- Outdoor learning spaces are a feature of Australian learning environments. They offer a vast array of possibilities not available indoors.
- Play spaces in natural environments include plants, trees, edible gardens, sand, rocks, mud, water and other elements from nature. These spaces invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk- taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature. They foster an appreciation of the natural environment, develop environmental awareness and provide a platform for ongoing environmental education.
- Indoor and outdoor environments support all aspects of children’s learning and invite conversations between children, early childhood educators, families and the broader community. They promote opportunities for sustained shared thinking and collaborative learning.
- Materials enhance learning when they reflect what is natural and familiar and also introduce novelty to provoke interest and more complex and increasingly abstract thinking.
- Environments and resources can highlight our responsibilities for a sustainable future and promote children’s understanding about their responsibility to care for the environment.
- Environments can foster hope, wonder and knowledge about the natural world.
Our Practices Reflect:
- Annette’s Place Program builds respect for our natural environment through promoting children’s understanding about their responsibility for the environment, embedding sustainable practices
- Educators provide a nature inspired, aesthetically pleasing environment that encourages wonder and curiosity.
- Educators use a flowchart for purchasing and sourcing materials that encourage sustainable practices.
- Educators introduce and support an acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples as traditional owners.
- Educators demonstrate an ongoing commitment to developing their ongoing cultural competence, embedding this in practice.
Links to the elements of Belonging, Being & Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework:
- Respect for diversity
- Cultural competence
- Health and Safety