The children at Corowa Preschool have recently enjoyed excursions to Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre in Burrumbuttock and Redlands Hill Reserve in Corowa.
Corowa Preschool Acting Director Teagan Sawyer said both excursions gave the children lots to see, explore and learn.
“Strong links between our preschool and the community fosters strong relationships, a sense of belonging and assists with smooth transitions during the children’s learning journey,” she said.
At Redlands the children climbed trees, collected rocks, wattle, twigs and bark.
“We made a campfire to cook sausages and marshmallows,” Teagan said.
“Not many local residents are aware of these great facilities we have in our own backyard”.
A replica of the shearing shed from Tom Robert’s famous painting, The Shearing of the Rams, is at Redlands Reserve.
Teagan believes these types of experiences inspire resilient children, learning with an adventurous, inquiry based approach.
“Allowing the children to take risks in a safe environment gives them the opportunity to broaden their limits and learn life skills,” she said.
The excursions were made possible by a successful application of a grant last year from the NSW Government.
Through this grant Corowa Preschool were also able to print a new brochure which was mailed to all houses in the Corowa and Wahgunyah communities.
The preschool also had a local aboriginal artist, David Dunn, commissioned to produce totem poles in their playground and two murals – one is erected on the front fence of preschool which says “Yamma Dummerang” meaning “Hello, Welcome”.
The pre-school was also able to continue to implement their communication app, Kindyhub, across all their groups.
Teagan hopes that with these excursions and upcoming visits by Indigenous performers in term 3 and 4 will have assisted in embedding Aboriginal culture in preschool activities.
“Community is important to us – this is reflected through our annual visits to Federation Council Library, daily trips into the RSL Park, transition days with local schools and visits to Karinya House,” Teagan said.
She encourages families to access Corowa Preschool and the government’s requirement of at least 15 hours of early childhood education per week in their year prior to school.
“We are accommodating to families who may like to come and visit our service, register their child or enrol them for our 3 or 4-year-old program in 2018.”
The preschool can be contacted on (02) 6033 1934 for further information or visit www.corowapreschool.com.au
Meanwhile, Corowa Preschool recently enjoyed a visit by the NSW Minister for Early Childhood Sarah Mitchell and Member for Albury Greg Aplin.
The visit was to gain feedback around the government’s “Start Strong” funding of early childhood centres, discussing future funding, training, assessment and rating visits and was an opportunity to showcase Corowa’s community preschool.
“I feel it is a vital time for the department and government to see the value of high quality early childhood centres and programs,” Teagan said.
Teagan spoke to the Minister regarding the preschool’s successful application of the Outreach grant in 2016 and how it had benefitted them, which included commissioning the totem poles and having the preschool brochure printed and mailed to households.