Rachael Symes has been an educator for all of her adult life, working in a range of school environments in Australian and Singapore. Her passion and heart is in the early childhood sector where she believes she can have the greatest impact on children who, because of their age, are some of the most vulnerable children in a school setting. Rachael is currently the Deputy Head of Early Years, at the Australian International School, Singapore. The Early Learning Village has been purpose built to cater for 2100 children under 6. At the Australian International School, Rachael works with educators to design and implement curriculum for children aged from 2 months to 6 years of age. There are three key concepts that permeate all aspects of curriculum and life at the Early Learning Village; Love, Care, Respect. Rachael is excited to share her experience of working in a Reggio inspired setting that draws from the Australian Early Years Learning Framework, delivers an Emergent Curriculum (18 -36months) and the Primary Years Program for children aged 3 year – 6 years. As well as the complexities of running a long term day care for children aged from 2 -18months.
Eromie Dassanayake, Assistant Head of Early Years at the Australian International School Singapore, is a passionate early childhood educator. She started her teaching career 20 years ago in Sri Lanka and has worked internationally which has enriched her teaching practice and emphasized the importance of being a global citizen. Eromie believes that learners must be given the opportunity to explore, solve problems, test theories and take risks in order for them to strengthen their creative thinking skills and become active participants in ones learning. Through her years of teaching in the early years setting she recognizes the importance of creating environments that are welcoming, authentic, aesthetically pleasing, culturally representative of community, embraces nature and filled with purposeful materials.