Meaningful learning and wellbeing in the garden
Students from Classes 3 to 6 have been involved in the process of sculpting the landscape for our new Water Garden: from visioning and planning, disassembling old garden beds, re-using what was there, creating something new to caring for, sharing and enjoying it.
Of course they have been developing these construction skills from before Preschool and Kindergarten stages. In addition to the housekeeping of caring for their classrooms and the garden spaces, the students build elaborate play structures with their wooden blocks and build ‘life sized’ cubbies.
Even the delicate fairy gardens made of sand, earth, leaves, sticks and flowers have required such navigation skills as they practise in these early education and primary class years. By Classes 1 and 2 the students have more intricate fairy homes and erect complex cubby houses with long and heavy logs, making walls with leaves and soil as seen in the last newsletter.
Accompanying this play is the rapidly developing and sophisticated language, cognitive, spatial perception and orientation skills required for such architectural and engineering tasks: life skills!
In gardening lessons, students are delighted for any opportunity to build up a biodynamic compost heap or garden bed and to dig down into the ground to aerate the soil, harvest mature composted soil or create a water garden! Their bodies remember the skills they practised in younger years, perhaps at the Willoughby or Castlecrag campuses while digging in garden beds and balancing wheelbarrows carrying composted soil.
At every gardening class there are opportunities to do meaningful work in creating and maintaining the garden spaces as well as in foraging in the garden to make a meal to share with herbal tea at the end of the lesson.
"It tastes so much better when you make it yourself" were the words of a Class 4 student back in May.
"My parents want to know how we make our garden stir fry" students declare. It's a delight that meaningful work and skills are applied at home as many students knowingly create and tend a garden. Delicious meals for the family are made too!
There is wellbeing for each class as a whole while stories of task accomplishments are shared with all enjoying the sustenance offered.
Want to learn and do more in the school gardens?
● Parents and carers from classes 1 to 6 are encouraged to volunteer in gardening lessons - please see the class teacher or class parent (earns CIP points);
● Families can sign up to be part of the chicken care volunteer team for weekends and school holidays (contact Sandra at email@example.com for more info - earns CIP points).
For enquiries, please contact S.Frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au
New learning opportunity with Sandra
Gardening Teacher Sandra Frain is offering a new Biodynamic Regenerative Agriculture Course for educators, parents and families of all ages to learn, experience and participate in the rich Biodynamic practices developed by Rudolf Steiner - organised by the Sydney Rudolf Steiner College. Participants will learn Biodynamic principles that can be applied to any environment, from pots on a balcony to a production farm. The course runs over four seasonal weekends, from Winter 2023 through to Autumn 2024; the Spring weekend on 9/10 September 2023 is to be hosted at Glenaeon.