New Parents

Early Learning Centre: Pre-Prep

Pre-Prep and Early Learning Centre

The St Paul’s Early Learning Centre is available for children aged 3-4 and incorporates a mix of play and activity-based learning which harnesses a child’s natural curiosity and creativity by encouraging them to work on projects that interest them.

Reggio Emilia

Born out of central Italy, the Reggio Emilia approach puts the child at the centre of the learning experience.  Rather than enforcing a learning environment or topic, the children themselves have creative input into what they want to learn.

The learning space

The Early Learning Centre at St Paul’s had unusual project managers: Pre-Prep students.  We asked our youngest students to describe what their ideal learning landscape would look like and used their ideas to inspire the final outcome.  Look carefully and you can spot their original designs on the walls of the classroom.

This has helped provide our students a sense of ‘ownership’ of their learning environment, leading to a feeling of ownership about their learning itself.  The result is that Pre-Prep students at St Paul’s graduate to Prep with high levels of self-control, leadership, creativity and a strong grasp of the basics.

Case study: Chinese dragon

The power of the Reggio Emilia approach was on full display recently when our Pre-Preps showed a high level of interest in the dragon featured in a story they were reading.  This prompted an investigative project amongst the class into dragons, their place in myths, legends and foreign cultures, and ultimately led to an entire class project: the creation of a 20 metre Chinese dragon.

Students had to learn the cultural sensitivities of the project, while also prototyping different fabrics and construction methods.  All in all, the students finished their time in Pre-Prep with a far greater understanding of the world and also valuable skills in reading, writing, teamwork, cultural awareness and creativity.

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