Working together unleashes North Hobart’s potential
When the kindergarten teachers at Goodstart North Hobart
need to make a decision, they don’t head to their offices, closing the doors behind them.
Instead, they head to the kindergarten room, and the North Hobart Advisory Group, which is made up of all of the preschool room’s children.
There, the children work in small groups to discuss issues, help come up with solutions and make action plans. So far they’ve designed a bike track in the playground of their centre, complete with a pedestrian crossing.
“The idea of setting up the committee was all about ensuring the children are central to everything we do, and about ensuring that all views are heard, that there are no limits to our imagination, and that together we can do anything,” preschool senior educator Debbie Medcraft said.
“It’s also about enhancing the children’s confidence in group discussions, and expanding on their capacity to understand and participate in the world around them.”
The project has also helped educators respond to the children’s thinking and understanding, while showing them they respect the children’s decisions and feelings.
“The committee also provides opportunities for shy children to gain confidence, build relationships with others and work towards a group goal.
“I feel it is a good idea, because you might crash into little people from Frog Pond if we don’t have a track!” Maggie.
“I feel that having a bike track would be much safer so you don’t hit bumps and things when you ride them.” Matilda.
Features discussed by the children in the new track include a pedestrian crossing in the middle for children to safety cross the track, and a wide road for bikes to pass each other.
“The children love having these group discussions and we genuinely feel like we are giving them a nurturing, stimulating environment where the children feel respected, safe, protected and loved.”
The bike track is expected to be completed in late 2017 and the committee has already turned its attention to a new project – refurbishment of the Magic Gardens. Each child has bought in a new garden ornament to encourage ownership and responsibility. New plants will also be planted.