What is Play Workshop?
At Southern Cross Early Childhood School we are committed to a Play Based Curriculum. Our learning environments reflect our beliefs that children effectively learn through play and we support them in their individual endeavours and interests. Children participate in a minimum of three sessions of Investigations per week where, through personalised learning, they are scaffolded in their exploration of the environments and practice skills in many area including;
- Receptive and expressive language
- Problem solving and creative thinking
- Working cooperatively
Educators provide a rich environment for children to explore different concepts and ideas through planned experiences including dramatic play, the arts, construction and science. Each day the educator will selects three focus children. The purpose of the focus child is to 'check in' with their latest investigations and allow the child to share their thoughts and ideas with the class. This is an excellent opportunity for the educator to ensure they are providing for each child's interests and furthering their explorations by changing or extending each learning area based on the children's direction of play and questioning. Other roles you will see are the Reporter and Photographer. A different child is chosen for the roles each session to complete a set task, which generally link to curriculum areas, skills or learning the children are focusing on in class.
Aren't they just playing?
Children at play are never 'just playing'. Play allows children to explore their worlds, gather new information, practice skills, role model, create, communicate and LEARN! Educators are constantly providing provocations which allow the children to think, ask questions and wonder. These provocations allow the children access to a rich learning program where they develop a deep understanding and practical knowledge of all curriculum areas.
What the children think about Investigations.
I write and draw. Sometimes I write lists, letters or songs. Playing is very important for kids.
- Waikare, Year 2
I do box construction and tinkering. I learn what's inside of stuff at the tinkering table and build things with boxes.
- Jet, Year 2
We investigate to help us learn while we get strength back. If we do writing after investigations our brain is up and already ready to write.
- Edward, Year 1
I love all of it. I especially like Tap-tap and making in art. I make machines. They are making me smarter.
- Cody, Kindergarten
I get to make stuff for the petting zoo. I made birdies and possums. I made a sign. I found pictures in magazines that tell people what they can see in my petting zoo.
- Amy, Kindergarten