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About Elsa MacLeod Kinder


History of Elsa MacLeod

Elsa MacLeod Kindergarten has been educating and caring for ‘the youngest children in our town’ for three generations since it was officially opened in 1962. It is named after Elsa MacLeod, to commemorate her tireless efforts in establishing Portland’s first kindergarten.

Elsa MacLeod was the first president of the Portland Pre-School Play Group, which opened in 1947. She was a theatrical performer in Perth before she married Hugh MacLeod, who was the Mayor of Portland from 1946 to 1948. She was involved in the Red Cross and served as the District Commissioner for Girl Guides for many years. In 1956, Elsa MacLeod commenced leadership of a lengthy campaign to found a first-rate kindergarten in Portland. This was achieved with the support of the Portland Apex Club, who assisted the committee in selecting and establishing the site on which our kindergarten continues to educate pre-school children today.

Our Vision

At Elsa MacLeod Kindergarten, we offer educational experiences that are personalised to the student cohort. Our kindergarten program promotes engaged and inclusive learning based on The Early Years Learning Development Framework for Australia (EYLF), Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) and 8 Aboriginal ways of learning Framework.

At the core of these frameworks are the key concepts of ‘Belonging, Being and Becoming', which provide the foundation of our principles, practices and learning outcomes and guide our curriculum decision-making.

Our aim is to extend and enrich children’s learning and ensure that our students transition smoothly to primary school education and develop a solid foundation for future success in learning and life.



At Elsa Macleod Kindergarten we proudly educate the youngest children in our town. We strive to create an environment in which each child is respected for their uniqueness, accepted for who they are, and can experience a sense of belonging. We understand that children belong to family first and that they come to us with values, beliefs and prior experiences that will shape their learning. We believe that learning taking place during early childhood forms the foundation of future positive learning dispositions.

We believe that:

  • Play is the work of childhood and that children learn best when actively and happily engaged.

  • Each child is unique and can make valuable contributions.

  • Partnerships with families and the community enhances children’s learning, development, and well-being by creating a sense of belonging.

We endeavour to:

  • Support each child’s individuality and sense of self by providing both incidental and intentional educational experiences to maximise learning opportunities.

  • Create a play-based educational program that is challenging, process-focussed and evolves to reflect the learning requirements and interests of children.

  • Capture children’s voices and develop strategies to support them educationally, emotionally, and developmentally.  

  • Acknowledge, respect, and celebrate the diversity of language, culture, beliefs, and customs.

  • Foster collaboration between staff, children, families, and the greater community for a richer educational program.

  • Support children to engage with nature and develop respect for the world around us.

The staff at Elsa Macleod Kindergarten value life-long learning and we lead by example. We continuously strive to increase our own knowledge and skills in the field to improve outcomes for children. We value individuality and the qualities that make each child unique. We understand that children learn in many different ways and endeavour to provide opportunities for each child to explore, discover and grow at their own pace.

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