Learning through play allows children to develop their social, physical and emotional skills as they learn, socialise, build relationships, problem-solve and collaborate.
St Joseph’s natural playground is definitely a highlight during play break, featuring a kitchen area, a tee-pee, sandpit, huge football fields, handball courts and netball courts.
Each day, the students work together in a play-based area creating their forts, their offices, their campfires and any other provocations the students see fit to design.
There are many discussions about how to construct various shelters and what materials they may need. Some students even bring natural materials from home to add to their provocations.
As the students engage in imaginative play and create their own characters, they are also learning how to solve many problems involving length, weight, balance and spatial awareness.
“The importance of play and the outdoor environment are important elements of the Early Learning Policy for Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle,” said Kim Moroney, Education Officer (Early Learning) at the Catholic Schools Office.
“Australia is a nation defined by its outdoor environment; however research reveals that one in ten children play outside once a week or less.
“Nature helps children develop powers of observation, creativity, negotiation and imagination.
“Playing outdoors assists children with physical development, relationship building and provides opportunity for children to explore and discover.
“Nature alleviates the impact of life stress on children and helps them deal with adversity.
“The greater the amount of nature exposure, the greater the benefits for learning and wellbeing.”
To find out more about St Joseph’s Primary School, Kilaben Bay, click here.