Welcoming Spring/Wirltuti

The monthly programs at Flinders all make mention of the seasons, as the weather has such a significant impact on learning across the house. All houses refer to the Anglo-Germanic seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter, and some also to the Kaurna weather calendar (available on the Bureau of Meteorology). We are currently moving from Kudlila (winter) into Wirltuti (spring) and the weather is described as tempestuous. The weather has indeed been tempestuous as we navigate four seasons in one week!

Spring and Autumn hold special challenges for outdoor play programs at Flinders – at times, the rain may be intense enough to require rain suits, but the temperature high enough to rule them out. A program committed to year-round outdoor play requires creative, adaptable educators and creative, adaptable children!

Weather provides an important environmental variable, acting as an ongoing provocation for learning and exploration. When children are outside, exposed to the elements, they are challenged to manage heat, cold, wind and rain. These variables also provide wonder; rainbows, puddles, kites and shadows. Being connected to seasonal changes builds in children a sense of connection to the natural world, and an awareness of the wonders of all seasons.

At Flinders, weather might act as a provocation to explore mapping or charting phenomena; making predictions about weather and therefore the best clothing to wear; or what tasks need to be completed in the garden. Weather also provides small-scale explorations like the availability (or not) of water; the feel of the wind; or the warmth of the early spring sun after a cloudy day. Using weather as a provocation for learning requires educators to be intentional, aware and highly responsive to the opportunities afforded each day. There is no permanence in the weather, although there are predictable cycles of change that can inform our practice.

If you and your family are looking for ways to connect with nature and the changing seasons, take a look at Nature Play SA’s 25 Things to do in Spring here.

Welcoming Spring/Wirltuti

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