Embedding Aboriginal culture and perspectives into practice- lessons from NSW
Menindee Children’s Centre and Forbes Preschool have shared their thoughts on celebrating and embedding Aboriginal culture and perspectives into their practices with the Department of Education, New South Wales.
At Menindee Children’s Centre the children are very closely connected to culture and country and the preschool celebrates the Aboriginal culture of the community and children every day.
One way they do this is by translating popular children’s songs and games to help and support children to learn the local language. Some of the topics the children have covered include kinship, feelings, welcome, farewells and animals. Bingo, memory, books and the smartboard are also used every day to support the children explore their local language.
Recently, the children have been discovering and learning about feelings and as part of this, staff have made a book for each of the children, exploring some of their feelings. The books are in both English and Paakantji, the local Aboriginal language.
The preschool works very closely with the local school to support children in their transition to school process, part of this includes the language program which is started in preschool and continued through to the local school.
This allows children to develop a sense of belonging and connection not only in preschool and school but also within their community.
Forbes Preschool has created a welcoming and “everybody belongs” culture at their preschool. Some of the ways they have created this feeling of inclusivity is by displaying local Indigenous artists and teaching children the local Aboriginal language through translating songs like “heads shoulders, knees and toes”.
The goal of these practices is to ensure every child transitions to school feeling that they have equal opportunities in education.
The preschool also won a Narragunnawali Award for:
- their approach to reconciliation in a relatively challenging local cultural context
- taking learning experiences out to the community
- their purposeful reconciliation projects, such as the “pop-up preschool” initiative.
To learn more about Forbes Preschool and the work they do, please see here.
The original coverage of this story may be found here.