Our Learning Environments
Our service has been designed with children, families, community, the natural world, and sustainability in mind.
We strive to offer a “homely” environment to all who visit – one that instantly says “you are welcome here”.
Green Beginnings values children for their capabilities and competency as learners within supportive partnership with families and Educators, within the local community. Our shared multi -age outdoor and indoor play spaces welcome relationship building amongst old and young who attend. Children are often seen spending time with their siblings or other friends from other rooms throughout this space- something we value and encourage for its rich social and emotional experience.
Green Beginnings Child Centre values the power of nature and its ability to inspire and teach children. We have used this belief to shape an environment that makes sure children at Green Beginnings are surrounded and immersed in earthy, homely influences, filled with beauty, varying in textures, shapes, spaces and levels. Children are encouraged to explore, investigate, ponder, create, imagine, and wonder as they smell, touch, listen to and taste everything that is real in the world around them.
We value learning happening within an environment where children have uninterrupted periods of play, free choice, along with Educator guided experiences and provocations. We support this by allowing children to choose to participate in any learning environment through flow between our service rooms, outdoor play space, and children’s cooking area.
Each of our rooms has an art studio (or atelier as described by our influences in Reggio Emilia). Here children are encouraged to let their feelings guide their imagination and creativity. These studios are equipped with clay, paint, sculpting wire, recycled materials; charcoal, dried leaves, twigs, flowers, twine, tape, seeds, beans, and anything provided by educators or families that is representative of children’s interests at the time.
Our service offers children and families access to worm farms, organic vegetable gardens, a wooden climbing wall, dry rock quarry, bamboo huts, large sandpit, cobbled bike paths, and quiet leafy areas to sit with a book, puppet or friend- all surrounded by a natural turf playground.
Cooking is seen as part of children’s everyday learning experiences and you will often smell this as you enter the premises. Our educators cater for differing food intolerance’s, cultural and family beliefs during these times.Children have wonderful opportunities to participate in a range of different cooking experiences that give opportunities for children to taste, smell and feel ingredients. Where possible we harvest produce from our vegetable garden for these experiences
Our service provides spaces for children to be on their own, or within a small group. There are spaces for children to-
- Run, bounce, balance, dance, jump, climb and ride a bicycle ( on our balancing beam made from logs, our cobbled bike track made from recycled granite and old railway sleepers, the stumps collected from a families old tree that was cut down, the boulders in our rock quarry).
- explore, investigate and experiment (leafy areas around our service, rock quarry, vegetable gardens, under logs or stumps of trees, open grassy areas, plants designed to attract certain species of insects, bugs and beetles)
- wet, muddy, sandy (access to outdoor taps, mud patch currently being designed by families, children and educators, sand pit accessible at all times, children are still free to play outside on rainy days - we encourage families to bring rain coats and gum boots if they choose)
- smell, taste, touch and feel the world around them (vegetable gardens, flower beds and potted planter boxes full of colour, cook our own produce, natural environment)
- build, invent, and design ( art studios, rock quarry, access to loose parts within the environment, blocks and construction materials, clipboards provide a flat surface for designs anywhere)
- paint, mould, draw, write, read and relax ( writing area with materials needed for literacy development, real life literacy experiences through play, art studio, outdoor veranda area, bamboo hutch converted into a quiet reading space, , easels in the rock quarry or near the lake side fence for inspiration)
- act out, dress up and dramatize their feelings (dress ups, access to materials and fabric, props, blocks and construction materials have been used to build a cruise ship similar to that one of our families had gone on during their holiday, bamboo hutch has been transformed from a quite reading area to a stage for a rock concert or ballet recital or a tea party, our art studios in our toddler play space have been filled with hay during an interest in farm animals and transformed into a ballet studio and also underwater world.
Green Beginnings Contribution to our Earth
Our service is inspired by the African proverb that says “The world is not left to us by our parents, It is lent to us by our children.”
Our service has been designed with sustainability in mind and we encourage and support a sustainable future in our everyday practices. Our service sees sustainability as a key learning priority.
Our philosophy is not only based on children building relationships with those around them, but building a relationship with the EARTH as well. We aim to equip children with the attitudes, values, knowledge and skills necessary to rethink and change current patterns of action with regards not only to recycling and composting but to social justice and ecological responsibility for the future.
Our Educators therefore role model environmentally responsible practices by actively recycling rubbish, turning off power when not needed, talking with children about sustainable practices, their attitudes about sustainable practices EVERYDAY.
We encourage everyone to show respect for each other, and our natural environment / all things living.
Our classrooms are built from natural materials using non-toxic finishes. The design and construction of Green Beginnings utilises natural light and ventilation, ensuring it is naturally comfortable in all weather conditions. Rainwater harvesting as well as solar panels, will ensure a reduction in environmental costs – both now and in the future.