A place of journey, wonder and exploration. “In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks” – John Muir.
River Kindy is a place of journey, wonder and exploration, a place where children and adults can connect with the land using an eco-logical lens. We believe that allowing children to spend quality time amongst nature sparks curiosity and imagination while promoting a love for learning and respect for Country.
Encouraging children to explore with an eco-logical perspective rather than an ego-logical perspective. This approach has evolved from an ongoing interest in the ‘plastic ocean’and the harm caused to all animals throughout this epidemic.
▪ Connecting to and Caring for Country
We pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging for they hold the valuable knowledge, memories, traditions and connection to this land. We believe that the land we learn and play on is the common link to which we acknowledge the cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. When embarking on River Kindy adventures, the children know to only take what is needed and provided naturally by the land.
▪ Children as Confident Thinkers
Encouraging children to lead the learning journey and focus on the process rather than the final product. Whilst all Educators implement diverse approaches to their practice, it is a common belief that adults should only ask questions that they too, do not know the answer to.
“Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by: instead they should embark together on a journey down the water”. Loris Malaguzzi – The Hundred Languages of Children
The History of River Kindy:
In 2018, the tidal riverbank in which Anchorage Early Learning overlooks became a strong topic of interest to all children across the service. This stemmed from a deer who was seen venturing across the river with plastic caught to its antler. This ongoing sight led to numerous conversations regarding the environment and what it meant to be sustainable.
Following multiple deer sightings, the children began asking questions such as “Can we go and help him?”, “What if we go and collect the rubbish so that the animals don’t get sick?”, “Can we make a sign so that people know to put their rubbish in the bin and help the animals?”
Inspiration provided by the children’s discussions, and research conducted on models implemented throughout Scandinavia and Europe, those of which are related to Forrest Schools and Nature Kindergartens, the creation of River Kindy soon began. Over the course of a year, Educators assessed the risks and risk benefits, engaged in relevant professional development courses, conducted in-depth research and gained quality information from the community.
Late 2019, a small group of children engaged in their first River Kindy expedition. This was then published in the local Leader and quickly became an educational success. Since then, all children across the service have had multiple opportunities to engage in spontaneous River Kindy excursions and always look forward to their next experience.
Through this program our children are able to spend unhurried time in nature that cannot be done under a roof or within walls and be free to collaborate, explore, communicate and investigate the natural environment surrounding them. Nature is the ultimate open-ended resource. The children have the opportunity to engage in these planned and spontaneous journeys to delve deeper into their individual and group discoveries while fostering connections, appreciation, understanding and respect for Dharawal Country. Our Educators work together to support all children to develop a lifelong sense of wonder through mathematical and scientific exploration. All children actively develop their own dispositions, build resilience, curiosity and knowledge through discovery and a play-based learning approach.
It is the perfect opportunity to embed sustainable practices and educate children about risk and safety. Clear guidelines, boundaries and procedures are in place and embedded into practice to ensure the health and safety of all children is met at all times.
River Kindy provides our Educators with endless opportunities to enrich each child’s learning and perception of the world around them.
Please contact us at [email protected] for a copy of our River Kindy Handbook for more information.