Our Learning Environment
Our outdoor environments are designed to be inspiring, beautiful, and engaging. Children have access to a wide range of sensory experiences, with natural materials featuring heavily. Everything is carefully maintained by our outdoor educator, Alice, who is able to design, inspire and create with the children, putting to use her practical skill set and wealth of knowledge.
We boast a large, natural outdoor space with open areas of grass, secluded areas for reading and relaxing, gardens with flowers and herbs, undercover softfall areas for safe climbing and building, mud kitchen and sandpit, as well as housing our service pets.
Our playground has a focus on sustainability, with worm farms, water tanks and compost bins all accessible to children for their exploration and learning.
The indoor environments at Stepping Stones are designed to be cosy, challenging and inviting. The rooms are carefully and intentionally set out by Educators to create spaces for children that are comfortable and engaging, without being overstimulating or busy.
Resources are provided for the children at their level for them to access, focusing on open-ended play which encourages role-playing, problem-solving, and imagination.
Rooms reflect the children that play in them. Family photos, bespoke artwork curated by the children - even the resources available are determined in collaboration with them as they get older. This helps create a space in which children have a sense of belonging, a respect for their environment, and engaging in learning.
The Studio is a recent addition to the learning spaces at Stepping Stones. Situated between the two Preschool rooms, the Studio hosts small groups of children over several days of the week who engage in interest-based learning and research.
Groups are carefully orchestrated, placing children of mixed age, gender and skill sets into groups that will undertake research projects for a ten-week period. Guided by our Studio Educator, these groups will take an interest shared by the children and delve into a range of experiences in order to draw out their knowledge, theories and questions so as to deeply extend their learning - all of which is documented by the children in floorbooks: daily diaries of the children's work and quotes.
Shelley is the studio educator and has many years of experience to draw from. She also functions as the educational leader within our Centre, helping other educators with a range of curriculum and documentation based questions, mentoring and guiding our educators to provide the best early education they can.