Curriculum - Early Childhood

The Kindy to Year 1 classes at St Mary's implement the Kath Walker Learning Approach to Early Learning (WLA).

So what is this approach all about?

Investigative playÂ?-based experiences are the major pedagogical tool for teaching and learning alongside formal instruction. (Literacy and numeracy are embedded in the process.) Play is the most effective means of providing rich, diverse thinking and oral language, social skills and problem solving. Play is viewed as part of the learning process rather than an “add on”.

Children’s interests are used as the vehicle for learning experiences during investigations with the curriculum as the driver. Investigation time will occur in each room from 1-4 days each week Â?- a block of 90 minutes in the session. 

The classrooms/learning environments are set up with up to 8 different areas such as: dramatic play, sensory, collage, tinkering, construction, reading and writing workshops. For instance; the Kindy/PP classroom has a writer's corner to encourage the children to use a variety of materials to write and make words. The maths area currently has a variety of materials for children to weigh and compare weights. The creative corner has two sections, the first is where the children can design and make clothing on a dressmaker's model, the second part allows children to explore a variety of collage favourites such as feathers, crepe, pompoms and glue.

WLA uses a mix of active, hands on investigations, alongside group times, personal reflective times, skill instruction and other learning experiences provided by the school. All curriculum areas will continue to be covered .

Your child will have various roles: they will be a focus child for the day, or a photographer or a reporter, during the investigation times. These are just some of the key principles behind this learning approach. We encourage you to come along and view the new environments and see how the WLA is being unrolled. Ask your child what they have been “investigating” or what “role” they have played today. They are very excited about this new approach through the vehicle of play!

If you would like more information on the Walker Learning Approach please come and see the classroom teacher or check out the website at: 

Some of the learning areas in our Early Childhood classrooms: