Goodstart Early Learning, Morgan Street, Wagga Wagga
Learning in nature
The whole school is getting involved in a range of Enviroweek actions.
The children and educators already have in place re purposing measures for recyclable items, such as using glass jars from the kitchen throughout the center for things such as paint pots, holders for pencils/textas/crayons/pens, vases, sorting experiences, to store collage materials/loose parts to name a few. Cardboard/Plastic recyclables go into the creation station for the children to explore, investigate, imagine and create with. Again like the glass jars also being used to store and hold loose parts and materiels for the creation station or learning experiences. Utensils from the kitchen, around the center and or home that longer work such as printers/phones/fax machines, hair straighteners and blowdryes to fry pans, toasters, cooking utensils become apart of the children's play for both small worlds indoors and outdoors in the mud pit and or sandpit. Even donations from builders/electricians and plumbers from building sites are incoporated into play. Throughout Enviro Week we will encourage our families to continue to help reduce our impact on landfill and donate items the children could potentially incorporate into their learning experiences whether it be as is or up-cycled by the children into something new.
Throughout the past two years the children have had access to our vegetable garden we were lucky enough to have had donated by our local Masters. The children were involved in the design process and filling the garden with donated soil and plants. The children through out the whole center have taken pride in their vegetable garden, watering, weeding and harvesting the seasonable vegetables their garden has produced. As it is the time of year where we re-top the soil from our compost bins and fresh soil, these next coming weeks the children though out the center will be invited to help cultivate the garden and plant new seedling and seeds. Once the children harvest the vegetables and herbs from their garden they take the produce to our center cook whom then uses the produce within the children's meals. The children also have the opportunity to eat the produce straight from their garden or prepare their owns meals with it, such as winter soups and summer salads. Our families also have the opportunity to take home some of our fresh produce. The children's enthusiasm and learning journey doesn't stop at the edible gardens, the children engage in learning experiences surrounding mini beasts and flora/fauna found within our backyard and also on their journey to and from Preschool of a morning and afternoon. Also exploring our local community on excursions to local parks/lagoons and community gardens.
As Educators are leaving the room they are encouraged to switch off the lights to reduce our thumb print on the environment. This has become second nature to our children as they more times then not make sure we switch the lights off as we leave the room. We also encourage our educators to switch off the lights during the day and incorporate natural light into our indoor learning environments. On warmer/ hotter days, as we have the hottest of summers out here we leave the lights off, curtains half drawn, and windows ajar within the entire centre which allows the breeze to flow through and giving the sense of coolness within our indoors space.