At Grimshaw St Early Learning Centre the importance of laying the foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle from a young age is core to our philosophy. Grimshaw St Early Leaning Centre will have its own unique Playground to Plate® Food Garden Program that aims to revolutionise the relationship that children have with food from infancy through to school age.
Our Playground to Plate® food garden program and curriculum is developed and delivered by a Professional Garden Educator that is a qualified horticulturalist – Rachel. Rachel works together with Adele, our Playground to Plate® facilitator/educator at Grimshaw St ELC, children and our centre chef, Steve, to lead and oversee daily garden classes from our Playground to Plate® curriculum.
Upon completion of garden classes throughout the week, when our fresh produce is harvested, it is used in our centre menu for our children’s meals. Children in our Kinder Room are able to interact with the kitchen via an interactive bench and windows into our commercial kitchen, so that our Kinder Children come to understand how the food they’ve grown becomes the food they can enjoy for a healthy and active lifestyle.
We believe by implementing a food garden we can revolutionise the way children think about food and the environment by learning how the food system works, how food is grown, and the value of preparing and sharing healthy food together.
For more information about our Playground to Plate® Program, please contact our Centre Manager, Ara – or you can book a tour of Grimshaw St ELC at a time that suits you and your family.
Term One 2023 – BIODIVERSITY 2023
What a great start to the year in our Playground to Plate® Garden Program. This year our theme is ‘Biodiversity’. Biodiversity is an important topic to discuss as it affects our climate, planet and the future for our children.
Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you’ll find in one area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web, to maintain balance and support life. Source: Client Earth, June 2021.
Biodiversity is declining due to things such as climate change, deforestation, animal extinction, urban sprawl, population growth, agriculture techniques, pesticides etc.
We CAN make a difference and we will be educating our children on everything they can do to reverse the decline, whether it be to buy less, recycle, upcycle, grow your own produce – each activity makes a difference. One important example that we discussed this term is the chopping down of dead trees. These tress are filled with hollows that house the local fauna such as cockatoos, by chopping the tree down, you are taking away a safe space and home for these wildlife, this then puts the fauna at risk.
We started the Term by celebrating what happened in the gardens over Biderap (Summer), we made Basil Pesto, Simple Summer Salad using our tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum and basil and delicious Zucchini Zoodles.
In the gardens we built ‘Wicking Beds’ – a great way to conserve water and to make sure our plants get water when we are not there. Every year we celebrate ‘Clean Up schools day’ by going to the local park to teach the children about how clean our spaces should look and why littering is not only not pleasing on the eye, but it can also be dangerous for our local fauna. This is always a fun excursion and that is incentivised by giving the children the opportunity to play on the playground which always ensures they are keen to buy into this important activity!
To tie in with our Biodiversity theme, we celebrated World Wild Life day with an Incursion from Aussie Wildlife Displays, where the children met some endangered animals and got up close and personal, with some children getting to hold and touch some snakes, lizards, a Black Cockatoo, a sugar glider possum and a big wombat. It was a very special experience. Given the World Wild Wildlife theme of 2023, ‘Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation’ , we built Nesting Boxes for our local fauna, to make them feel safe and secure. This impacts our footprint in relation to what we can do to promote biodiversity within our areas of Melbourne and helps teach the children the importance of protecting endangered species.
We ended celebrating the Luk (Autumn) season and look forward to another fun filled Term 2 ahead in the Warin season.