Junior School

Play-based learning as a child-directed practice with intentional teaching

Southwell’s focus on play based learning ensures children learn in a safe physical environment that provides a rich and diverse range of experiences to promote learning and development. Play based learning helps children organise and make sense of their social worlds. In this style of learning, children can explore different materials on their own or with each other, using materials to represent other objects.


Pre literacy skills are supported through rhyme, rhythm and repetition. This will help children develop memory skills and lay the foundations of reading that develop the ability to differentiate sounds for basic literacy.


By focusing on social and emotional skills children develop positive relationships, they learn to get along with one another, communicate their needs in a positive and acceptable manner and resolve conflicts. Playing cooperative games activates learning of social, emotional skills sense of belonging to our community. A sense of connectedness to school makes engagement with learning more comfortable for children.


Creativity is vital for children to find solutions to their problems. Imagination in play develops curiosity and builds creative problem-solving skills.


The resources we use enable every child to engage in play-based learning. Outdoor and indoor spaces provide quality experiences that support participation and engagement for every child. The classrooms are designed, equipped and organised to maximise children’s engagement and level of positive experience and inclusive relationships.

Play-based learning in the early years develops intellectual skills, thinking and motivation. “Research has explored the importance of play for a child’s overall development and we know that play is closely associated with the development of intellectual skills, thinking and motivation.” Australian National Quality Standards.


Every learning station is clearly labelled for families to observe the learning intension so that they can support their child’s learning at home. We Are Learning To (WALT). We do this to explicitly highlight what students are being asked to do (WALT = the learning intention) and what we help them learn (WILF = the success criteria) to help them to make better decisions about how to tackle a task.

Play based learning supports language development through asking questions, encouraging conversation and introducing unfamiliar words.



Come and see us. We look forward to explaining how you can help your child at home with their play based learning.


In science the pre-primary class have been looking at seeds and plants. They have grown a variety of different seeds in both soil and cotton wool. Also, our winter vegetable patch has begun and we are hoping to get some yummy carrots, silver-beet and beetroot soon.

If you have a 'green thumb' and would like to volunteer any of your time to work with the Pre-primary’s we would love to hear from you.




Useful Links

Belonging, Being & Becoming - The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia  https://docs.education.gov.au/node/2632
The National Quality Framework (NQF)   https://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf/national-quality-standard

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