Just a little note to clear up a misconception that appears to be gathering momentum within our school community. We have had a number of concerned parents approach staff to ask if Investigations are going to continue to be part of the Prep -2 program. The answer is an emphatic yes!
Our Investigations based on the Walker Learning Approach are, and will continue to be, an integral part of teaching and learning in the Prep to Grade 2 classrooms.
As with most schools who adopt the WLA, however, our program has evolved to meet our school specific needs. An example of this is starting our day with Play Is The Way. Whilst Kathy’s preference would be to launch straight into Investigations, we felt that the sense of community that is generated by having the whole school out together engaging in social and emotional learning while having some fun and gaining some fitness was worth the alteration we had to make. Play Is The Way also leads very well into Tuning In.
WLA is a version of a play based approach. The key goal of a play based approach is to promote independence, problem solving and collaboration with highly engaging activities. Play based learning is an inquiry approach as is the use of educational research tasks (ERTs) in 3-6.
Next year sees the mandatory uptake of the new Victorian Curriculum. This too may require us to get creative as there are some areas that need to be added to our explicit teaching and reporting. We are currently considering the possibility of including some guided Investigations based on the science and humanities concepts that need to be incorporated.
It is always a challenge for schools to balance the demands of the Department, and the curriculum whilst ensuring we have programs and methods that produce independent and engaged learners. We are constantly working to meet that challenge, but please rest assured, whatever adjustments we need to make, Investigations are here to stay.