Mamie Brown and Annie Brown Houses
The two houses that make up our ELC are named after two of Wilderness School's founding family members, Miss Mamie Brown and Miss Annie Brown. Children are able to commence their journey in the Mamie Brown House when they have turned three.

In the following year the children move through to the Annie Brown House. This is the year prior to commencing school.

Our newly developed Early Mamie Program allows those children who turn three in the second half of the year to begin their Wilderness journey through attending one morning a week. This opportunity provides these early learners with a comprehensive transitional program of up to six months prior to entering the Mamie Brown House.

Educational Philosophy

The educational philosophy of the ELC is based on the Reggio Emilia Educational Project as well as The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). Reggio Emilia is a town in northern Italy and Loris Malaguzzi was the founder and facilitator of the educational philosophy. International interest was sparked when Time Magazine identified it as one of the top ten centres of educational excellence.

Malaguzzi's work was informed by the work of well-known educational theorists including Vygotsky, Montessori and Piaget. He observed that:

What children learn does not follow as an automatic result from what is taught. Rather, it is in large part due to the children's own doing as a consequence of their activities and our resources.

Like Malaguzzi and the principles of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), we believe that building upon children's experiences and prior knowledge provides the best foundation for learning in early childhood.

The EYLF conveys the highest expectations for all children's learning from birth to five years and through the transitions to school. It communicates these expectations through the following five Learning Outcomes:

  • Children have a strong sense of identity
  • Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  • Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
  • Children are confident and involved learners
  • Children are effective communicators.

Fundamental to the Framework is a view of children's lives as characterised by:

Belonging acknowledges children's interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging.

Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow.

Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children's lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life's joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life. Children's identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships change during childhood.

Children attending our ELC are encouraged to wonder about their world and to satisfy their natural curiosity. In this play and inquiry based learning environment, the ELC staff take time to listen to the children and to document their thoughts and actions. Teachers reflect on the interests and development of the children and use this understanding to plan programs, facilitating rather than directing the learning process.

Play provides opportunities for children to learn, as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. EYLF, p 15.

Children are actively engaged in their learning and this enables them to develop greater self awareness and understanding of the world in which they live. Many natural and beautiful materials are available to the children in the ELC. These are thought provoking and help the children to communicate their thoughts and knowledge with others.

The dynamic ELC programs aim to create confident, independent learners who can also work well in a group. Children are encouraged to think independently, to embrace new challenges, to work collaboratively, to build new friendships and to celebrate their successes.


Wilderness Playgroup invites girls and boys aged 0 – 3 to meet weekly with their parents during the school term. In a secure environment the children learn and play together with the help of a facilitator. Children and parents participate in a range of activities including "group time", finger plays, songs, games and a morning snack time.

The children's development is enhanced through exploration, structured activities and games. Parents have the opportunity to meet each other and to experience activities with their child that can be continued at home.

At Playgroup, parents and children can spend valuable one on one time together as well as interacting with the group.

General Information
Children enjoy numerous activities from drawing and painting to puzzles, story book cottage, sand and water play, singing and much more...

Fridays during school term from 9.00am-11.00am
Term 1: Friday 7 February - Friday 10 April
Term 2: Friday 1 May - Friday 26 June
Term 3: Friday 24 July - Friday 25 September
Term 4: Friday 16 October – Friday 4 December

Annie House Garden (Entry from Gate 22, Hawkers Road)
Wilderness School
30 Hawkers Road, Medindie

$50 per child per term
$70 for two children

For more information, or to enquire about available positions, please contact the Assistant Head of Junior School - Early Years, Rebecca Williamson at



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