AFSA Approved Provider: Children At Bay Terrace
Children at Bay Terrace have been running routine nature play excursions into the local community for four years; our philosophy closely aligns with the AFSA guiding principles. Our involvement in nature play has evolved from a humble Beach program, utilising the tidal mudflats on the Wynnum esplanade, into a growing Creek program. We also host a yearly Minjerribah Trip (North Stradbroke Island) to learn lessons from the Quandamooka people and connect the lore and Jandai language.
Our commitment to our children and families is to ensure that our excursions are always free and accessible for all children. We consider our environmental impact when walking on country and seek to leave it in a better state than how we entered it. Over the years, we have undertaken professional development to enhance our practices. Our partnership with Moreton Bay Environment Education Centre (MBEEC) is vital to our ongoing success in nature play. As educators, we are the facilitators and mentors of learning, instilling the skills and strategies to support child-led practices. MBEEC has been instrumental in helping our educators to identify best practice approaches to teaching, learning alongside, and supporting children in natural environments. From this knowledge, we are proud to demonstrate that respect for country for children and families.
Providing scaffolding and prompts where necessary to help children grow their understanding and confidence in open-ended play. Using open-ended materials sourced from nature, we inspire and encourage children to establish their learning. Currently, we are hosting fortnightly excursions engaging in nature play; however, we are looking at increasing this to weekly outings from term two onwards. We are moving towards hosting lengthier excursions from mid-year forward as the weather cools. Our philosophy within these excursions is to ensure uninterrupted blocks of at least two to three hours of play.
Our excursions focus on children accessing risky play, letting them understand what constitutes safe risks, empowering them to make decisions to understand risks, building confidence, and using our knowledge as educators in nature play to assess risks dynamically.
Since the Beach and Creek excursions commenced, the children have become empowered to collect rubbish from the areas we visit. We take an additional trolly with gloves and bags to take everything we bring and more from our trips. The children have become passionate advocates for our internal recycling and sustainable practices and look to the lessons from their natural experiences to help refine their ideas, we embed Quandamooka lore about seasons and signs in nature to help children understand different elements in nature e.g. Rainbow Lorikeets (Bilam) flocking to the Wattle Trees (Gagagil), is a sign that Mullet (Andakool) are in school in the bay. Using simple lore like that helps ground children as they understand how first nations people relied on nature and the importance of living harmoniously with it.
We look forward to building our professional knowledge in partnership with AFSA and working in collaboration to improve outcomes for our children and families.