As adults, many of us lament the fact that our children don’t have the same opportunities to play, explore and learn that we perhaps did. We mourn that safety concerns, perceived and real, have torpedoed these impromptu learning experiences where independence, resilience, leadership and communication skills flourish.
In response to this, and influenced by the Forest Schools’ approach used in many Scandinavian countries, the Early Childhood Centre at our Minimbah Campus established its ‘Creek’ Program in 2012.
Five years on, the four-year-old ECC students from Minimbah spend their Thursdays outdoors at the ‘Minimbah Creek’. Rain, hail or shine, students engage in those activities their mums and dads did, and the learning outcomes are remarkable.
The children thought they were just playing but they were learning such an incredible amount. It was tactile learning, learning by trial and error, directed and self-directed learning.
Jodie A – Parent
Such was the success of the ECC Creek Program that Foundation (Prep), Year 1 and Year 2 students now spend their Wednesdays outside the classroom. Their ‘Discovery Day’ programs set a different learning and curriculum focus each term and draw on the students’ ‘discoveries’ at Frankston beach and along the Sweetwater Creek trail.
By putting a value on the educational and social importance of play and discovery – by letting children be children – we are able to develop individual learning programs that both challenge and engage.
And it all begins in our Friday three-year-old program.
This full-day program is creative. It is progressive. It is a broad palette of experiential and enquiry-based programs that combine to create a fun and engaging environment, sowing the seeds for a lifetime love of learning.
For more information on Woodleigh School’s Early Childhood programs, contact our Enrolments team on 5971 6100 or email [email protected]
Rod Davies –
Deputy Principal – Head of Minimbah Campus