Follow by Email

Search This Blog

Melbourne Study Tour 2016 | 10 August 2016

We started our Melbourne study tour today.  A total of 8 educators from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia joined us today.

We met at Southern Cross Station at 8.30am and made our way by train & bus to Elonera Preschool.  Gina Courtney, the preschool Director gave us a warm welcome when we arrived at the preschool.  She gave a brief introduction of the history of the preschool and shared about the preschool's philosophy and teaching approach.

Elonera Preschool is a community-based preschool managed by a committee of parent volunteers. The preschool believes strongly in the importance of play in the early years.

The 4-year-old programme was in session when we were there.  The children were engaged at several learning centres, working independently creating boxes using loose parts, easel painting, block play, light table play and sensory play. There was a sense of calmness amidst the busyness of the room.  The children were engaged with using various loose parts that were available throughout the classroom.  Tools and materials were made easily accessible to the children.

We saw children taking charge of different duties during cleaning up time.  The teacher Beck told the children that play time would be over in 5 minutes and shared a strategy that she used to help the children manage cleaning up.  A song was played and the children were told to clean up in one song.

When the cleanup was done, the children moved to a carpeted area and sat there.  Beck invited the children to decide on a song to sing to.  They did a lively action song that the children obviously loved.  Beck facilitated smooth transition to snack time with engaging children to listen out to the first letter in their name before going to wash their hands and to get their snack boxes out.  The transition was smooth and calm.

The outdoor play space at Elonera Preschool was amazing! Loose parts were available on low shelves. We also loved the different textures found in the outdoor play space.  It was evident that the educators at Elonera were intentional when creating the outdoor learning space for the children at the preschool.

Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool

Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
Elonera Preschool
We ended our visit around 12 noon and headed back to the city.  Everyone bought lunch and we made our way to Chapman Street where we continued the day's programme. We had a round of reflections of our experience at the preschool.  The educators also spoke about challenges they faced in their work. The educators realized that they share similar challenges.  Alyna, the facilitator engaged the educators to reflect on the the effectiveness of their respective play-based programme and to consider how to make their preschool programme more meaningful for the children they work with.

A short sharing on loose parts followed.  Alyna showed the educators some examples of loose parts that she had obtained the day before.  She shared some ways to use the loose parts in the classroom.

The day ended around 4pm and reminders were made to meet the next day at Southern Cross station.  We will be on another school visit tomorrow.  Our focus for this school visit would be on environment as the third teacher.

Stay tuned for our update.

No comments:

Post a Comment