Mt Colah Preschool Kindergarten, Mt Colah NSW
“An active learning environment is one in which children are encouraged to explore and interact with the environment to make (or construct) meaning and knowledge through their experiences, social interactions and negotiations with others. In an active learning environment, educators play a crucial role of encouraging children to discover deeper meanings and make connections among ideas and between concepts, processes and representations. This requires educators to be engaged with children’s emotions and thinking”.
Our Philosophy aims for our Preschool be a learning environment for all. The environment that we provide affects everyone’s behaviour. We recognise that the physical environment, both indoor and outdoor, can enhance children’s learning and development. It is important that an early childhood environment is attractive, welcoming and allows freedom of movement. The environment at Mt Colah Preschool is designed and maintained to contribute to the overall atmosphere of the setting and to support children, families and educators.
“There are three teachers of children: adults, other children, and their physical environment.”
Our physical environment is open planned, bright and airy. The Educators acknowledge the importance of the environment and engage it as the third educator. The Educators place a great deal of thought and reflect continually upon how to set up the internal environment so as to stimulate engagement, interactions and extend learning. With plenty of internal room, Educators are able to provide differing spaces for children, allowing them to choose to interact with others through play, read, be creative or relax.
Our large, natural outdoor playground is the children’s favourite place at Preschool. This space has undulating ground, places of discovery and space to run and hide. It is important for children to engage their imaginations and view the wonders of the world from the discovery of a caterpillar to finding lorikeets nesting in our gum tree. In this environment the children are continually investigating, challenging their physical capabilities and learning about the sciences that govern the world that we live in.
We have a worm farm and a vegetable patch, a hands on opportunity to learn about sustainability. Feeding the worms our scraps, using their fertiliser to feed our plants and reaping the harvest of our labours provides the children with a wonderful hands on experience.
The physical environment is not just a backdrop to the curriculum but rather a part of the curriculum. As Educators, we have a responsibility to create environments as places of wonder and multiple learning opportunities where children undertake their own research, enjoy their interactions with others and gain independence.
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