Weather provides an important environmental variable, acting as an ongoing provocation for learning and exploration.Read more
“Numeracy is the capacity, confidence and disposition to use mathematics in daily life. Children bring new mathematical understandings through engaging in problem solving. It is essential that the mathematical ideas with which young children interact are relevant and meaningful in the context of their current lives… Spatial sense, structure and pattern, number, measurement, data argumentation, connections and exploring the world mathematically are the powerful mathematical ideas children need to become numerate” Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (p38) The Early Years Learning Framework definition of numeracy is highly nuanced. The concept of numeracy as a way of thinking about and understanding the world is far different to an understanding of mathematics that focuses on processes, or rules. Of course, both understandings have their place, but in early childhood the focus is certainly on numeracy as a tool for understanding and engagement. When we consider the EYLF’s broad definition, we can see how many of the experiences that we take for granted in early childhood education are fundamental to developing numeracy. Things like sorting, counting and pattern making are practices that encourage children to understand their world numerically. Below are some images of the work children in Sturt House have been undertaking recently. Some of the numeracy skills and concepts children have been developing include: Exploring order and number using number cards Experimenting with transformation and tessellation using puzzles and loose parts Representing quantity and number in a variety of ways Gathering, organising and reading dataRead more
Winter outdoor play is fundamental to the programs at Flinders. Children play outdoors all year round, ensuring ongoing access to fresh air and the natural world. Indeed, for many families the outdoor play program is one of the many reasons why they have chosen to come here. The winter outdoor play programs are in full swing across Flinders; everyone from Baby House to Sturt House has the opportunity to be outside in the elements. Flinders provides rainsuits and gumboots, and place to store any items of this nature that families choose to provide. Developing a strong relationship with the natural world is more that just experiencing the sunny, mild days. Any lasting relationship must also embrace and accept that which is less pleasant, such as rain, cold and cloud. As adults, it is easy to impose our own aesthetic preferences on children and their engagement with the elements, stating it’s too cold, wet or miserable to go outside. But any one who has spent time watching a child leap delightedly into a puddle knows that children don’t see things quite the same way. At Flinders we are mindful to remember that we are, at all times, role models for children. This is no less true when considering our attitudes towards winter outdoor play. So we don a smile and a sense of wonder alongside the children, dress warmly, and pack our gumboots – for after all, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.