Every Thursday and Friday in Terms 2 and 3, the Kindy and Pre-Primary students experience the magical outdoors on their amazing nature walk. The nature walk started in 2016 when Mrs MacLachlan travelled to Italy for a study tour about the Reggio Emilia philosophy of teaching. Whilst away, she learnt that students who spend more time in nature have better results and increases to their creativity and their observation skills and it gives them more opportunities and experiences to apply their learning to the real world.
"It's great for language development, as well as running and having freedom outside," Mrs MacLachlan said.
"It is also great for them to be more active and not spend the whole day sitting and playing or doing work on a screen," she went on to say. On the first trip they only went for a little walk for 30 minutes. Now they spend half a day outside of the class!
All the kids say they love it when they go on the walk. They enjoy going down to the river and collecting items of all shapes and sizes such as sticks, leaves, eggs, flowers and rocks. "I like collecting shiny things and dinosaur leaves!" exclaimed Abby excitedly. The Pre-Primary classes also bring bean bags which they throw and then try to find in the bush. The students enjoy going down to the river and jumping in muddy puddles. They also love to get wet and muddy! How fun!
The teachers said that the benefits of the nature walk are very good for the children. "It gives them learning experiences in a different environment. It also allows them to get fresh air," said Miss Marsh as she reflected on the program. They collect rubbish to bring back and put in the bins and create posters for their class displays showing all the stuff they collected."
It's safe to say that everyone enjoys these nature walks because of the freedom it allows and the opportunity to be creative and explore the outdoors whilst being themselves.
They collect lots of items which they have fun with or find more about back at class, a truly authentic inquiry experience which boosts their understanding of the world.
You can learn more about the Early Learning program at Guildford Grammar School by clicking here.
Thank you to Jason, Lachlan and Alijah for their outstanding work on this article!
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