We have all heard in recent times through Media and educational publications about Play Base Learning, and all the positive impacts it has within schooling and education. As educators we know the Department of Education’s stance that ‘Play Base Learning is a powerful and important activity’. We have listened to the Director General, who made it a 2019 priority across Kindergartens and Pre-Primarys. And we too, as an experienced Early Childhood staff, have collectively established that we continue to believe best learning happens when a child plays. As a result, and after much research we have adopted the evidence based pedagogy that is the Walker Learning Approach.
What is Walker Learning?
Walker Learning balances the explicit teaching of literacy and numeracy and other learning areas in an individually, meaningful and culturally relevant way by drawing upon children’s own interests, experiences and lives. Walker Learning promotes learning through a dynamic, open ended creative learning environment that supports active investigation, meaningful play and deep engagement.
What does this mean for my Kindy or Pre-Primary student?
As previously stated, we have always provided a balanced Play Base learning approach which has been embedded within our rich teaching curriculum. Now, we have a name for it and further research behind it. Essentially nothing has changed in your child’s curriculum. However, you may have noticed in your child’s classroom more spaces for children to investigate and explore. Teachers have been working very hard at creating and defining explicit play spaces for their students. This runs alongside our teaching program and at times independently.
Classrooms have defined areas where students can go and explore their sensory needs, acquire a bank oral language skills through dramatic and socio play. Use their imagination and express their creativity through collage and construction. Practice and discover new skills at our writing and math stations and many more. All in which meet their individual learning needs but also equip them with the freedom to explore their own interests and work collaboratively and build on their cooperative and team skills.
We are a dedicated and committed staff who will be continuing our professional development as we further implement this investigative play based pedagogy into our teaching. It will develop within the classroom by creating greater depth for investigations and begin to spill from inside the classroom to our outdoor areas.
Our aim is to work with researchers, parents and the wider community to develop the whole child. We wish to prepare our students for the 21st century by fostering soft skills such as, communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, decision making, leadership, teamwork, and responsibility.
We look forward to working with you on this journey.
Glendale Play Base Committee