Standard 3.3 of the National Quality Framework asks “how do our policies and practices promote children’s understanding about their responsibility and care for the environment”?
Bedrock Journalists Sue Osborne and Alex Leggett look at two preschools where this Standard has been put into practice in a deep and visible way to benefit the preschool communities at large.
Nestled in the Gold Coast hinterland is an early learning centre at one with nature – Numala Kinder. Director Jennifer McCormack said nature based play is helping children grow with a focus on caring for the world we live in.
“I am careful about the resources I use. I don’t believe children need many ‘toys’ to enhance their play experiences: a cloth, for example, can be a sail for a boat,” Jennifer said.
Mindful of mass production
“I am mindful of mass produced products so I ensure renewable resources can be used in various ways.
“I prefer projects that allow children to develop a skill over time such as sewing and woodwork. These projects use materials I already have or were bought second hand. I am not fond of art that requires one use items like straws and paper plates. If they come our way and need to be recycled we will find a use for them.
“The practices of recycling, composting, gardening, and managing waste, energy and water are essential, but comprise only one part of a program that supports sustainability. For me, sustainability is about our attitude towards our community, our connections to our local place, and searching for ways to ensure there is enough for us all: humans, animals and plants alike.”
Jennifer said the children learn through imitation of adults and other children.