The preschool learning environment reflects the view that the children are capable and that children and educators are researchers and co-constructors of learning. The day is structured to give children long uninterrupted periods of play in both our indoor and outdoor play spaces.
Reflecting our commitment to connecting children with nature and sustainable initiatives, the environment is designed to enhance the children’s learning through meaningful play. We have a large, natural outdoor play space, with sustainable features including water tanks, chickens, composting, worm farms, a hand pump, outdoor mud kitchen, natural mounds and a tunnel, veggie gardens and bike paths.
Our educators are responsive to children’s ideas and strongly value the importance of play. They respond to children’s evolving ideas and interests. This responsiveness enables educators to respectfully enter children’s play and interests, stimulate and challenge their thinking and enrich learning.
Play-based programs provide a wide range of active and meaningful experiences that incorporate choice for children while enabling them to experience many of the organisational elements that are important at school.
These include developing understandings about:
- What happens in a day – understanding the time frame
- Belonging — acknowledging themselves / others in the group as community members
- Patterns of interaction – with adults and with children
- Expectations – knowing what educators, parents and other children expect
- Independence – making decisions, using initiative
- Self-regulation – making judgements about their own needs and responses
- Planning – choosing experiences, planning how to approach tasks
Children can initiate or continue their own projects, proposals and investigations, that may last hours, days or weeks. Some children may also be involved in collaborative projects with other children.
The relaxed rhythm of our day allows children to choose activities that are meaningful to them and to use materials creatively.
The aim is to provide a ‘learning’ culture which also promotes children’s well-being.
We assist children to relate to and successfully interact with other children. We help them to learn about their responsibilities to others and the environment, to appreciate their connectedness and interdependence as learners, and to value collaboration. We promote children’s sense of belonging and well-being. Our program design aims to support children to develop the social confidence and love of learning that prepare them for a successful transition to school.