At the beginning of this year, Preshil introduced a new Long Day Care format for the Kindergarten program. We also made the bold decision to bring our Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) program in-house at the beginning of this year. I’m pleased to share that the transition has been a great success, with both students and parents reaping the benefits of the new system.
Our Director of Kindergarten and OSHC, Stewart Thorn, says:
At the beginning of this year, Preshil School introduced Long Day Kindergarten for our youngest learners, operating from 8am until 6pm. The inquiry-based program planned and implemented by Preshil’s exceptional teachers and educators focuses on implementing progressive play-based pedagogy influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach, the nature schools and forest schools in Denmark, and the work of Dr Claire Warden.
Using the Kulin seasons to guide our work on country, the children have been exploring different perspectives of community, including the community within the soil. Within our shared (between children and teachers) imaginary play, we lifted the top off our “mini hill” and began to dig, searching for answers to our questions about what is happening within the hill.
Little did we know we had disturbed a whole community of living creatures, the most interesting of which turns out to be something known only as “The Monster” who introduced itself via a letter. The monster has been gifting the children various provocations to extend their exploration about community and soil.
The children’s learning has been supported and extended recently by the expansion of an in-house Outside School Hours Care program run by the teachers and educators within the Kindergarten and integrating children from our Primary school community.
The Arlington Primary School children and families have been off to an exceptional start supporting the Kindergarten children to deepen their knowledge and connection with the “big school” as well as adding a vital perspective to our work on country, especially within the digging and expanding mud patch that makes up the monsters’ home. At the heart of this fun, sensory, playful project is the question, “how does dirt/soil connect us?”.
In April a collation of the work by the OSHC and Kindergarten children will be submitted for presentation at the Leta Verde 48th Meeting of Macroproblems in Italy, an annual exchange of opinions and ideas from children around the world. This year’s theme is THE LAND UNDER OUR FEET AND THE VARIATIONS OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY, bringing together responses to the theme of Life on the earth: preserving forest, soil and biodiversity.