Learning Through Play

Learning Through Play

Through the eyes of an Early Childhood Teacher

Preparing children for school involves more than just teaching children to write their name and count to ten. At Journey Early Learning, our playspaces encourage play-based learning by providing diverse and interesting environments for children to explore. We know that learning through play can help to enrich learning and build fundamental skills. We recently spoke to Zoey, our Early Childhood Teacher at Journey Durack to dig deeper into her teaching philosophy and the role that learning through play has in the Preschool room.

Zoey holds a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning, Early Childhood and has been involved in the Early Childhood sector for almost 20 years, drawing inspiration from experts, other teachers and recognised authorities. Zoey feels that her values have always aligned with Journey’s since she began at the centre in April 2018.

When discussing the Preschool program (in other states, Preschool is equivalent to Kindergarten, the year before children move to prep), Zoey talks about the high, yet not unattainable expectations. “My program is driven by high expectations and when I set the expectation that children will succeed; they always do. Never underestimating children and their capacity and knowledge is another element of my program and I am proud whenever I see children fully embedded and understanding the lessons they are taught.”

It’s important to acknowledge the role that play has in a Preschool/Kinder program – something Journey drives home in each centre. “Albert Einstein quoted ‘Play is the highest form of research’, which is something that has always resonated with me. Play is how children learn, how their brain connections are formed – it’s the essence of how they develop” Zoey shared with us. “It’s important for educators to then recognise the value of play, champion this concept and then reflect and plan to further children’s learning through play”.

Throughout the day in the Preschool room, children engage in multiple forms of play including solo play, cooperative play, structured play and intentional play which Zoey tells us can often be seen as messy or non-sensical to the naked eye – but it always has a purpose and meaning for the children.

The room is designed for children to have access to different environments that encourage multiple types of play. For example, offering an indoor-outdoor curriculum where children are free to explore inside and outside areas at their own choosing. “In my experience, learning outdoors in nature and utilising gross-motor skills such as rolling, jumping, balancing and climbing is just as important as being able to sit still and read and write.”

Alongside the free-flowing indoor-outdoor play, there are also a number of intentional lessons which use play to further children’s learning on literacy and numeracy, such as number games, experimenting with weight and volume or singing songs to learn about rhyming.

As children learn through play within the room, educators are always there to support, guide and mentor. This is reflected across all Journey services and programming in the Preschool and Kinder rooms can be discussed with the ECT or Centre Manager. By providing safe and secure environments, children develop confidence, resilience and a strong sense of self. At all Journey centres, we encourage a high level of independence by providing children with support, time and appropriate resources to develop new skills and knowledge.

– Journey Early Learning

Zoey, Early Childhood Teacher at Journey Durack

“My program is driven by high expectations and when I set the expectation that children will succeed; they always do.”

Zoey

Journey Durack Preschoolers

Preschoolers going on an excursion to the lake

Elijah, Preschool child

Wholesome Child afternoon tea

“In my experience, learning outdoors in nature and utilising gross-motor skills such as rolling, jumping, balancing and climbing is just as important as being able to sit still and read and write.”

Zoey

Noah, Preschool Child

Outdoor playspaces at Journey Durack