The Farmyard for Early Learners begins its new Outdoor Learning Programme, Te Whenua Ūkaipō, from Monday 29th October, 2018.
Te Whenua Ūkaipō will create extended sustainable learning for children who attend the school, allowing them to learn about and explore nature, the land, and the environment. Founder, owner, and teacher Fiona Dawson is enthusiastic about the opportunity to add to The Farmyard’s existing nature-based curriculum.
“By introducing Te Whenua Ūkaipō we are creating a natural space where children can unfold their learning as we acknowledge the value of being outdoors. The aim is to bring to life Rudolf Steiner’s ideals of using the Head, Heart and Hands approach as we learn to respect our environment, ourselves and our community.
We’re looking forward to seeing where this next step in our curriculum takes us, and sharing this programme with all of our children across the year. We’re also exploring opportunities to bring aspects of Te Whenua Ūkaipō learning to the families, whānau and communities connected with The Farmyard.”
The extension to the current curriculum has required considerable preparation, including sending teachers to train specifically as Outdoor Curriculum Teachers in Steiner Education in Auckland. Originating in the United Kingdom, this programme has been adapted for Aotearoa – New Zealand, and allows The Farmyard to develop its own curriculum to fit with its philosophy.
Te Whenua Ūkaipō will run every day the school is open, in every season, and will be adapted for all ages of children. Some of the curriculum topics will include traditional skills such as: bush crafts, outside cooking, hand work, gardening, woodwork, movement, geography, and life science; all connected through communication and language skills.
Nadia Taare, leading teacher and Tangata Whenua, holds a Bachelor of Teaching and Diploma of Steiner Education New Zealand. Nadia recognises the importance of sharing respectful care for the environment with children.
“At The Farmyard we focus on sustainability as a core value that flows through our curriculum and focuses the way that our children engage with the land and the animals that we have here.
At home, creating that respect for our surroundings can begin with something as simple as taking children for a walk and observing the world around us. Children are naturally curious and sharing our awe at the beauty of nature is a great way to start them on a journey of exploration and discovery.”
Nadia will be joined by Carolyn Smale who also holds a Bachelor of Teaching and Certificate in the Outdoor Curriculum of Steiner Education.
The name Te Whenua Ūkaipō highlights the whakatauki ‘Whatungarongaro te tangata toitu te whenua’ which translates as ‘A man disappears from sight and the land remains’. The name has been chosen because it connects the relationships that link humanity and the land.