The Prep year is when the foundations are laid for children to become lifelong learners. But how is this actually achieved?
We visit Sunshine Coast school Pacific Lutheran College to find out.
Stimulating activities, colourful learning spaces, laughter, fun and guidance by highly skilled and empathetic teachers to explore the world around them. These are just some of the elements at the core of the Prep experience at Pacific Lutheran College.
“First, we ensure our Prep classrooms are welcoming and supportive environments where children can ease into their school journey,” says Sue Zweck, Head of Learning K–5 at Pacific Lutheran College.
“Pacific encourages and nurtures each child’s curiosity and creativity. This promotes confidence and independence as they begin their learning journey through Prep.”
Play-based learning on the Sunshine Coast
Pacific teachers understand not only what children need to learn, but how and why. Children’s learning skills are challenged and supported through individualised, play-based, evidence-led learning, which helps them thrive academically and socially for future success.
“We aim to support our students with a holistic approach. This develops and nurtures their intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and physical needs. Values of respect, initiative, helpfulness, kindness, and self-control are explicitly taught, modelled and affirmed in each student,” Mrs Zweck says.
Pacific Lutheran College provides solid foundations for all the key learning areas of the Australian Prep program.
“A love of learning is our goal and we pursue this by balancing social interaction, formal learning and play-based learning,” Mrs Zweck says.
“We also prioritise developing literacy and numeracy skills. Our learning areas include English, Mathematics, History, Geography, Science, Christian Studies, Japanese, Music, Health and Physical Education and Technology.”
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Shared experiences in Prep
Mrs Zweck says Prep students are curious, eager learners who engage best through shared experiences.
“The Pacific approach to reading and spelling in the early years draws on best practice from research. With an emphasis on oral language, quality literature, phonics and phonemic awareness, letter formation and fine motor development. Early literacy success opens a world of potential, opportunity, creativity and imagination for children.”
Other exciting learning opportunities enjoyed by Prep students at Pacific Lutheran College include an excursion to Australia Zoo when learning about life and living, using the Sphero-Indi robots to map and follow directions, learning from the older generation at Grandparents’ Day and developing a love of music and performance art by participating in a College Christmas Carols evening.
“We share our learning about our College’s values through active involvement in weekly chapels and leading chapel once a term. We enjoy weekly swimming lessons in Term 4, and absolutely love participating in the Cross Country and Athletics Carnival in Term 3. Our buddies from Year 5 celebrate with us every second Friday at morning tea and support Prep students in making their Easter Bonnets and Christmas craft,” Mrs Zweck says.
“By the end of the Prep year, students will have gained independence, developed positive friendships. They are equipped with valuable skills to support them in their learning journey.”