The Discovery Time book is an exciting resource for primary teachers
Encouraging a student-directed learning environment where children create, explore and work on problem solving activities...
What is Discovery Time?
This exciting, activity-based programme provides a vehicle for teachers and students to explore curriculum learning and key competency development, in a fun, challenging, student-directed, authentic context.
Sessions allow for a wide range of activities from the arts to the sciences, following student’s ideas, interests and passions.
Teachers are saying...
“It puts balance back into the curriculum.”
“It puts students in charge of their own learning.”
“It’s a chance to stand back and really observe your students.”
Students are saying...
“It’s the best part of the whole week.”
“You learn to challenge yourself.”
“You get to do stuff that you have never done before - you think you can’t do it, but you can.”
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Why do Discovery Time?
In our schools we need to be educating the whole child – catering for the social, emotional and physical as well as the cognitive development of the student.
Research shows that the best way to do this is to ensure that children are given opportunities to engaged in:
The importance of play cannot be underestimated. It is what happens when children are self-directing and actively involved in their learning.
Being actively involved leads to more powerful understanding and ownership of new knowledge.
Make their own choices about what they will do and how they will go about it. The teachers may set the scene but the students decide what will happen next.
When you allow children to direct their own learning, be actively involved and playful then creativity, innovation and problem solving occur naturally.
and to be guided by Skilful adult involvement
This is the glue that holds all the other elements together. It is the careful adult observations, the conversations they have, the qualities they value and encourage, and the questions they ask that lead to a successful Discovery Time session.
We’d love this part of the site to be interactive and bursting with great ideas, innovations and adaptations. So send us your thoughts, magic moments, videos and photos.
Great videos fronted by teacher Kate Bodger that describe how her team went about setting up play-based learning. She explores some of the challenges for teachers and the benefits they have seen for student learning. These three short videos have a lot of information, so be sure to watch them all (part 1, part 2, part 3) […]
Discovery Time at Hauroko Valley Primary School We do love hearing such good stories of Discovery Time in different places. Read the article here – plus video and pictures! “Within the first three weeks of the programme, Discovery Time, teachers were seeing results in children’s overall language development, interaction with other students and staff, and […]
Which is more important, that we have a beautifully finished product to put on the wall or, that the child has been able to explore and create during the making process? Professor Kay Margetts explores this issue in – Creative Play: In Praise of Getting Messy “Craft activities that involve children copying precisely a model […]
We are often asked if all activities during Discovery Time should be totally student directed. We believe there will be a range of opportunities to lead the learning in a session (see our web page on student directed learning) An activity may be: Totally student directed Mostly student directed – some adult assistance when requested Student […]
‘Loose parts’ in play, have had a lot of attention lately. So where did this idea come from, what do we mean by loose parts and what is it’s relevance to Discovery Time? Simon Nicholson coined the phrase ‘loose parts’ in the 1970s. “In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity and the […]