Inquiry-based Learning

A Slow Return

As the situation in Australia begins to regulate and we experience a decrease in restrictions children are gradually returning to Flinders. It is wonderful  to reconnect after time away. The Houses and gardens are gradually filling with colour, light, and the sound of children playing. It is like music. As we reconnect, we observe the children as they rediscover their peers, educators and environments. Inquiries, questions and curiosities that had emerged prior to March are no longer quite the same; children have moved and the dynamic has shifted. And so, we watch carefully, wondering what will happen, waiting to see what path the children will lead us down next… Some possibilities we have seen so far; Millipedes, and the wonderful world of minibeasts Sticks as sculpture and art media Jellyfish – did you know jellyfish don’t have eyes, a nose, a mouth or a heart? We are all beginning to look forward, to the unknown future, and place our trust in those around us. As our community rebuilds, we look forward to discovering what our youngest citizens will see and explore. We look forward to seeing the world anew, alongside.  

Playful Investigations

At Flinders we talk a lot about play. Play underpins our Philosophy, pedagogy, and assessment and planning cycles. Play is fundamental to children’s learning and is emphasised in the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standard. Play can basically be defined as anything children choose to do independently, which leaves the concept of play-based learning open to a wide range of interpretations. This can leave people wondering; what are children actually learning? Learning is a highly individualised process, and it can often take a great deal of time for it to become clear. Babies playfully investigate everything they encounter, often by mouthing or otherwise touching. Play for toddlers continues to be primarily a sensory experience; the texture of paint is perhaps more valid than what images children can paint. As children grow, play becomes thematic and imaginative. When children are supported to investigate, explore and wonder through play, and when they are supported by intentional educators, the sensory play of babies eventually becomes the careful and purposeful enquiry of the five-year-olds currently transitioning out of Sturt House. Here are some examples of their garden discoveries, explored through the context of playful inquiry. We have found many exciting things in the garden this week! Here are a few… The children thought it could be a “baby lizard.” S thought that it could be a baby “blue tongue lizard.” We researched skinks and geckos. Our research told us that skinks can blink, while geckos cannot. Skinks have full eyelids that enableRead more