Hall is a rich developmental play and language experience program for children in Prep to Grade Two. Developmental play is an important component of childhood development.
Children learn through experiencing and experimenting with language. Oral language and social skills are developed through shared experiences. The immersion in oral language will facilitate the language development of all children. Children will engage with their peers negotiating, comparing, sharing, describing and problem solving in a stimulating environment.
Hall sessions run for an hour and consist of children from different grades and rooms. Currently, 30 children attend from 2- 3 different classrooms. This supports transitions through the school as it allows for students to know a wide variety of children. This supports the wellbeing of all students and the benefits can be seen in the playground. This time also supports the classroom teacher to work with a reduced number of students in the classroom to provide a more intensive approach in their teaching.
Classroom teachers ensure that mixed and varied groups attend Hall each session and that younger children or those with needs that are best supported by Hall are provided with opportunities for additional sessions.
A typical Hall session is (roughly) as follows:
5 minutes – Tuning In and Choice of Experiences:
Experiences are discussed and children will make choices about what they would like to do and who they will work with. We try to ensure a mix of children from different grades/ ages and gender.
40 minutes - Play:
Students learn through investigating, talking, problem solving, negotiating and learning skills necessary for working in groups. Children are encouraged to talk to members of their group in order to find ways to achieve personal and group goals while acquiring new skills. Social and emotional learning is at the forefront of all experiences in Hall. Students learn to work with a number of others from different classrooms and grade levels. Problem solving strategies, restorative practise, turn taking and mindfulness are important for all experiences and are discussed and practiced every session. Skills and understandings in literacy, numeracy, science and the arts are developed through authentic experiences.
5 minutes - Pack up:
Students work together to leave the Hall ready for the next group.
10 minutes - Share time
Students share in a number of ways reflecting on their own learning as well as supporting each other with new ideas for next time. Share time further supports oral language development- explaining, questioning and clarifying. Small groups or whole class share times enables modelling and a shared language. We focus on processes and skills learned, sharing ideas for solving problems and creating stories, role-plays and performances. Often links are made back to the classroom where children can use their stories or learning in their personal writing, inquiry units, maths and speaking and listening experiences in the classroom.
Some examples of learning experiences include (but are not limited to):
- Big Building
- Home Corner
- Small Toys (Including games, blocks, lego, cars etc)
- Post Office
- Water Play
- Dolls house
- Puppet Theatre
- Art activities rotate weekly or fortnightly
- Writing and drawing experiences rotate weekly or fortnightly with personal choices also negotiated.
Throughout the year, the areas/ activities will change depending on the needs and interests of the children, the learning taking place in classrooms (e.g. inquiry) and in order to provide a wide variety of rich experiences.
In 2015, we introduced some whole group projects. The projects link many of the areas of Hall and classroom learning. They may run over several weeks. Some examples of these are: The African Safari, dinosaur park and Hall Village. We are looking forward to our next adventure later on in the year. All P-2 children will be involved in deciding what this year’s project/s will be.
There are opportunities to support the Hall program and the running of small group activities. They might be your own ideas or support for activities already running. Organisational jobs are on offer for helpful parents as well. Please see Mandy if you would like to make a time to help.
Donations are gratefully received. Please check with Mandy if you have anything you would like to donate. Watch out for requests in future Newsletter.