2019 NAIDOC Week - Bush School
The mild winter sun shone and the air was crisp and bright as Primary School spent all of Friday outdoors playing, learning and connecting. Students, teachers and parent volunteers worked in multi-aged groups experiencing a range of six nature-connected activities. In addition to our usual exploration of our environment Friday’s Bush School marked the start of our NAIDOC celebrations.
The day began with a Welcome to Country by Darug Elder Uncle Graham Cooper. Uncle Graham explained his connection to Darug and Gundangara land and described aspects of his childhood growing up in the Gully. Darug educator Tracey McManus joined Uncle Graham and Elise around the campfire to guide the children in developing our school totem and learn about Aboriginal culture through yarning and using traditional tools. Our school totem project is an exciting and rich opportunity for us to further connect and care for the beautiful grounds where we work and play. The children now have the task of carefully observing the animals that share our school grounds. Once the totem has been decided we then have a responsibility to that animal- we will plant foods to nourish them and protect them from harm.
NAIDOC themed activities continued throughout the day with making friendship bracelets in the colours of the Aboriginal flag after learning about the symbolism of the flag with Sarah, Leanne and Louise. Jodie held a relaxed, recalibrating reading tree. Children snuggled in blankets under a tree reading books from the growing collection about Aboriginal culture from the school library. Children bought in t-shirts and worked with Talulah to block print the Korowal symbol in the colours of the Aboriginal flag. Talulah will work with children this Thursday to print t-shirts if they didn’t bring one in to Bush School.
The billy tea and damper were warming and delicious at Denise and Kizz’s campfire. Kie, Billy, Lola and Joel from High School were all on hand to help with the fire and damper making. Rita and Helen lead students on a bushwalk through the back of the school. The children returned fresh-faced and energised. “It’s so great to think that all that bush is right there all around us” commented one child. Parents, Nathaniel and Mic, worked with Maria to guide students in a landscape building activity where they turned the sand-pit into a 3-D map of the school. They used found natural materials and the freezing cold sand to build, form and create.
Being outside in nature awakens our senses, we notice the micro and macro details of the environment around us, we learn with resourcefulness and resilience and connect across our community- this is what makes Bush School the invigorating, inspiring, rewarding and pleasantly exhausting highlight that it is.
The Year 5 and 6 students rose to the task of leading their groups with generosity, kindness and care- they did a wonderful job!
Thank-you to all of our parent helpers- those who were there on the day working with engagement, warmth and energy; and those who have been part of the bigger conversations about Bush School.
Thank-you to Uncle Graham and Tracey, your knowledge and guidance was a rich contribution to our learning.
Thank-you to the teachers and aides who steadily steer Bush School with their many talents and dedication.
Thank- you to Bec for the endless organising, managing and supporting!