Gumnuts is one of our two day groups that run each week, that has as its focus learning through nature.

In 2020 this program will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays.

At Alstonville Community Preschool we believe that learning in nature is not only beneficial, but essential to a child’s development of independence, resilience, physical abilities and awareness of the world. Nature can provide a range of contexts to which children can relate, understand, and become really involved with. Nature play and time spent in nature is a common theme across all groups at preschool. However, the Gumnuts program specifically encourages children’s understanding of and appreciation for nature and allows them to explore nature in depth in nature’s time. Children gain an appreciation of noticing, investigating and slowing learning down, and as a result some of our investigations may take some time.

For example, 2019 Gumnuts are currently investigating an area of bush inside the park, in terms of the insect life, plants and tree species there. They have noticed some weeds as well and are actively working to protect the native species they have found. To do this they have written letters to the neighbours adjoining the park and to local Council to ask for their help in keeping this area protected.

The majority of our learning will take place outside in beautiful Crawford Park where children can explore and achieve the expected learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework in a very practical, active and contextual manner. Our environment both at preschool and outside the fence, encourages children to explore curricular concepts using higher order thinking, problem solving, self assessment of risk and complex language. For example, collecting wood for the fire involves estimation, measuring, sorting, science, knowledge of safety, sharing, taking turns, developing manual dexterity, discussion etc. Physical skill development of both gross motor and fine motor control is naturally encouraged in this environment.

The process of learning and children’s thoughts and ideas of their learning will be recorded in Floorbooks, that are created with the children, as they share their ideas and contribute their understanding of their days at their own level.

We’d love you to join us.

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