23 Nov

At the beginning of the year we officially launched St Peter’s Woodlands Reconciliation Action Plan.

We are delighted that since the RAP Plan launched, existing and new initiatives have emerged across the students’ curriculum. Unfortunately, like many programs this year, the effects of COVID-19 have impacted some of the ideas and activities planned and have needed to be postponed.

SPW remains committed to continuously evolving and developing the RAP Plan. We would like to thank Kaurna Elder, Aunty Daphne for her unwavering support and guidance in helping our school grow in this area.

Last week was NAIDOC week and we took the opportunity to reflect and to celebrate some of the great experiences our ELC and junior primary students have had to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.

ELC – 4 Year Olds

Trent Hill Visit – Storytelling
In Term 3 our 4 Year Old children were visited by Aboriginal story teller, Trent Hill. Trent talked about the importance of story-telling as a tool to communicate the rules and ways of life through words and illustration.

He shared a story about the importance of telling the truth and helping someone when they are in need. This story communicated how our actions can positively and or negatively effect other people.

He also played his didgeridoo and tapping sticks as well as demonstrated how to start a fire with a fire stick.

“Thank you Trent for coming to share your knowledge and friendship with our school community. The children were truly captivated by your storytelling.” – Annastasia Callisto, 4 Year Old Teacher

Singing in Kaurna Language
To celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, some of the 4 Year Old children led the school in singing Heads Shoulders, Knees and Toes in Kaurna language at assembly.

The children sang loud and proud after weeks of rehearsal. It was a great and interactive way for the children to engage and learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history.

Year 1s

Warriparinga Excursion
Ninna Marni! Are you well?

In Term 3 the Year 1s explored the concept of ‘Our Special Place’. The students shared what their special places were, at home, at school and in nature. As part of this they also learnt about Aboriginal people’s relationship with the land and connection to Country.

To investigate this deeper the students went on an excursion to Warriparinga at the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre and the Tjilbruke monument and Spring at Kingston Park.

It was wonderful for the students to be out in nature learning about the surrounding environment and how Aboriginal people used the land, plants and animals to live.

Before the excursion was over the students painted reconciliation rocks with Aboriginal symbols and colours to spread the message of reconciliation. The rocks were placed somewhere that felt special on the day.

“We went on an excursion on a bus. We met a Kaurna man called Tom who told us that gum leaves are good for when you get sick with a cold.” – Skyla

“I learnt that Aboriginal People used plants as medicine” – Charlotte, Archie, Emily and Amelie

“When hunting, Aboriginal people put ochre on them so the animals couldn’t smell them”. – Philippa

 “My favourite place was the Tjilbruke monument and the Dreaming Story”. – Michael

“Tjilbruke made the law and turned into a glossy ibis”. – Lachlan

“I learnt that the people lived near the water in Spring and when it is Winter they lived in the hills. Boys and men hunted and girls and women gathered food to cook”. – Justice

Year 2s

Botanic Gardens Excursion
The Year 2s visited the Botanic Gardens and spent time with friend of the school, Trent Hill who taught them about Aboriginal plant use.

Trent explained how several different plants and trees in the garden were used for different purposes by the Kaurna people – the ‘supermarket tree’ – a beautiful 350 year old River Red Gum, was among the favourites of these plants.

The children also learnt how Kaurna people only used specific parts of the tree, as they moved seasonally between areas around the Adelaide plains, respectfully taking care of the land.

From finding honey, to smoking out possums, making wooden bowls, tools and instruments, finding witchetty grubs and making medicine with the young leaves, the talk was fascinating.

Moving Forward 

It has been wonderful to watch our children engage with the various activities and we hope to expand and broaden our knowledge and understanding of of our First Nation People.

Article by Teachers and Educators of the ELC and junior primary