Gilgandra Preschool

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Gilgandra Preschool in Central West NSW has a large multipurpose bike track that enables educators to share safe play messages with children and families. Sharing these messages helps to ensure children are playing safely at preschool and when out and about in the local area. Educators support the children’s developing understanding of safe play practices and provide many opportunities to enhance their literacy and numeracy learning with a focus on culture and identity.

The Aboriginal culture of families is highly valued at the preschool and is integrated across the curriculum. Educators are committed to helping children develop a strong sense of identity and an awareness of their Aboriginal social and cultural heritage. Children regularly engage with Aboriginal Elders and community members who share Dreaming stories about the land and its creatures. The ‘Dreaming’ or ‘Dreamtime’ refers to a time of creator ancestors.  Many of the Dreaming stories are about the goanna which is a spiritual totem of the Wiradjuri people who live in and around Gilgandra.

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Road safety learning occurs in the context of a rich early childhood education curriculum. Educators at Gilgandra Preschool ensure road safety experiences enhance children’s learning and development in many areas and reflect families’ culture and environment.

By adapting familiar songs and rhymes and developing culturally relevant resources, educators create opportunities for meaningful road safety learning.  They adapted the Kids and Traffic ‘Five Little Monkeys’ rhyme to include the goanna image along with the traditional Aboriginal language, Wiradjuri.  After consultation with local Aboriginal Elders and families at the centre, a painting of a goanna was chosen to make props for the ‘Five Little Girrawaa’ rhyme. Girrawaa is a Wiradjuri word for goanna.

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Click the box above to view the ‘Five Little Girrawaa’ video story

Using the “Five Little Girrawaa” rhyme and props helped to consolidate key early numeracy concepts with opportunities for both rote and rational counting. It also helped children make connections between quantity, number and numerals.

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Why not create your own rhyme and/or props.  Contact or laminate children’s photos and drawings. Use on a felt board or attach a pop stick to make puppets. Consider other aspects of families’ cultures to include in these adapted road safety/number rhymes.

Try adapting other familiar number rhymes based on the Kids and Traffic Key Road Safety Messages.

 

 

AdaptedDomsEducators developed a variety of road safety education games and experiences.  They adapted the Kids and Traffic Dominoes game to make it more reflective of local Aboriginal culture by including a range of Aboriginal artworks and images on extra homemade cards.

The Kids and Traffic dominoes feature images to promote discussion about the Key Road Safety Messages. Game cards can be used to develop mathematical skills such as matching, categorising and sorting.Domino2Pic

Download the dominoes or make your own using photos of children in your community buckled up safely, wearing their helmets and holding hands with a grown-up.

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Another great way of linking road safety education and numeracy learning is with the Kids and Traffic ‘What Colour is your Helmet’ picture graph poster.

 

This resource focuses on collecting and representing data and highlights the Kids and Traffic safe play message, ‘Always wear your helmet when riding your bike or wheeled toy’.

 

The Kids and Traffic ‘Helmet wearing’ info sheet (PDF 154kb) gives more information on choosing and using helmets correctly. Share this with families along with information on the numeracy and road safety education experiences children have been involved in.

 

Gilgandra Preschool’s bikOutdoorWithSignPice track includes a pedestrian crossing and large road signs. Educators regularly talk traffic with kids as they role play safe road-crossing behaviours together. They also use the signs around the bike track to foster children’s numeracy and literacy learning. Helping children recognise and use relevant pedestrian safety signs and symbols in their play can support their understandings of how symbols and pattern systems work.BikesPic

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Strong cultural links are also made with the inclusion of Aboriginal animal track symbols in these outdoor learning experiences. Children often pretend they are hunting and gathering as they play in the gardens surrounding the bike track. Dramatic play is a great way to encourage road safety learning and talk about safe places to walk, ride and play and the importance of alwayKangarooTrackss being with a grown-up.

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Using bikes and wheeled toys safely: policies and procedures

At preschool, children follow important safe riding rules. Educators discuss and provide information to children and families about safe places to ride away from roads, driveways and vehicles and focus on children always wearing a correctly fitted helmet when riding a bike or a wheeled toy. Educators and management at Gilgandra Preschool developed a policy to guide the maintenance, use and supervision of wheeled toys. All children’s services should have policies and procedures to protect children’s health and safety. When considering the use of bikes and wheeled toys at your service it’s important to conduct a thorough risk assessment. Use the Kids and Traffic ‘Wheeled toys and bikes in early childhood services checklist’ to get you started.

 

 

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