program I provide at my OSHC service reflects the elements of the National Quality Framework, in order to include all children in the program, whilst meeting national requirements.
- Working with a range of age groups: Within my OSHC program I cater for the interests and needs of children aged between 3 and 12 years old. I am grateful to be able to experience this setting everyday, as I enjoy working with all age groups of children and am comfortable catering for their individual age-related needs.
- Team work: My role as an OSHC coordinator requires me to work in a collaborative environment with other OSHC staff, as well as the teachers and staff at Toorak College. I am extremely passionate about working in a team environment and the benefits this provides in the teaching profession, including sharing ideas, knowledge and workloads.
- Organising and implementing excursions: As a coordinator at Mt Eliza Primary School holiday club, it is my role to organise and implement the excursions we offer to our children. This role involves confirming the details of the excursion venue prior to the excursion day; informing parents and students of excursion details and expectations; confirming child attendance numbers and maintaining staff ratio; ensuring parents complete the relevant permission slips for each child; confirming bus size and times; implementing a risk assessment of the excursion; ensuring relevant resources are taken on the excursion (rolls, permission slips, enrolment forms, first aid kit, medication, service phone).
- Professional development: At Camp Australia I have had many opportunities to take part in professional development sessions. I have recognised the benefits this has provided to my own practice and also the practice of others I work with. I aspire to regularly expose myself and colleagues to professional development throughout my teaching career.