Posted November 2022

This year, six KU services received Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants to help set up projects related to sustainability.

Read below to learn about how each preschool used the grant to support children’s learning.

KU Avalon Preschool

With the support of their Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant, the children at KU Avalon have been learning about planting and caring for native flora through research and hands-on learning.

The children and educators researched native local animals and insects so they could create increased habitats for bandicoots, birds, possums and native birds. The preschool also established medium tree and bush environments for small native birds and established flowering plants in their garden for native bees.

Through this project, the children have learnt about how planting native flora can support local biodiversity.

KU Bel Air Preschool

Through the support of the grant, KU Bel Air Preschool established a native garden.

The children voted on the shape of the garden bed and where it would be positioned in their outdoor environment, and together with a parent, they helped assemble the garden bed.

Over the course of the project, the preschool made connections with different Aboriginal communities. This allowed the children to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of native plants, the Awabakal Country where they live, and how the Awabakal people use native flora, seeds and fauna for medicinal purposes, food and decorations.

The children learnt how certain plants and fruits can grow in different soils and how flowers can blossom at different times of the year. They also learnt that native plants and seeds can be used in cooking, like the Awabakal people have done.

The preschoolers learnt simple gardening practices such as planting and caring for Warringal greens. They were very excited to collect the Warringal greens that are growing in their garden to make Warrigal greens damper and spinach triangles.

KU Maybanke Preschool

The children at KU Maybanke Preschool have been recycling and reducing waste at their service recently.

The project has provided an opportunity for the children to learn about renewable resources such as food waste and the development of healthy soils.

The preschoolers helped the educators develop a worm farm and compost bin, and actively collected food scraps from their morning tea and lunch for the worms.

The project has had a positive impact on the environment at the preschool as the amount of food waste has been reduced and natural fertiliser has been produced for the garden which has even been shared with families.

“This hands-on project has enabled the children to learn about how they can contribute to a healthy planet by recycling food scraps in a worm farm and composting and producing organic garden fertiliser,” said KU Maybanke Director, Mel Yang.

“Participating sustainability has empowered the children to develop their knowledge, appreciation of the environment and relationship to their world.”

KU Mayfield Preschool

This year the preschool used their Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant to establish a native and bush tucker garden to share.

“The point is to share it with families and neighbours along with other living beings like bees, birds and lizards,” said KU Mayfield Director, Karen Hugo.

The children have been instrumental in the planning process for this project, and it has offered lots of opportunities for the children to learn about Australian native flora and fauna, and the different types of native bees and habitats.

Through the project, the children have created collaborative artworks as the design and inspiration for the garden, and an original song ‘Aussie Bird Rock’ celebrating the birds they hope will visit the garden.

This is in line with the preschool’s specialisation in S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) and incorporating the arts into their STEM program.

“Young children are preliterate or have emerging literacy as far as writing is concerned, but they can use the arts to describe and record what they know or what they are learning and thinking about,” said Karen.

KU Wickham Preschool

KU Wickham Preschool has a focus on the outdoor environment and sustainability and the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant provided opportunities for them to further this area of focus.

The preschool established two worm farms which have been thriving and are providing organic fertiliser to the plants. The worm farms have also been reducing food waste and creating natural compost.

The grant also allowed KU Wickham to purchase over 20 bush tucker and native plants to be established in their garden beds. This has increased the children's understanding of only taking what they need from the natural environment and building on the knowledge from the traditional custodians of the land to further benefit the wildlife and insects who inhabit it.

KU Windale Preschool

KU Windale Preschool were fortunate to have received the grant which has assisted them in refreshing their vegetable gardens.

The children enjoyed constructing the new frames that have been protecting the new plants and seedlings from the local Awabakal fauna that sometimes likes to come and feed in their garden.

When it came time to plant, the children and educators discussed and learnt about how the roots of the plant absorb water from the soil and how leaves absorb sunlight to help them grow.

Supporting children to learn in the garden has been beneficial for their learning across many areas including science, maths, communication, being responsible, developing patience and the benefit of slowing down senses.