There should always be time for play
Some people think that once a child enters school the time for lots of play should cease so that teachers can get down to the serious business of teaching children how to read, write and do mathematics. But studies show that the most powerful tool for fostering brain development and the growth of neural pathways, in young children is physical movement and play. Children should be encouraged to play outside, explore the environment, and participate in activities such as walking along balance beams, climbing into cubbies, digging in sand and playing with pebbles.
With the introduction of touch screen, mobile devices many children of today are spending significant amounts of time sitting still, looking at a screen, their only movement a simple ‘swipe’ to open a new page. Participation in perceptual motor activities helps children to develop stronger perceptual and motor skills and builds neural pathways. These pathways are the connections by which information travels through the brain and the more neural pathways the more likely learning will come easily. When a child does not have properly developed perceptual motor skills, he or she is more likely to experience difficulty in learning basic academic skills.
At St John’s Anglican College we are acutely aware of the need for a balanced approach to education which incorporates plenty of perceptual motor experiences for our youngest students. We want all our students to have strong foundations for future academic learning and so we ensure that every child participates in perceptual motor activities. Children in Kindergarten and Prep all benefit from regular lessons with our qualified Physical Education teacher and they learn academic subjects through the right balance of hands-on experiences, technology and purposeful play.
Our newly developed Prep Playground provides that something extra, because while the children are playing on the equipment, stepping stones and balance beams they are at the same time developing those all-important perceptual motor skills, so essential for future learning.
St John’s is the place where your child grows with the support of the whole community.