Brainstorming ways to make learning more innovative
Staff at Woy Woy Public School are currently brainstorming ways to make their approach to 21st century learning more innovative, according to principal Ms Ona Buckley.
"We are in a world of constant evolving change.
"Children of today live with artificial intelligence as part of their world and embrace technological advancements with ease.
"The way we teach children is evolving too.
"We cannot do what we have always done.
"The connected world demands creative, critical and analytical thinking in order to be part of a futuristic world.
"Jobs of today will be gone tomorrow.
"Communication has evolved and as we say, the world is at our fingertips.
"Our school staff have had many discussions on how to make our school more innovative in our approach to 21st century learning.
"Changes are being considered for 2020 to benefit students and connect more to the world they are now in and will be in the future as workers and perhaps leaders.
"We are considering a different teaching approach to bring change across Kindergarten to Year 2 and then a varied approach across Stage 2 and 3.
"Our Preschool is already aligned to discovery 'play-based' which promotes problem solving, creative and critical thinking and has a rating of Exceeding in all National Standards.
"We have many classes adopting a flexible approach to classroom spaces and furniture, and this is showing very positive results for student learning," Ms Buckley said.
Ms Buckley said the following brief would help inform play based learning at the school from next year.
"Staff at Woy Woy Public School have been working towards embedding individualised, interest-based learning at the core of our programs.
"Our journey towards inquiry-based or play based learning will begin next year when all teachers Kindergarten to Year 2 will initiate an investigative learning program that aligns with NSW outcomes.
"Research has shown that play-based or investigative learning environments ease the transition to school for Kindergarten students, since the learning environment is not such a big jump from the preschool.
"It allows for increased opportunities for the practical, daily application of contemporary learning skills (communication, collaboration, creative and critical thinking).
"The inquiry-based nature of play is supported through the social interactions of teachers and children.
"Teachers will use children's motivation and interests to explore concepts and ideas.
"In this way, children acquire and practice important academic skills and learning in a playful context.
"Investigative learning starts with the students.
"Teachers build a profile of each student's strengths, background and readiness.
"The traditional classroom set up of a desk for each student is replaced with stations, construction, sensory play, science, writing, numeracy or any topic that aligns with our current program.
"Stations display activities or materials that invite students to engage in a learning activity.
"Play based learning is purposeful.
"Teachers carefully and deliberately plan play-based experiences to help students learn in a way that is meaningful and enjoyable.
"Research shows play-based programs for children in the early years of school can provide a strong basis for later success.
"Our Kindergarten to Year 2 teachers are excited to promote this learning model and welcome you to visit their innovative learning environments," Ms Buckley said.
Newsletter, 30 Aug 2019
Ona Buckley, Woy Woy Public School