Programs - Developmental Play
At Alvie Consolidated School, we believe in the importance of having children engage in self-directed developmental play, particularly in the early years. We also recognise the value of offering similar programs, particularly outdoors, for middle and upper-year’s students.
Learning through play is a term used in education and psychology to describe how a child can learn to make sense of the world around them. Through play, children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.
In child-directed play, conditions more so than in more formal, teacher-directed settings, studies have found students engage more in effective problem-solving behaviours. Child-directed play with peers highlights as an important endeavour for children to develop social and emotional competencies, such as leading and following rules, resolving conflicts, and supporting the emotional well-being of others. Providing children with opportunities to negotiate and follow rules during play connects to the development of self-regulation skills.
Bush Play at Alvie Consolidated School is a student led developmental play program. We are very lucky at our school to have over 5 acres of dedicated bush play space. During Term 1, Grades Prep – 2 students spend up to 6 hours per week engaged in Bush Play. By Term 4, children engage in the program 3-4 hours per week.
What does it look like?
· We go out in all whether conditions, except high wind.
· We supply children with tough waterproof clothing, worn over their uniforms during wet weather. Families will need to supply gumboots.
· A minimum of two staff supervise to ensure children engage in safe play. This includes both physical and psychological safety.
· Children will safely; climb trees; make cubbies; make mudslides; explore the wetlands; explore and observe creatures; engage in imaginative play; and whatever else they think of.
· Sometimes in the right conditions, we may closely supervise the lighting of small fires to cook food or just to stay warm.
· Children may also choose to join with adults in activities such as; planting native trees; collecting seeds; helping with seed propagation; veggie gardening; watering; and building projects such as making nesting boxes.
· At the end of the session, children pack up, so our groundsman is still able to mow.
· If children are muddy and wet, we often hose them down in their waterproof clothing and then remove the clothing for washing by school staff.
· When older children engage in the Bush Play area, it is more likely that they choose to participate or lead specific projects.