Published on November 13, 2020

The Hunter Valley Grammar School Early Learning Centre has added another string to the bow. Already award-winning, the Centre has been awarded ‘Commended’ in the Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards.

children playing in cubby house

The Awards are held every two years and celebrate excellence and innovation in the provision of safe, creative playspaces across Australia. This year the award focused on inclusive play integrating with the natural and cultural environments.

The HVGS ELC playspace is a large spacious area positioned in a natural setting offering ample opportunity for children to engage in creative and open-ended play. It’s so appealing to children because children were actively involved in the planning, design and build of the playground. The playground includes a Yarning Circle and Fire Pit, where stories and knowledge are shared. Our inspirational playspace encourages healthy participation in recreational activities for our students.

playspace“Our playspace is a valuable component of our high-quality inquiry-based educational program,” says ELC Director Sarah Bilton-Smith.

“Children who attend the Early Learning Centre spend time outdoors in the Adventure Playground throughout all seasons, from which dreams grow, and curiosity is cultivated.

“The playground offers a variety of play provisions which draw children to explore, experiment and build upon their skills and interests, with a mix of fixed equipment as well as lots of opportunities to access loose parts and open-ended materials. These can be moved around, rearranged and added in different ways, to extend upon their play.

“The opportunities inherent in the design help children to think critically, take risks, hypothesise and test theories, all whilst playing collaboratively with peers, within a beautiful natural setting,” says Sarah.

child playing with mud

Possibly the most essential aspect is that our preschoolers and staff love it! Rain or shine, the Adventure Playground is full of smiling faces – splashing in puddles, sailing the high seas in our ship or enjoying quiet reflection under the shade of the trees. Our preschoolers enjoy many fantastic adventures in the playground each and every day