Prep

NEWSLETTER

Issue 1


This year in Prep our students will be provided with a warm, inviting and stimulating learning environment. With support and encouragement our students investigate, explore and challenge themselves throughout their learning journey. Further to this all learning tasks will be differentiated and personalised in order to meet our students' individual needs.

The 'Kathy Walker' program will continue to run throughout 2017 and students will participate in 'Investigations' four times a week. This time is crucial for all learners as it provides the opportunity to build relationships, oral language and co-operation skills via work stations that are based on the current learning intentions. This time will also provide the 'spring board' needed to launch into our key learning areas such as reading, writing, numeracy and social and emotional wellbeing.

Students will also attend the following specialists subjects on a weekly basis; Art, Physical Education, Literacy and Music. Classroom teachers run a session each week that cover Art and ICT.

We look forward to a fantastic year in Prep and welcome parents, family and friends to visit our classrooms and assist where possible.

Prep Team

Helen Mitchell, Linda Berndt & Hannah Findlay


We continue to embrace the Walker Learning approach in the classrooms. We begin our mornings with “investigations” where we practice our weekly learning intentions. The children will be found practicing their mathematics and literacy skills in a highly engaging environment, choosing where they start their learning.  There are stations of role play, mathematics, reading, writing, sensory, tinkering, collage and construction. The rest of the day includes explicit teaching in areas of reading, writing and mathematics. This curriculum comes straight from Ausvels. The children also enjoy Music, Physical Education and Information, Communication, Technology.

 

Key WLA Principles
Listed below are a number of the key elements of the WLA and implications for practice.

  •  Children’s interests are used as the predominant means for learning experiences during investigations. Teachers may also add in other ideas and concepts.
  •  Children’s interests are expanded, scaffolded and supported as a means of ongoing engagement in particular learning areas.
  • Additional issues or concepts at a community or school level are incorporated within the planning document but not viewed or used as the ‘topic’ or ‘theme’ on which planning is based or all experiences are planned.
  •  Investigative play-based experiences are the major pedagogical tool for teaching and learning alongside formal instruction.
  • The nature of experiences promotes creativity, imagination and scope for children to invent and create and avoid cloned art work, worksheets and stencils.
  • Planning documentation identifies intentions for the children’s development in the first instance and in addition, identifies key learning intentions and children’s interests as a basis for planning learning experiences.
  • The learning experiences emphasise active engagement, provide children with opportunities to explore processes (not just end products) and seek to encourage children to pursue some of their learning experiences into ongoing projects for either short or longer periods of time.
  • Observation and documentation by teachers of key skills, needs, strengths and interests of individual children is used to further plan and implement appropriate experiences and set further learning and developmental objectives.
  • Formal skill instruction sessions and small and large group times are still used within the classroom in literacy, numeracy and other areas of learning. These skills are also integrated within a range of learning experiences.
  • Teachers must still direct, scaffold, extend or intervene with children in order to ensure that children are actively engaged and learning.
  • The notion of integrated curriculum within the WLA refers to all learning areas being recognised as integrated and embedded in children’s learning and not as discrete parts of the day where a particular content or focus area is used.
  • A balance is set by the teacher incorporating interests emerging from the child in response to experiences, and what the teacher wishes to introduce in relation to skill and content.
  • In practice, the WLA uses a mix of active, hands-on investigative play-based work, alongside group times, personal reflection times, skill instruction and other learning experiences provided by the school each day.

From Play Matters 2nd Edition © Kathy Walker 2011 1



Parent Helper Information Sheet


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