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