TG’s Child Care curriculum is supported by the wisdom of indigenous cultures.
TG's has been implementing indigenous programs in all of their centres as a way to boost their sustainability values and help children go even further in eco and social intelligence.
All around Australia, there is infinite indigenous wisdom to be tapped into which TG's use in creative and fun ways to add value to the children's learning journeys. This is done in the form of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
It provides another way to look at how they impact the environment, social aspects and economy of their locations and children become well-rounded young citizens who form meaningful connections with their world through belonging, being and becoming.
This aligns perfectly with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) from the Australian Government's Department of Education which dictates five major outcomes that extend and enrich children’s learning from birth to five years and through the transition to school.
TG's Indigenous Program perfectly aligns to these five outcomes from the EYLF:
Children have a strong sense of identity
Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Children are confident and involved learners
Children are effective communicators
So how do all of TG's Child Care centres blend EYLF and RAP together in the children's learning journeys?
Key TG's indigenous culture activities
TG's Child Care at Urangan, Queensland:
TG's Urangan has been incorporating Butchulla culture into their curriculum and the children even go on fortnightly Beach and Bush Kindy Excursions to explore and listen to stories from the Butchulla culture on their walks. The Butchulla's three lores align beautifully with TG's sustainability values (social, economic and environmental).
NAIDOC Week is another event TG's children love taking part in. The children learn about the ¨Heal Country¨ commitment and they feel pride in their sense of responsibility in taking care of their environment. Children are quick to realise and understand how a single action on their part can impact others. During the excursions to see K’Gari (Fraser Island) Fisherman's Park, the children could explore the sand and sea life and it has become their little mantra to remind each other “We only leave footprints”. It is a genuine respect they have taken on to ensure they take care of the ocean to keep it clean and free from rubbish.
TG's Child Care at Wauchope, New South Wales:
TG's has a beautiful aboriginal mural done by artist Jamie Donovan. His mural tells the story of all the families and their journeys as they travel to TG's every day. TG's is a central meeting point, where everyone here is taken further on their learning journey.
He has incorporated into the mural the traditional Gathang Language, which is the language of the Birrbay, Warrimay and Guringay people. There are also images that draw on everyone's connection to the country and showcase the totems from the region in the community. The abundance of stories related to these totems is something that becomes part of the children's learning journeys.
The murals serve as a way for educators to use as part of the children's learning journeys. They are connected with Aboriginal culture, arts and crafts, stories, bush tuckers and an appreciation of the flora and fauna. Aboriginal people share stories and art as a way to foster learning. And at TG's, the children love stories and are always ready to get curious and explore with their hands to create!
TG's educators are also tingly with anticipation as Jamie is currently designing a work shirt related to the mural for TG's educators!
The efforts at TG's demonstrates reconciliation that can be seen in how they celebrate cultural diversity and inclusivity. Everyone belongs and there is something we can all contribute. Each child and educator at TG's is listened to, respected, and treated with loving kindness. It is how TG's creates a safe space for everyone to be themselves. It is about recognising and encouraging each other's gifts.
As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are Australia's First People who play a significant part in shaping Australia's history and shared identity, TG's incorporates their contributions and cultures into their curriculum. They acknowledge the traditional owners of the land where TG's is located, the people of the Birpai nation and they extend that acknowledgement to elders past and present and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
TG's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a formal statement of commitment to reconciliation and outlines a whole-scale approach to driving reconciliation by building relationships, respect and opportunities throughout TG's and with the community.
The Preschoolers embed Aboriginal culture into their daily activities. They build strong connections with local Birpai People by inviting them to share their culture with the children. Angela Roberts from The Bunya Land Council visited the children, sharing her knowledge of the local areas and stories and meaning behind special places such as the Bago mountain. She also shared her love and talent for art with the children by creating a beautiful group artwork.
Cowarra Dam is a beautiful place where the children have visited. There, they observed beautiful sculptures created by local Aboriginal artists. These are activities rich in opportunities for the children to open up and get curious and spark off many conversations.
The children celebrated NAIDOC week with activities such as nature weaving, bush tucker, aboriginal art and paintings, and of course, no cultural exploration is complete without (aboriginal) music. Through sensory experiences, the children explored and got to know more about aboriginal culture through smell, touch, sight and sound.
'Heal Country' is a theme running through all that TG's children do. The activities provide a space for the children to create stories and artwork that focus on the country and the flags that represent the traditional custodians. They are also creating their own nature frame that represents the environment they live in.
There is a delicious side to this as the preschoolers got their hands into Aboriginal cuisine as well! They made traditional lemon mertyl biscuits, damper with bush tomatoes and parsley cooked over a campfire. While their damper was cooking, the children sat around the fire with lunch and explored how Aboriginal people told stories through sounds and music. One of the children's fathers, Jarod, was invited to come in and play his Didgeridoo!
TG's Child Care at Uralla, New South Wales:
Every fortnight, the children at TG's Uralla listen to Aboriginal stories and learn the concept of reconciliation, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and history. It is about respecting, honouring and celebrating First People's cultures and contributions. To live together in harmony, it is necessary to respect our similarities and differences, and also to celebrate with joy each other's cultures and traditions.
TG's Child Care at Armidale, New South Wales:
At TG's, everyone is an expert at bringing fun into the play spaces - even the educators! As a way to embed reconciliation at TG's, their uniform has been jazzed up with new shirts inspired by Nick Levy’s amazing artwork! Look at what TG's Armidale's staff is so proud to wear here!
TG's Armidale got to know about Nick's artwork from one of TG's families during a Show and Tell. This started off a series of conversations and that brought about embedding simple reconciliation practices into their daily curriculum.
For each of the rooms in TG's Armidale, the children do an acknowledgment to country throughout the day. They also explore with natural resource materials, linking this to aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Aboriginal symbols are introduced to the children. TG's educators are given the tools to develop the confidence to teach the children about Aboriginal culture. They have an Aboriginal Early Years Support worker from Pathfinders who comes in fortnightly to spend time with the children. Everyone shares ideas of how to embed different learning experiences into the rooms at TG´s. Everything contributes to TG´s Armidale's Reconciliation Action Plan for indigenous teaching.
Boosting learning outcomes
Introducing indigenous culture into the curriculum enables the children to realise they are connected to their culture, their past, their community, and to their environment. It is a part of their identity.
They have the gifts and opportunities to contribute to their world in a way that benefits everyone and allows their communities to thrive. This generates a strong sense of wellbeing.
When children become empowered with this knowledge, they become confident learners who are curious and hungry to learn more. They want to be involved because they know they can and want to make a difference.
Knowledge cannot be passed on and curiosity cannot be ignited without effective communication and listening, and a big part of TG's indigenous programs (and TG's Way of Playing is Learning for Life) involves providing a safe, loving and open space for children to be heard, to ask questions, to wonder, to explore and discover. It nurtures children to become effective communicators.
By showing the children how people took care of each other and their environment in the past, TG's children are shown the way to go forward to make a better future for their planet and their communities. TG's children are proudly leaving their own gentle footprints in the history of the planet in how they are acting responsibly to improve its health, so generations on can have a better future.
Anyone up for a Beach or Bush Kindy visit?
TG's Child Care locations and contact details:
61 Miller St, Urangan, QLD 4655
11 Samuelson Crescent, Armidale NSW 2350
23B John St, Uralla NSW 2358
Wauchope - Hastings St NSW
33B Hastings St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - High St NSW
223A High St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - Riverbreeze NSW
3 Riverbreeze Drive, Wauchope NSW 2446
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