After more than 12 months of planning, the ‘Bush Garden/Forest’ Project has begun with GEKA Carnegie Kindergarten on the grounds the local Carnegie Primary School!
For the past 3 years, the GEKA Carnegie Kindergarten have incorporated a ‘Bush Kinder’ Program into the curriculum for children in both 4-year-old groups. This has been facilitated in the local parks (Boyd or Malvern Urban Forest). Children visit the bush area, on a regular basis, either by train or bus, to engage with nature for a few hours of the day.
It is here that we see children navigating and assessing risk, engaging in rich inquiry and a developing love of the world, aswell as collaborating together to explore, problem solve, discover and wonder. The GEKA Philosophy supports children to learn from ‘real life experiences’ as a way of forming a strong foundation for theircurrent and future lives. Extensive Risk Assessments are completed prior to all outings into the park.
In addition to the off site Bush Kindergarten program, our aim for the past year, has been to establish a ‘bush kindergarten’ environment in the adjoining school grounds (the kindergarten is located on the school grounds), along the perimeter of the school oval and along the boundary of kindergarten building.
The educational benefits to both kindergarten and school children are enormous, in particular, the strengthening of the transition to school process for children moving into a school environment.
We thank the school for their willingness to share the school land with us so we can embark on such a mammoth project. We also acknowledge Paul Sampson, from Paul Sampson Landscapes, for his vision and implementation of the space.
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