Last week Thursday, the Primary School was awash with green as we celebrated Landcare’s ‘#Action4theLand’ World Environment Day 2016, and launched our CLAP program.
The school was a hive of environmentally focussed activities. In the Early Learning Centre, students were taught about growing things during mat time before getting their hands dirty potting and planting their very own seeds.
Students in Middle Primary collected rubbish, baked green cupcakes, decorated birdhouses and enjoyed a nature colouring in competition.
In Upper Primary, the microscopes were used to examine nature more closely, nature based bunting and posters were made and the Year 6 students travelled to the Parkerville Secondary campus to plant a number of trees on the campus they will attend next year.
Classrooms were decorated and everyone was dressed in green, to fundraise for Landcare.
Mastermind behind Green Day, Mrs Antoinette Wilson (Primary Coordinator, and currently undertaking a Masters in Education with a focus on the role of nature in curriculum writing), says, “World–wide, nature play has resulted in some fabulous initiatives. Local examples include the Mundaring Sculpture Park and Woodbridge Park.”
“In nature play pedagogy, we refer to ‘your space’, ‘your wild space’ and ‘beyond’, with specific learning taking place in each zone, and our College’s beautiful natural bush environment brings that to life perfectly.”
“We are not just talking about play, rather a whole environment learning area. We are serious about our standard of education and believe there is no reason it can’t happen in the bush, as well as on paper. Somehow reading or doing maths in the bush doesn’t seem like ‘work’ anymore.”
Mundaring Christian College has a heritage of caring for nature, which is embedded in the school culture. Examples of this include the River Rangers and Bush Ranger Cadets programs, the multiple vegetable beds on the school grounds for classes and parents to draw upon, an extensive recycling bank in Years 3 and 4 and the making of bird feeders and microbat boxes.
“We are so blessed to have such nature, right on our doorstep and we have introduced CLAP (Care, Learn, Appreciate and Protect) as a simple framework for us all to keep nature in the forefront of our minds,” Mrs Wilson continued.
A special assembly was held during which Mr Patrick Crichton, president of the Hill’s Sustainability Group, addressed the students on the topic of sustainability. He also challenged teachers to get involved in the Nudge competition by Mirvac (more info can be found here: www.nudgebymirvac.com.au)
“We are starting to get more request from schools to talk about sustainability and it is wonderful to see schools playing their part in educating their students about a more sustainable lifestyle,” Mr Crichton said.
The assembly also included a presentation by Year 6 student, Eve, bringing CLAP to life, a riotous online Kahoot quiz and awards for best-dressed boys and girls.
“All our staff and families are from the hills so we love the environment. God made us stewards and it is important for us to train our children to value the environment as we hand it over to them,” Mrs Wilson concluded.
Thank you to all parents and teachers for getting behind Green Day. Planning is underway for Bush Olympics next term so watch this space.