Hills School Verdun Contact

early learning centre

a place of EXPLORATION

By the age of 3½, most children are bursting with energy, enthusiasm and eagerness to learn about the world around them, and our ELC is designed to propagate their sense of wonder and curiosity.

The purpose-built Early Learning Centre provides a secure environment in which students are able to explore and discover in their own way.

Extensive research has demonstrated that children who regularly engage in nature play and outdoor learning have significantly improved academic, physical, social and emotional development. HILLS ELC has embedded nature play not only in practice, but also into the design of play areas and into the development of its curriculum. Outdoor learning and nature play experiences are a part of our daily routine. Our students love to explore the many fascinating natural elements throughout our school campus, which provides vast learning opportunities for children. There are many spaces where they can be creative, learn through inquiry, explore, take acceptable risks, think independently and develop their own sense of being.

We understand each family is different, as are the needs of each child. Our ELC therefore gives families the ability to choose how often their child may attend, ranging from 2 to 5 days per week. This program provides a positive introduction to a learning environment, along with building towards a seamless transition into Reception. The ELC provides a welcoming and safe environment, where we recognise the unique nature of each and every child, viewing them as capable, curious and intelligent individuals.

Play based


Play-based learning is an essential aspect of our program. It is the young child’s ‘work’. Through play experiences, children are involved in active learning. They learn about themselves and the world around them. They are able to construct, test and apply their own understanding and knowledge of the world. Play is a creative process, and it is through free play that children control and master what they have learnt. They are able to express their thoughts and feelings, as well as developing decision-making skills. Play is the foundation for children’s learning as well as a source of enjoyment.



HILLS ELC scaffolds its curriculum on the Early Years Learning Framework, focussing on learning through inquiry, fostering critical thinking and developing positive values and attitudes. Our play based, Inquiry focused curriculum empowers students by providing opportunities for them to make decisions about their learning, whilst pursuing independent investigations and explorations. Through the use of Inquiry we aim to instil in children a curious nature and a love of learning that will enable them to become enthusiastic, life-long learners.



As a school, HILLS has chosen to make Nature Play opportunities a priority through the purchase of the adjacent Rivermont Property. The ELC is founded on providing meaningful learning opportunities for its students, so we naturally take every opportunity to bring nature into our program and venture forth into nature as often as we can! The ELC’s daily morning WILD WALKS around the School and Rivermont property allow the children to observe seasonal changes or look for something specific, as well as providing a physical activity that stimulates their brains for further learning throughout the day. Twice a week we engage in our WILD WORK, visiting the Property and venturing into “The Faraway Lands” for extended exploration and learning times in the natural environment.

Before and After


The ELC opens for Before School Care from 7.00am. We also offer After School Care until 6.00pm, supervised by an Early Childhood trained teacher. Parents may choose to collect their children before 4.00pm for a reduced fee. For more information about this service, please contact the ELC Director – Rosie Ferguson via email rferguson@hccs.sa.edu.au



Our Vacation Care is open during school holidays. A program of activities is available leading up to holidays and can be booked directly through Rosie Ferguson on rferguson@hccs.sa.edu.au or 8388 1369.