In the year 2 neighbourhood we have started our second semester of 2022 with a bang! On our first Wednesday back we hopped on the tram and headed off to CERES environment park for an excursion that was aligned with our students’ focus and driven by their continual interest about indigenous perspectives on all topic. The lovely CERES educators took our students through a learning journey focused on exploring all indigenous perspectives, we even found time to explore their fantastic adventure playground. A great time was had by all!
We started the day with an acknowledgement of country and discussion about what it means to acknowledge country, and whose country that we were on. Our year two students were able to engage with and contribute to this discussion due to all the work we had done for Reconciliation Week by creating our own acknowledgements of country. We then split off into two groups and rotated through three different meaningful learning experiences.
One of these rotations was an exploration of dreaming (dreamtime) stories . The students learnt about the history and importance of dreaming stories to indigenous people. We then performed the story of Tiddalik the frog from the Gunai Kurnai people of South Gippsland. Tiddalik who woke up one morning and was so thirsty that he drank all the water leaving none for anyone else! After a well-deserved standing ovation, we discussed the message behind this story and the importance of continuing these storytelling traditions.
‘I learnt about the digging stick- Kanan. It is used for women’s business like digging up food and plants that grow under the ground.’ – Billie
Following the award winning performance we were lucky enough to be able to handle and explore some local indigenous artefacts that could be used to tell a story and the artefacts themselves told a story.
The rotations then took us to a very special and unique experience that started with the history of ochre and its uses including to tell a person’s story on their body in Marngrook games. We then learnt all about how to make ochre and what different markings meant. After this we were privileged enough to be able to make our own ochre, paint ourselves to try and tell our story and have our faces painted.
‘I didn’t know that a painting could tell a story of the world but now I do.’ Esther
Our final activity was a bush tucker walk. We were able to learn about some of the amazing different local indigenous plants in CERES and some of their uses. We were even sample some to mixed reviews. This particular experience aligned perfectly with our investigation in to rejuvenating the watergardens next to our building and has been of particular interest in projects and provocations following the excursion.
‘I used to think plants weren’t that useful. Now I think they are really useful for food and other things.’ Seb
All up our first excursion of the year was a fun and hopefully memorable one. One which was particularly involving and really built on the year 2 neighbourhoods interests and has provoked their learning moving forward since returning.