Past Professional Learning

This webpage includes videos and presentation notes, where available, from professional learning sessions presented by the VCAA's Early Years Unit.

Leading assessment for learning and development to improve outcomes in early years networks

The seminar (Wednesday 13 March 2019) was a panel discussion about leading assessment for learning and development to:

  • strengthen local decision-making
  • develop a shared dialogue between early years services and school leadership teams.

Assessment for learning and development is one of the practice principles of the VEYLDF, which sets out practices and outcomes to guide early childhood professionals in their work with families and children from birth to eight years.

In a discussion with Bec Haig (Director, DET Regional Services Group, Early Childhood Implementation Branch), panellists Dr Anne Kennedy and Matt Knight shared their experiences in working in a network to improve outcomes for children.

The seminar highlighted the Leading Assessment for Learning and Development: A Community of Practice approach professional learning, which will be offered to early childhood leaders and school leaders from May 2019 in five areas – Mallee, Wimmera South West, Brimbank Melton and Inner and Outer Gippsland.

Dr Anne Kennedy works as a consultant, researcher, trainer and writer, and was a member of the Charles Sturt University consortium that developed the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). Anne was also involved in revising the Early Childhood Australia's Code of Ethics (2006).

Matt Knight is the Principal at Cobram Primary School and a local leader, with an active engagement in early years networks and communities of practice. Engaging with families early to strengthen learning is foundational to the early childhood services and schools in the Cobram community.

Supporting children’s communication development through educator and speech pathologist collaboration

This seminar (Wednesday 8 August 2018) featured the literature review and practice guide to support educators in the Communication Outcome: Children are effective communicators.

The Communication Practice Guide can be used by a range of practitioners and leaders in early childhood settings to explore the assessment of communication through case studies and key learning points. The practice guide is an accessible evidence-based resource.

Presenters Mary Holwell (Program Manager, VCAA) and Robyn Stephen (Paediatric speech pathologist, Melbourne Child Development) introduced the resource and demonstrated how it can be a model for effective professional practice.

Download the Communication Practice Guide from the practice resources webpage.

Intentional teaching: Planning Cycle Resource

This seminar (Wednesday 7 March 2018) featured the Planning Cycle Resource, a series of sample learning and development plans for educators working with children in early years settings. The plans focus on learning and development in the domains of mathematics and science, and are organised to reflect the age ranges birth to two years, three to five years, and six to eight years. This resource supports an intentional approach to children's learning, and support educators to achieve National Quality Standard 1: Education program and practice.

Teaching and learning mathematics: Making the most of everyday opportunities to support early learning

Dr Caroline Cohrssen (Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne) and Mary Holwell (Program Manager, Early Years Unit, VCAA) co-presented this seminar (Wednesday 7 June 2017), exploring the use of intentional teaching to build on the informal mathematics knowledge that children have, and how quality interactions can support learning.

Wellbeing and continuity of children’s learning

This seminar (Wednesday 3 May 2017) was co-presented by Louise Marbina (Manager, Educational Play Therapy and Music Therapy, Royal Children’s Hospital), Julianne Wilson (Primary School Teacher and Early Years Literacy Specialist Teacher, VCAA) and Carmel Phillips (Manager, Early Years Unit, VCAA).

Watch a video recording of this seminar.

What, why and how? Pedagogy with very young children

The focus of the seminar (Wednesday 19 October 2016) was the new video resource What, why and how? Pedagogy with very young children, and featured Anne Stonehouse.

Watch a video recording of the seminar.

Developing thinking skills through engagement in the Arts

In this seminar (24 June 2015) Professor Susan Wright and Dr Jan Deans presented their research on how the Arts support children’s higher order thinking and relationship building. 

Responses to participant questions have been provided by Professor Wright and Dr Deans. These include references and web links to other resources. ​

Relational agency

A tool to support the establishment, maintenance and growth in early years professional learning at the level of a multidisciplinary network.

In this seminar (11 March 2015) Professor Marilyn Fleer and Dr Iris Duhn (Monash University) highlighted the findings from the Review and Evaluation of the Inquiry to Implementation Project - Final Report  and in particular the Relational Agency Framework. This Framework enables early childhood professionals to build a common knowledge and understanding of multidisciplinary expertise.

Learning: Birth to three years

In this seminar (12 November 2014) Anne Stonehouse AM and Dr David Howes, Executive Director VCAA Curriculum Division discuss learning in the birth to three years period.

Understanding and supporting emergent writing

In this seminar (17 September 2014) Dr Noella Mackenzie, Senior Lecturer at Charles Sturt University and Carol Rasborsek presented on the link between drawing and emerging writing in the early years.