SCHOOL INCURSIONS
Green Hat Workshop maintain a PHILOSOPHY that the most natural and effective learning is through self-directed, open ended play. Our workshops are therefore characterised by lengths of time devoted to this end.

Please see our Curriculum Page for details of how our work relates to Australian Schools.


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The Green Hat Workshop Team of Facilitators are open to all manner of workshops for different purposes and work hard to improvise their presentations, timing and format to the needs of the participants in front of them at each event, rather than strictly keeping to a set plan.

The most valuable aspect of each workshop is the period of time where participants are engaged in free open ended play. During this time our Facilitators work hard to open up the potential learning in the activity through demonstration, question and prompted reflection. (Read More)

Following are the focus and design of some of the workshops we have facilitated.

  • PARENT MATHEMATICS EVENINGS - Whole Family open ended play
A series of workshops from after morning play, then an hour and a half open play workshop in the evening with parents; sometimes with a presentation introduction or conclusive reflection that outlines the value of open ended block play in Mathematical Development.
  • STEM / STEAM & INTERPERSONAL SKILLS  -Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics
Introduction and examples, warm up challenges, Free build, Reflection, Clean up.
  • MAV PARTNERSHIPS - Whole school focus with The Mathematical Association of Victoria
A PLANKS workshop as part of a series of Mathematical Activities. Book through MAV.
  • HASS - Humanities and Social Studies
- A full day of city and infrastructure design with a final city building workshop.
- A conclusion to a unit of work on geography and history using the PLANKS to recreate famous historical buildings and land-marks from around the world.
  • Creative Celebration
Short intro and long build. Just for fun.. and education. Often at the end of the school year, at a school celebration, camp or special day.

EARLY YEARS
Children who are in their early years of education are mostly engaged in play-based learning as a central feature of their program and therefore in most cases we suggest the purchase of PLANKS rather than booking a workshop.

Our PLANKS workshops in kindergartens are often prompted by a group of super-builders who will stack and design with anything that is not nailed down. In this instance our workshops are an event in celebration of this creativity and often begin with a whole group and finish only with these dedicated engineers.
We suggest in these cases that staff are available to supervise other parallel activities and that the whole group are not compelled to participate for the full time length of the workshop.

We love Kindergarten Parents' Evenings and some of our most memorable experiences have been facilitating authentic play between parent and child.

The open ended nature of Green Hat Planks Workshops are one of a rare type of incursion which produces a challenging and creative atmosphere for every ability*.

PLANKS are intrinsically engaging for every participant at their optimum competence, without measurement, formal rules or external expectations. They can be positioned, stacked and balanced in as many ways as there are builders and the component nature of Planks means that repetitive stacking or patterning leads to outcomes that are just as exciting as more sophisticated engineering.

While our facilitators are not formally trained in special needs education, our partnership with many specialist groups and schools has led to some of our most memorable work. We regularly recieve feedback from specialist aides and Primary School Classroom Teachers that exceptional social development occurs during PLANKS play, with ALL of their students.

As our Facilitators work with an understanding of Piaget's Constructivist theories of cognitive development and Green Hat Workshop's core value of working with the people in front of us, rather than to a "turn-key" preprepared plan, means we are highly adaptable to the communities we work within.

*Participants need to have basic finger and arm dexterity, be able to physically hold, grasp and stack.

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Our facilitators prefer longer periods of time with more participants.
Optimum time frames are 1.5 to 2 hours for a workshop with up to 100 participants.
We understand however that timetables are often quite inflexible and we regulary compromise in this regard. We hope that teachers consider booking workshops for two days over the decision to compress a workshop into an hour, as the authentic, self-driected learning of the workshop is reduced.
Depending on the dynamic of each group, we suggest the timing for
Foundation and Grade 1 students is optimally 1-1.5 hours.

Sample timetables:
Example 1 & 2 are our preferred
TIMETABLE 1
9 - 10.40am
4 grades (76 Students).
Break
11.10 - 12.50 (82 Students)
Break
1.50 - 3.30 (95 Students)
TIMETABLE 2
9 - 11am (105 Students)
Break
11.30 - 1.30pm (98 Students)
Break
2.30 - 3.30pm (F/G.6 Buddy program or a different group in the school)
TIMETABLE 3 (50min - 1 hr)
9.15 - 10.05am
10.05 - 11
Break
11.30 - 12.30
Break
1.30 - 2.30
2.30 - 3.30
The most appropriate building surface is a flat, even, indoor one, with trolley access and large enough to contain 50cm2 or more for each participant.
This activity is not run within multiple spaces but takes place in a single location per booking. Multiple locations are viewed as multiple bookings and will be billed accordingly.
Access is required up to an hour prior to the workshop; shorter setup times are negotiable but may impact on the workshop.
 
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