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Learning through play

At Gecko Garden Preschool children spend a lot of time playing in a variety of situations, structured and unstructured. Play provides natural and authentic opportunities for learning and has been described as a child’s work. Adults may think children are not learning much when playing but they are, all of the time.

For example:

  • With sand in the sandpit they are learning about size, volume, texture, testing ideas and working together;
  • With play dough they are learning to manipulate materials, share with others, make comparisons, use their imagination, appreciate the work of others, and communicate;
  • When playing on the floor with construction toys, they are learning to concentrate, measure, choose appropriate materials, see patterns, investigate and experiment.

Through our play-based approach, we guide children’s progress in six key areas of learning:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children are provided with a variety of experiences so they can:

  • Develop a positive attitude about themselves and others;
  • Develop self-confidence and self-awareness;
  • Manage their feelings and behaviour; and
  • Establish effective relationships with adults and children.

Communication, Language and Literacy
Children are involved in learning opportunities so they can:

  • Speak, listen and participate in English;
  • Share ideas and ask questions;
  • Explore and develop strategies and skills for reading and writing; and
  • Learn early literacy skills: knowledge and sounds of letters and some words.

Mathematics
Children begin to understand maths-related skills and concepts through hands-on exploration of concrete materials so they can:

  • Understand numbers by counting, representing, matching;
  • Recognise shapes and patterns;
  • Sort and classify; and
  • Use mathematical language.

Exploring and Understanding the World
Children learn about the natural and man-made world, and through exploration and experimentation they can:

  • Care for the environment;
  • Learn about their local community;
  • Begin to know about their own culture and others; and
  • Experiment, observe, question and share information.

Health and Physical Development
Children learn how to:

  • Make healthy and safe choices; and
  • Participate in activities indoors and outdoors to develop their fine and gross motor skills.

Creative Arts
Children:

  • Express their ideas and feelings through music, visual arts, drama and dance using a variety of multimedia.