Learning in the Early Years

What is ‘Learning in the Early Years’?

As educators in the Early Years, we aim to provide learning environments and experiences that offer opportunities for students to learn skills such as decision making, persistence, resilience, getting along, negotiating, organisation, problem solving, and risk taking.  These skills are essential for lifelong learning.  At Samaritan College, our approach to ‘Learning in the Early Years’ is influenced by The Walker Learning Approach (WLA).  This approach provides a range of teaching and learning opportunities for students, delivers personalised learning, and encourages a high level of student engagement.

What does ‘Learning in the Early Years’ look like?

‘Learning in the Early Years’ involves students engaging in hands-on learning through Investigations.  As educators, we create learning centres within our classrooms and provide provocations that allow students to explore concepts during Investigations that will be explicitly taught during formal lessons later in the day.  Students are able to practice these skills and concepts through play and apply their knowledge and skills to real-life situations.  For example, a child may build a tower in the block corner and then choose to measure it with a ruler or to create a procedural text which will allow others to replicate their tower.

Investigations are an important part of ‘Learning in the Early Years’, and they complement the formal instruction that occurs during Literacy, Numeracy, and other curriculum-based lessons throughout the day.  What we teach is governed by the Australian Curriculum, ‘Learning in the Early Years’ enables the content to be delivered through teaching strategies that effectively personalise, engage, empower and provide greater ownership and choice for students.

What happens after Investigations?

After Investigations, students engage in more formal lessons as outlined in the Australian Curriculum.  As educators in the Early Years, we aim to reflect on the learning that has occurred during Investigations to provide personalised links to the more formal lessons.  We believe that this makes the learning experiences more authentic and engaging for children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question – What do investigations look like?
Answer – Visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtNPtfT6Fco

Question – Do children write during Investigations?

Answer – Visit: http://www.letthechildrenplay.net/2010/10/they-play-but-do-they-write.html

Question – How do Investigations promote the use of Mathematical skills?

Answer – Visit: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/math-play-how-young-children-approach-math