Engaging learning environments inspire the imagination and creativity of learners, and encourage the process of inquiry, action and reflection. -PYP: From Principles into Practice: Learning Communities.
At St Columba's, we recognise that learning can take place within and outside of classrooms and we therefore have many specialised spaces that support student curiosity, learning and collaboration.
Inside our school you will find learning spaces that are flexible and that allow for independent learning, interactive group work, small group targeted sessions and whole class experiences. Across the school, we have made purposeful furniture and resourcing choices, always taking into account our children's needs and how we can best support their learning, academically, socially and emotionally. All classrooms have a SMART TV installed and access to technology including iPads and ChromeBooks.
Outside of the classrooms, we have an abundance of choices in relation to spaces that promote learning and play. These include:
Our Open Learning Library Space - a hub of activity that is accessible to all of our students. Our Open Learning Library Space contains furniture for break out groups, a range of texts across all genres, a SMART TV and STEM materials. This space is also used for lunchtime clubs such as Lego Club and Chess Club.
Our new adventure playground - a space co-designed by our students to meet their social needs and which provides opportunities for creativity and play.
Our Kitchen Garden - where students take on gardening, are encouraged to develop responsibility for the care of living things and explore skills related to cooking and health.
Our Local Area - We have many points of interest in our local area that we visit on a regular basis and that are utilised for student learning across the curriculum. Places we visit frequently include Elwood Beach and foreshore, the Elwood Canal and Elsternwick Park. Trips to these areas will have various foci depending on the year level, timing of the outing and student needs. For example, a trip to the Elwood Canal might relate to a unit of inquiry with a sustainability focus or it could have a focus on mindfulness practices that incorporate nature or it may be used to help spark student writing as a part of an English lesson.
- Our Nature Play Area - Currently the school is developing, in consultation with our students, a new nature play area. We are very excited for this addition as we believe it will complement and enrich our sustainability programs whilst also supporting children socially, emotionally and academically. The premise behind nature play is learning through nature encourages creativity, problem solving, symbolic play and assists with gross motor skills and hand eye coordination. The new nature play spaces will provide opportunities for children to explore new ideas and to develop their interests and understanding of the world.