This year, Naidoc Week 2021 was held from Sunday 4th July to Sunday 11th July. The theme was ‘Heal Country’. This was in our preschool holidays. The educators reflected on practices the children and educators do every day that show we are actively looking after the Awabakal Country on which our preschool is on. This would ensure we are authentically celebrating Country all the time instead of only in Naidoc Week and encourage the preschool to continue with our practices surrounding our stewardship of Country.
Intention: This reflection of our current practices in relation to the theme of Naidoc Week, will enable educators and children to appreciate we are stewards of the land on which our preschool is upon, and ways we respect and care for Country.
Learning: At our morning meeting each day, the children and educators touch the earth and say, “Hello Earth”, point to the nearby water and say:
“Hello Water” and make rain drops with their fingers and say, “Hello Rain”. Two children take on a role to be “water savers” and help remind everyone to turn the taps off so they don’t drip in the bathroom as well as using our water outside wisely to play with in the sand pit. A sign is placed on the tap of the water tank when we have used enough for the day and the blue trough is placed in the sandpit to show how much we have, to use in play. Also, at our morning meeting each day, discussion takes place with the children about what the weather is, and a weather monitor records the weather by looking to the sky. This has also led onto the children exploring rainbows in their play. As well as using the water from the water tank to play with, it is also used to flush the sand pit, which returns it back into the natural ecosystem. The children use the water tank water to water the gardens and worm farm to make worm wee, a natural fertilizer, thus returning the water to the natural ecosystem.
Evaluation and Analysis of learning: Our philosophy – ‘Educators are committed to environmentally sustainable practices and educate children to recognise that small actions can have big environmentally friendly outcomes’. NQS Element 3.2.3 Healing Country and encouraging practices to care for Country, ensures the service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible. Sustainability Policy 3.22 – ‘Children’s awareness of the environment will be promoted through daily practices, resources and interactions.’ EYLF-LO 2.4.3 Through caring for Country the children are demonstrating their knowledge and increasing their knowledge of, and respect for the natural environment. LO 2.4.5 Through practices embedded in the everyday routines at preschool, the children are showing growing appreciation and care for natural environments.
Further Learning: Continue to support children and educators to care for and heal Country through our current and future practices.