Adelaide:The Pedagogy of Loose Parts

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Immanuel Primary School

Novar Gardens, SA 5040


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Event description


Enhancing a creative, thinking curriculum through the use of ‘intelligent materials’

Workshop Descriptor:

When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of ‘what if’ that promotes the type of thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning. Loose parts enhance children’s ability to think imaginatively and see solutions, and they bring a sense of adventure and excitement to children’s play

Daly and Beloglovsky, 2015

Utilising a variety of materials in our environments can optimise the potential for meaningful learning for children. But is providing the materials enough? This workshop will explore the role of the intentional, listening, researching educator in creating the conditions that enhance opportunities for learning with loose parts.

Theoretical underpinnings of loose parts play will be explored to enable participants to reflect on and make connections with their own pedagogical practices and beliefs. This will be complemented by a variety of examples from practice in different contexts as well as hands on component where participants will play with ideas and build knowledge as a community of learners.

There will be a particular focus on:

  • Creating a culture for optimal learning, rich in communicative potential through the use of ‘intelligent materials’.

  • Our understanding of the role of materials as part of the process, and the agency that they bring.

  • What to consider when inviting children to engage - how to present and organise materials

  • The role of playful inquiry and reflection, to enable children to encounter and build conceptual understandings.

  • The ‘grammar of materials’ (Vea Vecchi, 2010) - a way of thinking about materials inspired by the educational project from Reggio Emilia

  • Documenting children’s learning processes to inform curriculum planning and our understanding of children

  • The provocation of technology- the possibilities for learning when loose parts meets the digital world

  • Being mindful of the sustainability and the ethics of the use of the materials available to children

What the audience will gain as a consequence of attending the workshop (outcomes of the workshop)

Participants will:

  • Reflect and build on their knowledge of how children learn effectively
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the role of the environment in creating meaningful and generative opportunities for learning

  • Build on their knowledge of how to introduce materials to children successfully to encourage participation and deep level engagement

  • Explore how the process of documenting children’s learning can inform responsive and differentiated planning

  • Share and acquire ideas of where to source complex and interesting materials

  • Create an action plan to work differently with intelligent materials as a key part of the learning process.

What to bring:

A container of loose parts- either natural or man made

Useful to bring-

A digital device (phone, I pad, computer)


Early childhood teachers, lower school teachers and leaders

Workshop Leader Biography:

Name: Kirsty Liljegren

Kirsty has had extensive experience as a practitioner and leader in a variety of contexts in early childhood, with the most recent as Director of Cornish College Early Learning Centre, in Victoria. Many educators from around the world have visited the early learning centre as a place of provocation, innovation and inspiring practice. Kirsty was awarded a national excellence in teaching award for innovative practice together with a State and Territory award for Victoria for her contribution to the early childhood sector.

Kirsty has been a long-standing committee member of the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE). This philosophy has had a profound influence on Kirsty both professionally and personally, continuing to fuel a hope for children, all children to be respected, understood and to encounter places that honour the potential in all children.

Kirsty now consults and lectures widely both nationally and internationally, supporting and collaborating with educational teams to further develop their pedagogy and practice.

Workshop Timings:

Saturday 25 May

8.30 - 9.00 Introduction to the conference

9.00 - 10.30 Session One

10.30 - 11.00 Break (snacks provided)

11.00 - 1.00 Session Two

1.00 - 1.45 Lunch (lunch provided)

1.45 - 3.45 Session Three

Sunday 26 May

8.30 - 10.30 Session Four

10.30 - 11.00 Break (snacks provided)

11.00 - 12.30 Session Five (conclusion of workshop)


All participants will receive a certificate of participation for the workshop.


Early Bird Fee: US$350

Registration fee after the 25 February 2019:US$380.00

Registration fee after the 25 March 2019:US$410.00

Cancellation Policy

Please note that each workshop will proceed based on participant registration. Innovative Global Education will inform you by 25 April 2019 or earlier if the workshop is to be cancelled. If the workshop is cancelled your full payment will be reimbursed.

Workshop Participation

If Innovative Global Education is informed by 25 April 2019 that a participant is unable to attend the workshop, a full refund will be given. If notification of not being able to participate is after 25 April 2019 IGE will be unable to refund the registration fee.

If, for any reason, a school needs to either transfer a registered participant to another workshop from the workshop registered or change the name of the participant attending a workshop,

Innovative Global Education can make these changes on request from school or participant.

Accommodation Information

The following is suggested accommodation near the school.

Stamford Grand Glenelg


All guests will be entitled to 10% Off the Fully Flexible Room Only Rate at the time of booking on the 24th – 25th May inclusive. The rate on either side of this date will be subject to availability at the time of booking.

Please Note: This discount is not available on hotel packages, promotions or already discounted rates.

Please note that as no rooms are actually being held aside for this group, rates are subject to availability at the time of booking.

To receive this discount, guests will need to Call Reservations and quote the code IGE230519 at the time of booking. Guests will also need to provide a valid credit card number in order for us to confirm their reservation. All bookings will have a 24 hour cancellation policy.

To make a booking guests will need to contact our General Reservations department on the below details: Phone: 08 8376 1222 Email: reservations@sga.stamford.com.au

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Immanuel Primary School

Novar Gardens, SA 5040


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