Learning doesn’t have to be confined to the classroom.
For an increasing number of parents, schooling is best done outdoors. Classic examples of this take place every school day in countries like Sweden and Finland. This is our local example in Lake Macquarie. May there be more of it, and may they consider Munibung Hill an ideal setting for learning across the curriculum. Belinda Turner reports …
As a part of our educational program at Woodrising Natural Learning Centre we regularly spend whole days in the bush. We call this our ‘bush school’ program. The children have the opportunity to observe wildlife, climb trees, build forts, use natural materials and immerse themselves in nature.
In June we were fortunate to have a local community member guide our exploration of Munibung Hill. This seemed like the perfect place to explore as many of our children live in the suburbs surrounding the hill, so this is their local bushland. We packed for the day and headed into the bush to explore the local flora and fauna.
Our knowledgeable guide was able to point out fungi and teach us about the different types of trees. She happily shared her knowledge on the history of the hill as she guided us through different areas. Each time we stopped for a bite to eat we were treated to beautiful views across the lake. We were able to identify some of the plants we have been learning about and discuss their uses.
There was an abundance of flat leaf wattle for washing our hands and also an abundance of Farmers Friend (Bidens pilosa), also known as Cobblers Peg. We are working hard to learn all about the benefits of Farmers Friend to take away the annoyance of the little seeds getting stuck in your clothes. You can use every part of the plant and this weed really does have so many medicinal benefits to offer us.
By the end of the day we had walked over 8 kms and explored a large area of the hill. There are lots of beautiful tracks around the hill and we would definitely recommend spending some time exploring them.
Story and pictures courtesy Belinda Turner, Director (From MMM Issue 10, July 2020)