ELC Sustainable Play

Sustainable play and learning are a big part of Haileybury’s Early Learning Centre (ELC) programs, which teach children about the importance of recycling and caring for the environment.

This is done in an age-appropriate way that allows children to have fun exploring and learning about the world around them and the need to protect it.

All our ELC children grow and develop through their play. Play is linked with the child’s interest, skill and ability while providing opportunities to spark a sense of wonder and develop an inquiring mind.

The environment is an area of interest in our ELC and has guided educators to weave their intentional teaching of sustainability through the daily curriculum. We have had many conversations on recycling, re-using and reducing rubbish.

The children are becoming mindful of how to dispose of their rubbish appropriately to limit landfill, how to save water and how to care for the garden. The reinforcement of these actions is designed to embed a sustainable way of being.

The children use many recycled goods in their play and activities. One popular learning area to develop creativity, interest and imagination is the Making Table. The children appreciate our visits to Recycle Rescue, and parents donate recycled objects such as wool, bottle tops, cardboard, material scraps and greeting cards.

Our ELC children also learn about the importance of caring for our world generally.

Reception classes recently took on the challenge of collecting plastics found in lunch boxes over a week to highlight the amount of waste still going into landfill. We teach children that we can support our planet by re-using resources. For example, a zip-lock bag can be re-used over the week to house food coming to school.

In the ELC, children are introduced to this principle through simple sustainability practices in each classroom. These include water tanks in the Reception and Pre-Prep playgrounds, turning off lights when exiting rooms, placing food scraps in compost bins and identifying the recycle symbol on food packages and placing these items in recycling bins.

Another important form of sustainability is re-purposing. Bottle caps, laundry detergent scoops, paper towel rolls and washed yoghurt containers can be turned into wonderful creations that spark imagination and highlight the importance of the multi-use of items.