Whole Child Education

Expanding our Preschool Specialist Team

Jacqueline Speer

Principal of Preschool

Many years ago, a four-year-old girl had a passion for playing tennis. Noticing this, her dad organised a tennis coach to meet her early one Saturday morning. The coach took one look at her and said she was too young. He advised her father to bring her back in a few years. However, the coach agreed to hit a few balls with the girl since she was already at the court.

After the session, the coach told the little girl he would see her the following week. In an recent interview, the coach recalls how the little girl had excellent hand-eye coordination and demonstrated resilience on the court. The little girl in this story is Ash Barty, the recent Australian Wimbledon winner. This article is not about creating the next elite athlete—the next Ash Barty—it focuses instead on why we should not underestimate very young children. Rather than dismissing them because of their age, we must surround them with passionate people dedicated to their craft.

Craftmanship and bestowing one’s craft is more than just delivering skills and experience but also dedication, passion, and commitment to the craft. In education, we tend to call such people specialists: PE specialists, music specialists, etc. Unfortunately, specialist lessons in many preschools are often relegated to after-school time slots and have an undue focus on entertainment rather than education.

Some preschools also share their specialist teachers with other divisions across the school. Regrettably, many specialist teachers who work across divisions are not explicitly trained in early childhood development. This can result in a “watering down” of the elementary curriculum.

In our program, the specialist team works only within the preschool. They do not entertain nor dumb down the curriculum. Instead, like the coach that supported the little Ash Barty, our specialists focus on what children learn and how they learn (dispositions for learning). It is more than skill development; the key is how a child approaches their learning.

This year, we have expanded our specialist group from three to five. All of our specialists were measured against the following points.

01 Their presence

02 Their passion and dedication to their specialism

03 Their educational background, achievements, and accolades in their particular specialism

04 Their understanding of how very young children learn

05 Their belief in the potential of young children

06 Their ability to inspire and share their expertise with children, parents, teachers, and the wider community

Our team of Early Childhood Specialists

Marko Jovanic

PE/Football Specialist


Bárbara Ramos

Music Specialist


Tobi Scott

Art & Design Specialist


Alan Yuan 

Swimming Specialist


Haley Zheng 

Library Specialist