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31 Mar 2014

Out & About - Montessori style

Out & About - Montessori style

Author: Admin  /  Categories: Cycle 2, Cycle 3, Curriculum  / 

Photo:  Lani Coumbis (11), Peer Group and Marigold Gill (7)

Going Out* is a unique Montessori experience for small groups of primary school children.  Here's what happened on two recent outing.

Visit to Our Big Kitchen, Bondi & making biscuits for charity

Lani Coumbis (11 yo) organised a visit for her peer group of cycle 2 & 3 children visited OBK (Our Big Kitchen) on Flood Street, Bondi.  A community kitchen designed to help those in need.  Lani showed great leadership and organisational skills while planning all aspects of the Going Out - finding the address, making the appointment, working out how to walk there etc. The students made over 200 cookies for charity, and they were given two bags each to take home along with some dried fruit as a gift from one of the volunteers at OBK. The idea is to keep one bag of cookies and to give the other bag to a loved one.  A big thank you to chaperons Lara Esden and Kate Sumner.

So what did they learn?  Well, not just how to bake cookies!  The learnt about giving back to the community through charity, that they can contribute and that their contribution is valuable, that they can use their own initiative to do things. The younger children learnt from Lani's leadership role-modelling and finally about working together.  How fabulous!

Visit to the library & getting lost!

Jake Trevelyan (9) and Jed Payten (10) recently went on a Going Out* to the Waverley library to further their knowledge on tsunamis.  A parent, Danny May, acted as chaperone and he appropriately stayed quiet when the boys got a little lost. It was up to them to do their best to get back on track—and that’s a large part of the learning!

Here is what Jake had to say about the outing:  “When we went to the library we didn’t just learn about tsunami; we learnt how to handle getting lost. We thought we got off at the right stop, but we’d got off one bus stop too late. So we tried to find our way using the map. We kept on going down the wrong road. It was so annoying!!! And we were going around for ten minutes we didn’t know the way.   Finally we got to the library. And we asked the librarian where books on tsunami were. The librarian showed us where the tsunami books were.”   

This story is an example of what experience children can gain from a Going Out.  Just as much learning, if not more, comes from the children doing all the planning for the outing and executing.  Getting lost can be great!  They have to think hard, refer to their maps and work out which way to go.  Quite a big task for young children.   The chaperone is primarily there only to ensure their safety. 

* Going Out is not an excursion.  It is an outing researched and planned by the children (usually small groups of 2 or 3) to further their study in a particular area.  It differs from an excursion in that an excursion is organised by the school/teachers for the children.    This is an important difference.  

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