Learning is Fun
“All children should have the chance to discover that learning needn’t be separate from fun”
These words, from Estelle Morris, former UK Education Minister, provide a great focus for us at Ballarat Clarendon College Early Learning Centre. She continues: ”The need for a child to develop motor skills, and social skills, confidence and self-esteem, the development of their creativity and sense of wonder is beyond doubt. Equally, who would not want a child to start school with a command of language, able to hold a pencil and having begun to recognise numbers? Let’s be clear … none of this means a child shouldn’t play, explore, imagine or be inventive”
Kylie and Mark Finch have three children at Clarendon: Oliver in Year 2, Fred in Year 1 and Emily in the 4 year-old ELC extended hours program. Kylie says “We are just so pleased with how quickly Emily is progressing – she was reading to us at home last week, and was so happy doing it. We can see how much she is looking forward to Prep next year.”
We should never underestimate the capacity that children have for learning and the enjoyment and excitement that comes when achievements such as recognising numbers or being able to write your name are made.
Our ELC staff reflect the understanding of how children best learn that is shared by all Clarendon teachers. They have particular skills in using play as a powerful learning strategy. The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework states that “Play is essential for its ability to stimulate and integrate a wide range of children’s intellectual, physical, social and creative abilities.” As Early Childhood professionals, they “use their judgement to support children’s learning and development through a combination of child-led and adult-led play-based learning, as well as teacher-led learning.” These three strands are skilfully interwoven to provide a learning environment that is stimulating, challenging, and great fun.
Clarendon has recently completed a project to provide a link and resource centre between the Early Learning Centre and Junior School. The ELC is now joined to the rest of the school physically and in terms of educational philosophy. Throughout every student’s time at Ballarat Clarendon College, our focus is to maximise their competence, skills and capacity so that, at the end of their time at the school, when they stand on the threshold of their future, they can choose their “heart’s desire”.
The Amanda B Plush Early Learning Centre will be formally opened by Professor Bridie Raban, University of Melbourne on Sunday 24th August at 3pm, an event that forms part of our 150th anniversary celebrations.