Last week class 2/3 went on a 4 day camp to Patonga Beach. After their first day Erica wrote “We had a great trip down. We arrived and ate lunch and pretty quickly went to the beach for a swim. The water is just the right temperature. Gilo made a great dinner of rice and veggies and the kids went back for fourths! After dinner walk along the beach and jetty! Hot chocolate and story and now they’re in bed almost asleep. Some are just doing a tiny bit of reading. All is well. So many sea eagles!” Erica
Honeymoon Bay Camp was simply the best… better than all the rest. The
fauna filled bush, the calm mostly clear water, the rock ledges and pools were
the perfect environment to snorkel, swim and meet our Orana Pen friends – there
was an inspired talent show and a fantastic birthday disco. Even the rain over
night did not dampen out spirits while it dampened our sleeping bags!
The integrated Science Geography unit “From the Mountains to the Sea” was very well enjoyed by the students, in particular the outside activities including the experiments and explorations. Their interest in the natural world is innate! The end of year camp at Patonga beach where the Hawkesbury river meets Broken Bay was the physical experiential culmination of this wonderful unit.
Big walking, river crossings and learning as we went about the geology
and ecology of The Barrington’s and its wild rivers, was at the essence of the
4 day adventure at Wangat last week. We also explored our inner
soul-scapes in connection to this place, opening our senses to the beauty and
inter-relationship that was around us, and the wisdom and life lessons we could
draw from this and integrate into our lives. One part of our trek was
dubbed by the weary, Useless Loop as we descended back to the place we had
lunched. Yet we also reflected that it was on this same loop, we had followed a
mysterious trail that led to a spectacular forest of grey gums (currently
smooth and bold orange trunks).
We also asked geographical questions such as what happens to a river habitat when it is dammed? And out of an interesting discussion arose another question, What happens to we humans when we dam rivers? – this question arising after visiting the huge human-made concrete structure of the Chichester Dam (which is another kind of marvel in itself), then plunging once again into rainforest downstream to arrive at a fig tree likely to be 400 years old!
We finished our river explorations with a river ceremony. From the kernel of our experience of this river system, we recalled other river journeys (including dams) such as Kangaroo Valley and our own Blue Mountains catchment, then went on to consider the critical condition of the Menindee Lakes and its connection to the Murray-Darling river system. For all the rivers, the precious givers of life, we offered a rain song, a moment of care and consciousness.
Connecting to Place, with a very hands on feel, is the focus for the Autumn Fair which is coming up soon, Saturday 23rd March! Have you seen the beautiful wooden Australian animals that are being specially made for the craft stall? Activities at the Fair include whittling, nature based craft, a yarn up circle, a drumming circle and an obstacle course. We are hoping our exciting new play equipment will also be opened for the day including the flying fox! Aunty Carol will give a welcome followed by some lovely trademark Kindlehill singing from Primary and High School.
On this round trip of some of NSW’s most iconic places, we tuned our individual heartbeats to the larger rhythms of life and landscapes. In each place we visited, the stories of that place unfolded. We went respectfully, acknowledging country, and opening our senses through quiet contemplative drawing and writing, seeking connectedness to each unique place.
This was Geography on the Road. On the south coast we explored coastal lagoons, rivers that begin in the escarpment and outlet into the sea, sacred mountains and initiation sites, and land use such as the dairy, forestry and whaling activity of past and present. In the South East forest, we visited a remnant Gondwana rainforest and beautiful inland creeks set amongst forest preserved from logging in the nick of time. We travelled to Kosciuszko, crossing the Great Dividing Range and noting the changes in the water cycle and vegetation. We stopped by at Kiandra, an historic gold rush town, and learned about the Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme and the proposed plan for Snowy 2 (including discussing the political jostling around renewable energy targets). We then toured a cave in Yarangobilly, swam in a thermal pool and followed the Tumut River to a caravan park for our first opportunity during the camp to shower and use facilities. In Hay we swam in the mighty Murrumbidgee River, and camped beside it under the stars. En-route to Lake Mungo we observed the productive industrial scale farming of the Riverina dependent on irrigation from the Murrumbidgee. And later, on the way home, we saw the top soils from some of these exposed fields lifting up and whirling east – the source of the dust storms experienced in Sydney and surrounds. This was an opportune time to discuss and think critically about the conventional farming practices we take so much for granted. Then we went on to Lake Mungo, a unique landscape of cultural significance to the world, it was a place where we all experienced the spiritual presence of land and ancestors.
We swam, snorkelled, surfed, clamboured alongside creeks and waterfalls, and walked respectfully on ancient lands. We met Aboriginal teachers along the way who shared culture and wisdom related to place. We took some of these teachings into our reflective circle times; exploring ways to apply three things to live by: spiritual connection to place (where place makes you part of its story), social connectedness (a sense of belonging as well as of roles and responsibilities), and generosity (asking what we can do for others rather than what we can gain for ourselves). The descriptive writing from our explorations was vibrant, alive with the voice of authentic experience. We also talked about initiation of young people, what it might look like in our time and place. John and I share a sense that camps such as these with a teaching and experiential focus, carry many elements of what underlies initiation for young people. – the path toward independence, freedoms balanced with responsibilities, courage, resilience, ethical choices, learning from country, caring for community and for each other, and tuning your heart in to the larger rhythm of regenerative life.
You can seed and talk about all of this in a classroom (and we have)…but you can actually experience it and bring it into a lived experience in a two week on the road geography trip! Landscapes and the people connected to them were our primary teachers. Each student identified their special teaching place, the one they felt most connected to and articulating the elements of this experience. They also identified what they would take away as a thought, feeling and intention for their future lives.
Click the links below to view some videos of the journey:
Kindlehill hosted it’s first ever Summer Soiree. It was a great success and a wonderful way for the community to celebrate the primary school children’s achievements from throughout the year. The Summer Soiree was a joyous event that showcased the high standard of skills the children have developed in many fields over the past year. It was a wonderful way for the community to come together and acknowledge the hard work of the students and teachers.
Click the link below to view some videos from the Soiree:
Kindlehill hosted it’s first ever Summer Soiree last Thursday. It was a great success and a wonderful way for the community to celebrate the primary school children’s achievements from throughout the year. Guests started the night by viewing colourful and detailed artwork, as well as exceptional examples of the children’s projects. Families also enjoyed looking back at photos and artwork from previous years at Kindlehill.
We then ventured into the performance space to be dazzled by the class 1-2 wild songs and fluent reading. Flowing on to the class 3-4 verses and the song “Grandmas’ feather bed”. Class 5-6 performed a haunting eurythmy piece and speeches based on women who have influenced the world.
We were then amazed by the hard work and talent from students performing musical solos, culminating with the musical ensemble. The music program at Kindlehill is vibrant and ever expanding, including more instruments and opportunities each year.
The finale included the choral piece “Flooding Rains” sung by the whole primary school. It was a joyous event that showcased the high standard of skills the children have developed in many fields over the past year. It was a wonderful way for the community to come together and acknowledge the hard work the students and teachers.
Click the links below to view some videos from the Soiree:
“Reggae Band Concert!!!!: Big PA sound, mics, lights, smoke machine, and all ORIGINAL MUSIC!