Early Years

The Essington School provides an exceptional Early Years program for all Darwin families for children aged 2-5 years old.

We let your child experience childhood, moving them through the phases at their own pace while they explore, learn to take risks and build self-esteem. A key benefit to the individualised pathway approach is that at all stages we assess your child's readiness to enter the next program, calling on our knowledge of the individual student and working with parents to determine what is best for their child.

The Early Years programs at Essington includes Kinder, Preschool and Pre-Transition.

Inspired by Modern Montessori-based learning, your child will learn to create meaningful connections with their environment and community to become a creative, confident and involved learner and effective communicator. They will develop a strong sense of health, wellbeing and identity while engaging in fun play-based learning which cultivates foundation learning skills and lifelong friendships.

Early Years pathways at Essington

Your child gets a taste of the learning adventure that awaits them with Kinder on Friday mornings. Accompanied by a parent or guardian, your child begins a journey of discovery and structured play and storytime. They learn to engage with each other, build confidence and become comfortable in the Essington environment.

Learning through action, Preschool becomes a time for curiosity, imagination and creativity to flourish alongside explicit instruction. Preschool runs four half days a week (Monday to Thursday), in an environment designed to allow children to navigate, explore and investigate the world around them, under the guidance of their teachers. Learning is play-based and hands-on, with children actively engaged in early childhood STEM activities, cultural activities, the arts, and building social skills and gross motor skills. 

Pre-transition is the last stage in gently transitioning your child into full-time school. Lessons across five half-days bridge the gap between the Early Learning department and the Junior School. Unique to Essington, this program maintains the Modern Montessori philosophy of guiding students through exploration and growth while also giving them full access to Junior School specialist programs and teachers including Music, Library, IT, Physical Education and Indonesian. 

Transition provides your child with a comprehensive foundation for formal schooling. At Essington, our 12 and 18 month Transition programs are flexible depending on your child's birthdate, to ensure they are ready to be enrolled in Year 1 in the semester they turn seven. Students study the core curriculum of Mathematics, English, Science, Humanities, Music, Health and Physical Education, Visual Art, Digital Technologies and Indonesian Language.

Early Years Philosophy

Our early learning philosophy is about providing engaging programs that are underpinned by educational research. Most importantly the individual child is central to all the decisions we make about their educational pathways.

Our philosophy as a team is that we are continually building and reflecting and growing both our programs and practice. 

The Essington School Preschool and Long Day Care service is rated as ‘Exceeding’ by The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). We are extremely proud of this high quality rating achieved under the National Quality Framework.

The Preschool program is based on the Early Years Learning Framework and is comprehensively linked with our Modern Montessori-based approach and philosophy. We also draw on the Northern Territory Preschool Curriculum Framework for our planning.

Our Pre-Transition program is unique to Essington and is based on our philosophy of not rushing early childhood and providing children with the strongest possible foundation for learning in their early years.