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Balmain Public School

Balmain Public School

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Keeping it 'REAL' Initiative

Investigating together "I learn, we learn"  

This film showcases the play-based learning program at Balmain Public School. Students develop 21st Century learning skills and form a real love of learning through our keeping it REAL (Rich, Engaging and Active Learning) school initiative. This collaborative learning approach ensures learning is real, relevant and meaningful for all children.

Link - Filmpond


Diverse learners, diverse needs...

Balmain's long-term goal is for every student to experience a sense of success, growth, achievement, well-being and belonging. To achieve this goal we decided that we are going to have to do things differently.

Differentiated learning in the early years at Balmain Public school is characterised by…

  • Our personalised learning approach
  • Intentional and purposeful teaching of contemporary learning skills (21st Century skills – Communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking) and concepts
  • Planned, scaffolded learning activities supported with explicit instructions
  • The use of student data
  • The application of contemporary learning skills (21st Century skills – Communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking)
  • Inclusivity 

A play-based curriculum delivery doesn't change the what of a curriculum. It is about how it is taught and learned. It is the balance each day of active engagement as children are guided with intention, through a range of open ended experiences. 

Explicit instruction in literacy and numeracy and other curriculum areas underpins every opportunity that students are provided with, to investigate, explore, manipulate and create. Rich and varied learning spaces ensure students are always highly engaged, highly motivated and as a result literacy and numeracy outcomes are enhanced. 


What does research indicate about teaching and learning for young children?

Cambridge Primary Review (pdf 1432 KB)


A flexible learning space...

Flexible learning spaces support engaging learning experiences for all students.

They reflect the environments students may encounter in the workforce where there is an enhanced focus on:

  • self-direction
  • self-reflection
  • evaluation and
  • collaboration

Flexible learning spaces:

  • provide students with choice in how and where they learn
  • support collaboration
  • encourage open space that can be changed to accommodate style of learning and technology
  • select furniture that can be used for a variety of purposes
  • provide optimum learning conditions such as temperature, light and acoustics

Futures Learning