National Recycling Week – a future beyond the bin
This week we have been using a variety of recycled materials in the classrooms. Some of these have come from what the children have collected in their brown bags from home. Little treasures from our Beautiful Stuff project, which they have shared with their friends and sorted into different containers. Others have come from families collecting recycled boxes, egg cartons and paper rolls. The children have enjoyed working with tape and glue to create something new. Allowing children to use their imagination in this way has many advantages. Objects can take on the form of so many different imaginative and creative ideas.
Construction with loose parts provides opportunities for children to explore scientific and mathematical concepts as they combine boxes and other materials together into three dimensional structures. As children construct, they develop skills for problem solving, investigating, applying, and reflecting on learning. This type of play requires persistence and the ability to plan and make decisions. Open-ended activities help children build self confidence and encourages their independent learning too. Children are also able to revisit their work over several days, adding to their designs and applying deep thinking as well as dexterity in the way they manipulate the materials and stick them together. Construction with loose and recycled materials is a very satisfying creative experience for young children.
This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is Always Was Always Will Be...
It’s a time to recognise and celebrate our First Nations People who have occupied and cared for our continent for over 65,000 years. We are spiritually and culturally connected to this country. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.
Each and every day, when we come into the Pre-school, we are greeted by three flags: The Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and Australian flags. We feel a sense of pride that we are able to be connected to our first nations culture. We are always learning, growing and asking questions. We don’t claim to understand it all and haven’t earned the right to understand it all. ⠀
But we are committed to connecting rather than taking. ⠀
We are committed to respect. ⠀
We are committed to acknowledgement. ⠀
We are committed to protecting the land. ⠀
We are committed to supporting others to make their own connections. ⠀
We are proud to live and work on Gadigal land here in Randwick.
What land are you on? ⠀
To celebrate at Pre-school, the children viewed a YouTube clip and heard about the meaning of Acknowledgement to Country. We watched some Aboriginal dancing, playing of the didgeridoo and clapping sticks. We learnt about the colours and meaning of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. The Kornmehl children are always curious, interested learners who embrace diversity and equality with openness and so much heart.
This year our concerts will be a little different to past years, in that we will not have an audience of parents proudly cheering us on. This is very sad and we long for the days when we can have parents back into our Pre-school. For now, we need to think positively, creatively and pro-actively to find other ways to share what the children have learnt. So, we will be making a video of the children singing and performing for their mums and dads. We have been discussing this with the groups and the children are feeling excited. They have all given input into what songs they would like to sing and share with their families. We have started practicing and making a few props. We know that for some children this way of sharing will be less intimidating than being on show. Every year we find that in our concerts there are always children who feel overwhelmed and who do not like being in the spotlight.
We really believe that at this young and tender age of 3, 4 and 5 it is not so important for them to be on show, but rather to be able to feel relaxed, proud and confident to share their learning in a way that is part of their everyday Pre-school life. We hope families will embrace this thinking and new “norm.”
We wish a very happy birthday to Amanda Lemberg, Justine Robertson and Terry Aizen, who all celebrated their birthdays this week. We hope you all had a great day.