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First Door offers five workshops relating to early childhood environments and experiences.
These are:

  • Create environments and experiences that engage children in play and learning
  • Promote children's agency
  • Nurture creativity in children
  • Nature play, challenge, and sustainability series

Create environments and experiences that engage children in play and learning

"An active learning environment is one in which children are encouraged to explore and interact with the environment to make (or construct) meaning and knowledge through their experiences, social interactions and negotiations with others" (EYLF, 2009, p.45).
In this workshop your team will explore ways to create an active learning environment, and experiences that engage children in learning through play. The EYLF PRACTICES discussed are: Learning through Play, Intentional Teaching and Learning Environments.

Topics include:

We discuss five steps to creating an active learning environment and reflect on improvements to consider.

1. Unrushed play and interactions 
- Respecting children’s work and play experience, and peer scaffolding

2. Flexibility in spaces, design and arrangement 
- Setting up inclusive environments with spaces that encourage agency, exploration and learning through play
- Setting up play provocations

3. Access and creativity with materials and equipment
- What are 'loose parts' and why? - Practical play experience with loose parts

4.  Providing safety and challenge
- The right mix of providing comfort with a sense of belonging and challenge in the environment

5. Supporting children's learning
- Being a co-learner: promoting children's learning dispositions and role modelling these
- Supporting children's collaborative learning opportunities


Promote children's agency

Topics include:

- Identify with the purpose of promoting children’s agency and discuss the links to the National Quality Framework and relevant theories.

- Use strategies to develop children’s confident self-identity, autonomy, resilience and sense of agency.

- Reflect on your practice of using rewards and engaging children in choices, planning and decisions.

- Discuss strategies for encouraging children’s collaborative learning, connectedness, inter-dependence and sense of agency

- Use critical reflection to evaluate how your curriculum promotes children’s agency. Consider the children’s perspective, the NQS, parents and educators’ perspective. 

Nurture creativity in children

In the Early Years Learning Framework creativity is connected to all five outcomes for children. This workshop will assist educators to understand their role in nurturing creativity in children. Educators will explore ways to nurture creativity in each individual child through the physical environment and a range of experiences.

Topics include:

- Defining and understanding what creativity is

- Connecting creativity to the five learning outcomes

- Understanding how creativity relates to the use of language, problem-solving and improvising

- Identifying ways to nurture creativity as an educator

- Supporting children’s right to be creative through the effective use of environments  and resources and considering Malaguzzi’s 100 languages for children

- Adopting a creative approach to established routines

- Integrating various types of music into the program

- The role of technology in creativity

- Practical activity: Practise the five keys to successful storytelling

- Practical activity: Plan creative activities using case studies and experiment with tips for leading creative expression experiences e.g. art, dance, drama



Over a series of two workshops your team will be inspired to use the outdoor environment as a rich place of learning, to promote children's connectedness to nature and embed sustainability in real and daily practice.

Session 1: Nature play: promoting an appreciation of the natural environment and sustainability

Topics include:

- The benefits of nature play

- Success stories: forest kindergarten, nature play and sustainability in Brisbane Early Childhood centres

- Meeting NQF requirements for nature play, natural elements and exploration

Practical activity: collaborative group project and discussion using nature

- Promoting children's appreciation of the natural environment

- Embedding sustainable practices into everyday actions and experiences

- Reflecting on current practice and environments to promote nature play and sustainability

- Considering ideas for improvement to better promote nature play and sustainability


Session 2: Provide challenge, appropriate risk and manage hazards

Educators will understand how challenge, exploration and appropriate risk relates to children's learning and development. They will reflect on their practice on providing a balance of security, comfort and challenge within the environment.

Topics include:

- The danger of 'cotton wooling' children

- Providing challenge and appropriate risk for children

- What is 'risky play' and managing risky play: encouraging children to identify and respond appropriately to risks

- Planning for and ensuring a safe environment: supervision, identifying potential hazards and managing hazards

- Conducting risk/hazard assessments including risk benefits

- Strategies to manage injuries and illnesses

- Practical case study: Perform a risk/hazard assessment in the Centre's environment 


Enquire now or phone 3204 4336 to discuss your team's professional development needs. 


These workshops relate to the following National Quality Standards and elements:

  1. Educational Program and Practice
    • NQS 1.2: The program for each child takes into account their strengths, capabilities, culture, interests and experiences.
    • NQS 1.2.2: Each child is supported to participate in the program.
    • NQS 1.2.4: Critical reflection and evaluation of children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, is used as a primary source of information for planning and to improve the effectiveness of the program and teaching strategies.
  2. Physical environment
    • NQS 3.1.1: Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, furniture, equipment, facilities and resources are suitable for their purpose.
    • NQS 3.2: The environment is inclusive, promotes competence, independent exploration and learning through play.
    • NQS 3.2.1: Outdoor and indoor spaces are designed and organised to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments.
    • NQS 3.2.1: Resources, materials and equipment are sufficient in number and organised in ways that ensure appropriate and effective implementation of the program.
  3. Staffing Arrangements
    • NQS 4.1: Staffing arrangements enhance children’s learning and development and ensure their safety and wellbeing.
    • NQS 4.2.3: Educators and coordinators are focused , active and reflective in planning and delivering the program to each child.
    • NQS 4.3.4: Interactions convey mutual respect, equity and recognition of each other’s strengths.
  4. Relationships with Children
    • NQS 5.2.1: Every child is supported to work with, learn from and help others through collaborative learning opportunities.

Reference Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority. (2011). Guide to the National Quality Standard. Retrieved from: http://acecqa.gov.au/storage/2-DE_03_National%20Quality%20Standard_v8_Secn1.pdf