A place where play and wonder live

We believe all young children are creative, curious and capable, and learn best through play. 

Our beautiful Early Learning Centres (ELCs) are where many students begin their journey at Caulfield Grammar School, with our passionate educators equipped to provide our youngest learners with the very best start.

Our ELCs help each child develop foundational physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills alongside numeracy and literacy skills. We provide these vital early learning experiences in a supportive environment at our Wheelers Hill and Malvern campuses where children feel nurtured, respected and valued. 

Our Early Learning Centres

Caulfield Grammar School ELCs are rated EXCEEDING National Quality Standard under the National Quality Framework (NQF).

Our ELCs are located on two of our campuses – students at Wheelers Hill Campus have a continuous learning experience from ELC through to Year 12, and students at Malvern Campus can attend from ELC to Year 6 and continue their learning at Caulfield Campus for Years 7–12.

ELC campus offerings at Wheelers Hill Campus and Malvern Campus
Kindergarten students learning in the classroom

Class Sizes

  • 3-year-old Kinder – 20 children in each class
  • Pre-Prep – 22 children in each class
  • Each class has 1 educator plus a teaching co-educator
Kindergarten students learning together

Daily Structure

Every morning children socialise with others in their group and undertake learning activities and experiences followed by specialist classes. After lunch every day there is an hour’s siesta or ‘down time’ where children can sleep or participate in quiet activities such as looking at books or listening to stories or music.

ELC students learning together


In the ELC we use a digital platform called Educa to share your child’s learning through photos, video, artwork and learning stories. Staff regularly document and share each child’s progress and interactions and reflect on the best way to guide and build skills and knowledge.

CaulfieldLife is Caulfield Grammar’s community platform. It enables parents, students and staff to access relevant information about School matters and complete administrative tasks in an easy-to-use app. Key features of the app include:

  • Dashboard: Planner inclusive of each child’s timetable, alerts and announcements
  • Community: Important Announcements and other key information, news and achievements 
  • My Locker: Information relevant to each family, along with a variety of quick links
  • School Locker: Information covering all aspects of our School
ELC students learning in the classroom

Before and After School Care

Our external provider, Extend, combines learning with fun offering Before School and After School Care from 7.00am – 6.00pm.

Our Early Learning Programs

Our unique Early Learning programs are guided by the principles and practices of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Early Years Learning Framework, as well as inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach® and Nature Pedagogy.

We create captivating environments that encourage play-based learning, with literacy, numeracy and more embedded in everyday experiences. This approach teaches children how to learn, not what to learn, laying the building blocks for school in a fun, interesting and engaging way.

Educators use their knowledge of child development and tailor programs according to children’s interests, needs and abilities. This includes regular weekly Specialist Classes:

  • Music
  • STEM 
  • Library (introducing library procedures and storytelling)
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Swimming (Pre-Prep) 
  • Physical Education

Our broad and balanced pathways mean that no matter what your child’s interests and strengths are, they will be supported to find joy and fulfilment during their Early Learning years.

ELC students performing music on stage


Classroom Music in the Early Learning Centre engages students in many enriching and unique musical experiences. Singing is used as the fundamental vehicle for musical development and students are given the opportunity to perform on campus.

Kindergarten student learning about nature and science

Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM)

Specialist STEM teachers assist our ELC children to build their knowledge and skills through both classroom units of inquiry and stand-alone learning experiences. Our students also participate in a range of STEM programs, events and competitions.

ELC students enjoying physical education and sport

Health, Physical Education & Sport

Health and PE classes in ELC are designed to engage children in a range of different recreational activities to develop physical literacy and key foundational skills such as teamwork, confidence and fairness.  

ELC students painting and learning about the visual arts

Visual Arts

Early Learning classes explore the basic elements of Art. At times, artists-in-residence work with learners to provide unique and diverse perspectives. Children are encouraged to experiment with Art mediums and processes to express their ideas and feelings.

ELC students learning about Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese

We recognise that learning another language helps a child’s social and cognitive development. Students take lessons with a specialist teacher, undertaking an immersion approach linking to what they are exploring in the classroom. 

Our ELC Philosophy

Our ELC philosophy is guided by the Early Years Learning Framework of Australia, which aims to enhance each child’s sense of Belonging, Being and Becoming.

Kindergarten students playing at the Malvern Campus


Our ELCs embrace diversity and aim to provide a friendly, supportive and welcoming atmosphere where children, staff and families can engage in respectful relationships, share information and ideas, and all input is valued. ELC children, staff and families belong to the wider Caulfield Grammar School community.

ELC students learning about education outdoors


Our program is designed to allow ample time for children and staff to ‘be in the moment’, to play, listen, wonder and hypothesise, and engage in enjoyable experiences in indoor and outdoor environments. Regular opportunities are provided for children and staff to reflect and share new discoveries and insights with others.

ELC students learning together in the class room


Our ELCs aim to support all those within them to broaden perspectives, take risks and reach individual potential as lifelong learners. The program reflects the goals and outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework within the IB Primary Years Programme. It seeks to harness children’s motivation and engagement by using a combination of children’s ideas and interests as well as staff-initiated teaching and learning experiences.

Teacher instructing kindergarten students in the classroom

Behaviour Guidance

Positive reinforcement is the major tool for managing children’s behaviour in the ELC. If this is not effective, we will work with parents to establish appropriate strategies. We also have the support of the School psychologist.

Visible Wellbeing

Our school-wide approach to wellbeing begins in the ELC. Learning is enhanced through a strengths-based approach, trusting and meaningful relationships, playful engagement and immersion in nature. From the moment your child joins our community, we nurture their social and emotional capabilities. 

Creating Connections

Our ELC children interact with Junior School children through our Buddies program and active participation in special events such as assemblies, Sport days and Book Week celebrations. On ‘Free-range Fridays’ the doors between the ELC and Prep classrooms are thrown open, encouraging interaction with Prep classes and making the transition to Junior School an easier one.

ELC Life