A warm and loving home-like environment with a kitchen is created that nurtures a slow and gentle unfolding of the young child. The Preschool is the beginning of your child’s school journey and plays an important role in the development of the will, imagination and confidence.
In the early childhood context, adults model wholesome and purposeful work, while the children play freely around them. The early childhood educators are conscious to undertake activities that are worthy of imitation as children learn best by imitation and example.
The Pippi Room is filled with ‘open ended’ materials (irregularly shaped wood, cloths, shells etc.) that offer many possibilities, rather than a single fixed idea, with the goal of developing the imagination of each child. For example, a block of wood is a boat one day and becomes an animal the next.
The daily rhythm is designed to allow a balance between freedom (self-directed free play) and routine (sharing morning tea). The daily activities include gardening, baking, drawing, painting, handcrafts, storytelling, seasonal festivals/celebrations, verses/songs, movement, and morning circle. Each day the children are told a story, which fosters deep values.
Self-directed free play is the heart of the early childhood program and it is viewed as not only a child’s real work in life, but also the foundation of creativity. For the young child, play is a way of understanding the world and is vital for healthy emotional and intellectual development. The inner forces of imagination, cognition, problem solving and flexibility, which are developed during play, become the capacities for life-long learning.
Nature Play Day
Each week the Prep children spend one day either in the bush land on our beautiful school site or at the local beach in Beachmere allowing them time to freely explore the natural world through their senses. Research has found that nature play significantly improves all aspects of child development – physical, cognitive, social and emotional. Playing in nature supports the development of resilience, self-confidence, initiative, creativity and collaboration.