Kooloora Preschool

Stepping stone

 

 

Kooloora Preschool is a designated Aboriginal children’s service located at Toukley Public School. Educators encourage children to feel a connection to people and place through a curriculum that respects multiple ways of knowing, seeing and living. Pretend play and oral storytelling are important parts of the preschool curriculum. Educators incorporate road safety messages into these ways of learning.

 

pretend play car1

Outdoor play spaces are often used for road safety learning. Educators set up pretend cars for dramatic play as an intentional teaching strategy to begin discussions around safe travel. They also aim to include languages and cultural traditions of the families in these dramatic play experiences. Children are actively engaged in their learning as they role play buckling up safely before they go on their ‘camping adventures’.

Campfire 1

 

The ‘Gunyah’ at Kooloora Preschool was built by a parent of a child enrolled at the service. ‘Gunyah’ is an Aboriginal word for a shelter or hut. This outdoor space invites culturally meaningful play-based learning and provides an opportunity for the children to connect with nature.

Gunyah 1

 

Involving families in your centre’s road safety program is a great way to share important messages around safe travel. Another idea is to ask families to donate old car seats for use in dramatic passenger safety play at your children’s service.

Share information with families about keeping their child safe when travelling in the car by including the Kids and Traffic ‘Choose Right Buckle Right’ (PDF 222kb) fact sheet in your service’s newsletter.

yarning circle 1

Educators regularly use the preschool’s outdoor Yarning Circle to share stories and talk with children about ways they can travel safely as pedestrians, passengers and when riding their bikes or wheeled toys. A storytelling dice and other props are used to encourage children to tell stories about their own safe journeys while out and about with their families.

 

Storytelling dice 1

Use the Kids and Traffic road DiceImagesPicsafety storytelling dice template to make your own by sticking these pictures to the sides of a large dice.  You can also attach other images onto the dice. To spark road safety conversations and promote oral storytelling use photos such as 

  • children and families from your service travelling safely
  • pedestrian safety signs and crossings in your local area
  • places families visit in the community e.g. park, library, shops or beach.

road signs 1

The ‘Hold my hand’ gate sign and road signs can also be used to encourage discussions with young children around travelling safely, particularly as pedestrians.

Contact us  to order a free ‘Hold my hand/please shut the gate’ sign and set of cardboard road signs with ideas for their use.

 

Educators support safe travel with families through regular walking excursions. Educators and supervising adults talk together about safe walking routes in their local community and the importance of using footpaths and marked pedestrian crossings.

Group crossing

Adults use safe pedestrian and road crossing behaviours and hold each child’s hand during these fun and engaging outings. Inviting families, friends and community members to come on walking excursions gives educators the chance to share safe travel messages with many of the adults in children’s lives. Educators at Kooloora Preschool aim for a 1:2 adult child ratio on all excursions – putting children’s safety first and creating more opportunities for valuable road safety conversations along the way.

Group crossing 2

 

Educators and families talk traffic with kids on excursions. They use simple language to describe all the things they are doing to cross driveways and roads safely. This supports the children’s understanding of safe pedestrian behaviours. Pedestrian road signs and safe crossings are also pointed out and their meanings discussed with children.

 

Pram pic

Educators at Kooloora use excursions as an opportunity to make their own resources by taking photos out and about in the local community. Stories and photos of excursions along with families’ safe journeys were collated to make ‘Kooloora Preschool’s safe travel stories’ book.

This book includes photos of local beaches, parks, road signs and traffic environments. These promote discussions around the pedestrian safety messages to share with young children

  • ‘Always hold a grown-up’s hand’
  • ‘When a grown-up’s hand is not available, hold a pram, bag or clothes’
  • ‘Always cross the road with a grown-up’.

The story book includes photos of local ‘bush tucker’. Educators also help children collect and identify native Australian food and plant species on their safe walking excursions.bush tucker 1

Including aspects of the local Aboriginal culture in their book not only encouraged children to share their experiences, but also helped them develop a strong sense of identity and connection to the community.

Kooloora book cover

Collect your own safe travel stories using Kooloora Preschool’s book as inspiration. Include photographs of pedestrian crossings, traffic lights, street signs, and other pedestrian road safety signs in your local community. Invite families to share stories about places they travel to on the weekend or during holidays and add these to your book. Include road safety messages such as ‘Always hold a grown-up’s hand’ in children’s home languages.

Drawing1

Kooloora Preschool’s holistic approach to road safety education means that educators embed safe travel messages into regular excursions, learning experiences for children, partnerships with families and community outreach.

Children, along with their family members, are encouraged to write and draw at a table in the foyer area during arrival and departure times about their safe journeys together. Cards representing local Aboriginal ‘tracks’ and ‘journeys’ are displayed to warmly invite families to record stories about their safe travels out and about on weekends and during holidays. foyer table 1

Kooloora Preschool continues to build connections with the local wider community to enhance their road safety education program. They are a member of the Central Coast Aboriginal Interagency Network group and recently took children from the preschool on a bus excursion to a network meeting where they performed a road safety song.

Staff regularly liaise with the Aboriginal Support Officer at the local primary school to support their transition to school program. Road Safety is an essential part of this program. Local Aboriginal Elders frequently visit the preschool to share their culture with children and educators. This has enabled the preschool to develop a range of road safety storybooks and homemade resources using Aboriginal language and symbols.Handprints artwork pic

Thank you message Kooloora

 

 

 

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