loading

Sign up to Putting Our Kids First

Share and inspire - Forums

Next term early childhood teachers, primary school principals and upper primary school teachers will have an opportunity to share their experiences and inspire each others on play-based learning.

We have locked in a few dates, see below to see if there is a forum happening in your area*:

October 24: Lesmurdie Primary School, Lesmurdie

October 30: Beaumaris Primary School, Ocean Reef

October 31: Vasse Primary School, Busselton

November 6: Yakamia Primary School, Albany

November 13: South Bunbury Primary School, Bunbury

*Forums are only open to teachers in public schools for SSTUWA members and non-members.

The Play is Learning Campaign

Play is Learning Kids on seesaw

Getting the balance right in early childhood learning

Play-based learning and child-initiated play are widely recognised as central to healthy development and learning for children in Kindergarten, Pre-Primary, Year 1 and 2 classrooms and the school yard.

So, it is essential we continue to advocate for the rights of young children to learn through play.

Many people have influenced early childhood education (ECE) recently which has led to differing, and at times, opposing philosophical views of what early childhood education – Kindergarten, Pre-Primary, Year 1 and Year 2 – programs should look like.

  • Despite the introduction of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and National Quality Standard (NQS), in some instances pedagogical decisions have been made with little knowledge or experience in ECE, and with little consultation with trained early childhood education staff.
  • Universities report pre-service teachers observe widely varying practices when completing their school practicums.
  • Health professionals advise that we are raising a generation of anxious and at-risk kids who are buckling under the pressure to perform and compete from the age of three.
  • Our teachers confirm that they observe negative impacts on children’s social skills, emotional regulation and problem-solving capacity with the push-down of developmentally inappropriate practices.

Many school staff, parents and community members have raised concerns about practices in some early childhood education classrooms.

Questionable practices include direct instruction models, removal of play-based learning and applying similar teaching strategies across K-6 classrooms.

When teachers plan and implement the Kindergarten Curriculum Guidelines and WA Curriculum in a child-friendly environment, through a balance of child-led and educator supported learning experiences, they see their young students engaged in learning.

We support schools making pedagogical decisions that consider the different learning and developmental needs of each individual student. In terms of early childhood education – Kindergarten to Year 2 – decisions should be based on a deep understanding of the EYLF and NQS.

Download this information sheet

Learn more about the Play is Learning Campaign

The Asks:

  • Develop and promote a play-based learning curriculum in every WA school in line with the mandated Early Years Learning Framework.
  • Provide adequate time and resourcing for the implementation of play-based learning in both indoor and outdoor school environments.
  • Establish a ministerial advisory committee to provide independent advice, information and expertise on matters pertaining to play-based learning and early childhood pedagogy;
  • Reinstate the Office of Early Childhood Development and Learning as a stand-alone body;
  • Appoint qualified early childhood education advisers including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island early childhood officers to regional offices throughout WA;
  • Develop a WA Play Strategy with other stakeholders in Early Childhood (0-8 year olds).

The State of Play-Based Learning in Western Australian Schools study was initiated by the SSTUWA to investigate the perceptions of teachers on matters related to the provision of play-based learning in WA schools.

The findings derived from the study will inform the SSTUWA and the WA Department of Education (DoE) about training and resourcing needs for promoting play-based learning at school.

You can enter your details to receive a link to download the State of Play-Based Learning in Western Australian Schools Report here.

News

Media Release: Union calls for action on play-based learning

The State School Teachers’ Union of WA (SSTUWA) has called on the state government to secure all early childhood students’ right to access play-based learning (PBL) at WA schools. The union has today launched its Play is Learning campaign urging the government to act immediately and decisively to secure PBL practice in the early years of WA schooling. SSTUWA President Pat Byrne said play based learning was vital in utilising children’s play as a context for learning.
Read more

Our Videos

Play is Learning Launch Video

Getting the balance right in early childhood learning Play-based learning and child-initiated play are widely recognised as central to healthy development and learning for children in Kindergarten, Pre-Primary, Year 1 and 2 classrooms and the school yard.
Read more