Over our short 33 year history students at Craigburn have held a strong affinity with the natural elements of our school site. They are often playing in natural play areas – digging trenches, making sand sculptures – and simply enjoying being in nature. Our teaching staff embrace the curiosity and interest that our students have within our school environment. We also know that parents and families value and the appreciate the natural spaces that the school offers.
To further enhance and build upon our existing natural play spaces, our Environment Committee has worked tirelessly over the last 12 months to design and deliver a self-funded project focussing on the redevelopment from what was originally a bare garden bed to an exciting and engaging safe play space for our early years students.
With increasing numbers of early years students at Craigburn, we identified the need to extend the opportunity of open nature play in a safe and practical location – adjacent to early years classrooms, where the deck extension was completed in 2014. Our goal was to provide outdoor education and a play space as a natural extension of the classroom.
Working with the students and teachers we were able to gather their ‘needs and wants’. In each of the early years classes, the children prepared site drawings of what they wanted or could imagine in that area and created word lists.
Our teaching staff created a Wordle of the students word lists where the key responses from children were Dinosaur, Play and Sand.
This informed our design brief of the ‘Dino Dig.’ See photos later in this newsletter.
Over the latter half of 2014 and leading into 2015, our dedicated parents from our EC have worked creatively and passionately to design and build an innovative nature play space providing climbing, digging, excavating and role play – based on a prehistoric dinosaur theme.
Over this term the play space will continue to transform into the ‘Dino Dig’ play space – with new and interesting features emerging such as a funky dinosaur head to be laid soon along with plants to match. It has been rewarding to see our early years students play in this site which already provides fun and engaging sand play.
I would especially like to acknowledge the amazing efforts and work of our highly talented parent EC members including Kylie Basley, Jase Balmer, Lisa Slate, Brett Lawson, Hal Bruce and Jane Syme along with other supporting parents who have collectively volunteered countless hours – designing, researching, building, sourcing plants etc – to develop and realise this project.
To celebrate the work and achievements in reaching this current stage – we invite our early years families to an ‘afternoon of exploration’ at the Dino Dig Site – on Friday 14th May, 3.00 – 5.00pm – where there will be free dino craft and prehistoric activities for children. A sausage sizzle with great coffee and children’s drinks will also be available at a small price – with proceeds going towards the future school environmental projects.