Getting our kids outdoors
By Natalie Oddy - Associate Principal, Jolimont Primary School, Western Australia

Disciplined innovation: STEM Nature Play Project

Last year was a year of inspiring joy in learning at Jolimont Primary School. School leaders recognised a need for our students to have a strong foundation in critical and creative thinking skills for innovation and problem solving. To bridge the gap between research and application of 21st Century learning in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), we investigated and introduced a ‘spiral of inquiry’ (Halbert & Kaser 2017) model through learning sprints (Breakspear 2016) using the ‘5E instructional model’ (Bybee et al. 2006). We planned a STEM: Nature Play Project in response to a school and community passion for imaginative play, which enhances physical, cognitive and mental health and wellbeing (Steglin 2005). Partnerships between our school leadership team, staff, students, parents and the wider community resulted in a program of learning that engaged students in purposeful, challenging and rich STEM tasks that brought learning to life.

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