Each child is a precious and sacred gift from God created as an individual with their own unique talents and abilities. The early years are when brain development is most active. At this time, all children’s experiences – physical, cognitive, linguistic, religious, spiritual, creative, social and emotional – are critical, as they impact on later outcomes in life.
At St Francis School we believe that children in the early years learn most effectively through play-based experiences. Play is a vehicle for learning which involves a range of opportunities to explore, imagine, investigate and engage in purposeful and meaningful experiences. It is through play-based experiences that children make sense of their world, as they engage with others
and their environment. These learning opportunities are child initiated, with peer interaction and negotiated by the child with educators and adults.
At St Francis we believe that all children are strong, competent and unique. Children are creative and independent thinkers, great problem solvers and communicators who learn and grow through play. We design play-based learning programs that ‘capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children’ The Early Years Framework for Australia.
Play-Based Personalised Learning
What does ‘play-based learning’ mean?
Play is a vehicle for learning which involves a range of opportunities to explore, imagine, investigate and engage in purposeful and meaningful experiences. It is through play-based experiences that children make sense of their world, as they engage with others and their environment. These learning opportunities are child initiated, with peer interaction and negotiated by the child with educators and adults.
At St Francis School you can expect to see children actively engaged in construction, manipulation of materials, explorations with media, investigations of
their environment, and interactions with peers and adults. The learning environment is prepared in such a way that children can initiate play-based learning experiences and be supported in them by adults and other children.
Literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills are embedded in the play-based experiences. Teaching and learning arises from the observation of the children’s play providing just-in-time skills and knowledge that enriches and extends children’s learning. Planning documents will show teachers planning for play and the environment. Assessment documents will include evidence of play-based learning experiences and the progress towards learning outcomes observed during these experiences.
Within our Junior Learning Community You Can Expect To see Children:
- Using blocks, creating collages and doing other activities that develop early mathematical concepts and skills.
- Drawing and painting to encourage oral language, reading and writing skills.
- Initiating and participating in dramatic play to build an understanding of the world around them.
- Writing stores and copying signs as part of their play.
- Playing and investigating independently, in pairs, in small groups, and as a whole class.
- Participating in outdoor activities.
- Actively making choices about what and how they learn.
- Investigating and learning how to find out about their interests.
- Planning with the teacher.
- Participating in music and language experiences.
These learning experiences will help children to:
- Understand and use language to group, sort, and describe objects, and to communicate ideas, feelings, and needs.
- Develop early literacy and numeracy skills.
- Develop independence and problem-solving skills.
- Learn how to co-operate with others.
- Develop physical coordination skills.
- Listen, respond to, and give directions.
- Maintain increased self-confidence.