Go with the Flow at Little Beacons


Long before COVID-19 arrived on the scene, Little Beacons Learning Centres were designed to provide plenty of fresh air and an uninterrupted flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. But with the current emphasis on outdoor learning and the need for good airflow in education settings, the Little Beacons facilities and programs already
tick those boxes.

“For us, nothing has really changed,” said Donna Eyles, Head of Teaching and Learning. “We have always said that there is no such thing as inappropriate weather, just inappropriate clothing.”

Little Beacons, part of Beaconhills College, has its own branded uniform. There are a variety of items designed for Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, from beanies and bucket hats to
waterproof overalls. Sensible clothing like gumboots allow children to enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about wet shoes or getting muddy.

Dressing for the weather also encourages children to think about their clothing choices and develop their resilience, independence and problem-solving abilities, Mrs Eyles said. She said being able to step outside without having to ask an adult to open a door for them helps extend children’s learning opportunities, with the ‘outdoor classroom’ providing different ways to learn. The outdoor areas are located directly outside each room to ensure maximum accessibility and supervision.

Quality outdoor landscaping enables children to connect to nature – becoming environmental ambassadors – and gain a sense of freedom and self-exploration, use their imagination and experience ‘risk taking’.
Even the youngest babies in Pebble Lane are able to learn through the
experience of rolling and crawling on real grass, while toddlers can discover the joys of dirt, worms and water.

As part of Little Beacons’ four and five-year-old kindergarten Discovery
Program, children join the Early Explorers (bush kinder) to spend three hours of uninterrupted play on the College grounds, using what nature has provided as learning materials. The program, now in its tenth successful year, is based on the forest pre-school approach, originally established 50 years ago in Scandinavia.

The two Little Beacons centres at Pakenham and Berwick have both achieved the highest possible government rating – assessed as ‘exceeding’ in all seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard.

Call our friendly enrolments team to enquire about enrolling your child at Beaconhills College. Phone 1300 002 225 or email enrol@beaconhills.vic.edu.au

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