At Botanica, we offer a unique learning experience to our children where we utilise a unique STEAM-focused curriculum called the Helix Program. This program has been designed by Scientists and Educators so that children can engage in hands-on learning opportunities with a range of integrated inquiry and project-based learning.
At Botanica, children can explore, create, tinker, research, design and engineer with specialised educational materials and large interactive internal and external spaces that will engage children’s interest, as well as develop their confidence and enthusiasm for learning.
We carefully marry our learning program to the Early Years Learning Framework to provide group and individual lessons to prepare children cognitively, socially and emotionally for primary school.
What is STEAM?
STEAM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. You may think some of these subjects may seem lofty for young children to grasp, however, at Botanica, STEAM learning is more than just higher level mathematics, science or design. It is focused on being able to teach and help young children develop a strong foundation for future learning by exploring and applying skills and concepts through play and discussion.
For young children:
- S cience encourages investigation and answering questions, often involving experimentation.
- T echnology refers to using simple tools like crayons and rulers, as well as more complex ones like microscopes and computers.
- E ngineering refers to recognizing problems and testing solutions.
- A rts encourages creativity and allow children to illustrate the concepts that they are learning.
- M athematics deals with numbers, patterns, shapes and organisational skills.
STEAM learning stimulates innovation, creativity, critical thinking, as well as problem-solving skills, resulting in a well-rounded, multi-faceted child. It encourages children to think about what they’re learning in a more connected, holistic way. Through STEAM, children develop the skills and attributes to navigate the world around them.
We believe that children should be able to explore their environment, make discoveries and have a lot of fun while doing so. Our approach at Botanica turns learning into a hands-on experience that not only grabs the attention of the children, but also strengthens their ability to retain the information. We feel it is vital to immerse children in activities to drive their future passion for exploration and learning in life.
Within our learning experiences, we have a dedicated art class, where children can learn to draw, paint and sculpt under the guidance of a teacher. Their work will be displayed in our Children’s Art Gallery and we will have twice yearly viewings for all families to come and enjoy the work of children across the Centre.
Little Chef’s cooking program
We also love culinary creativity and have implemented our Little Chef’s cooking program within our curriculum. The children are able to view and participate in their food being prepared and cooked within a special viewing and participation room inside our kitchen, called the Kitchenarium . The children will be able to engage in a specific cooking class that is incorporated within their week of learning.
Little green thumbs
To look after our environment, our Centre gardener attends weekly and works with our Children to develop a planting schedule for our vegetables and ingredients, as well as teaching them how to plant and look after our gardens.
We provide language classes which are designed for children to gain the cognitive benefits of being exposed to a second language. These include understanding and appreciating other cultures, building a greater vocabulary through understanding that different languages hold the same words and meanings and improving memory.