Our Education - Seasonality and Nature Studies

 

Nature Studies in Darwin are a unique experience and special to our hearts at Milkwood.

In the early years, playgroups associated with MSSA started to celebrate the six seasons from the calendar of the Gundjeihmi speaking people from Kakadu. We make recognition of our unique seasons and reflect this in the classroom. For this reason we have incorporated a special section on the seasonal calendar.

 

We encourage children to gather fruits and elements of nature and reverently share them with the class. Nature tables are created in each class for this purpose, particularly in the Kindergarten. 

We recognise the rhythm of the cosmos through the changing seasons and incorporate this into the classroom and excursions.  

Excursions ~ The aim of the excursions for the classes is to listen to the rhythms of this land and get a feeling for the seasons and habitats and encounter plants, birds, insects, animals that inhabit these places. ‘We see birds eating bush fruits, insects and birds visiting flowering trees. We listen to various birds singing and watch flocks of birds pass overhead. We see the leaf changes and feel the different barks of the trees. We collect fallen leaves and fruits from under the trees to make a seasonal Nature Table. We watch the clouds forming and drifting by and rain clouds bursting. As we walk we stop and sing songs about things going on in the bush; for example a song about the flowering Milkwood trees, a song about the hot dry time, a song about the Clouds and one about Waterlilies and lots more.

‘Nature presents the young with something so much greater than they are; it offers an environment where they can easily contemplate infirmity and eternity. Immersion in the natural environment exposes the young directly and immediately to the very elements from which humans evolved; earth, water, air and other living kin, large and small. Without that experience we forget our place. We forget that larger fabric on which our lives depend.’ ~ ’ (A quote from the book by Richard Louv ‘Last Child in the Woods - Saving our children from Nature deficit Disorder)

Excursions integrate many components of the curriculum; nature studies, geography, science, botany, art, poetry and song writing, teamwork, exploring, outdoor and environmental education, resilience. (Written by Di Lucas 2017)