From The Principal – Fortnightly updates
Term 1 is already half way along and students are working well. Congratulations to this year’s group of students in leadership positions, they are doing a great job and are already showing that they can be relied upon.
All classes are now running sessions several times a week. It has been interesting to see students developing their skill base. It was great to get some positive feedback from a parent who had noticed how their child was handling their anger/frustrations differently at home now as a result.
Students of all ages have been playing well in the Nature Play areas and it has been pleasing to see student’s problem solving skills developing.
- Nature brings the best out of children
It’s estimated that children today spend 56 per cent more time indoors than playing outside.
In theory, playing indoors appears easy because we don’t have to worry about sun, snow, rain, strangers, etc. But this controlled environment limits a child’s potential. The benefits of playing in nature are almost infinite. Spending time in nature keeps children’s minds fresh. It exposes them to varying situations where they are forced to learn and adapt to best fit themselves into the prevailing conditions. For instance, playing in uneven heights, conditions and surfaces helps children to hone their coordination and balancing skills.
- Stops the vanishing freedom
In today’s age and time, it’s easy for parents to dwell on thoughts of dangers and the risks of outdoor play. In fact, more children get seriously injured falling from their bed than playing outdoors. It’s worth reflecting on the impact that is being passed on to children if parents fear the outdoors. Childhood should be filled with healthy outdoor risks and adventure.
- Increases resilience and ability to negotiate risks
Climbing on trees or other objects helps children understand the risks involved in the process; they become better at risk assessment. Even if children sustain a minor injury, something in them grows. They also learn problem-solving skills, and they develop a deeper appreciation towards physical sports.
- Social benefits
When children step outside, they get plenty of opportunities to interact with other playmates. In nature, they can connect with others, help each other, share their learning and solve problems together. Children often collaborate to have the best experience. They might also find a friend to reach out to when consoling themselves during times of need. Moreover, it helps children to act freely, while not escaping their responsibilities.
- Physical and mental benefits
The outdoor environments that we see on television can be far different in the real world. So, the only way to truly experience nature to the fullest is to step outside—from the singing birds, buzzing bees, the taste of wild berries and beautiful sunsets, to the other quieter miracles. No electronic device can replace the natural association with Mother Nature.
Direct association with nature has both mental and physical benefits. It has also been proven to improve mood, and reduce depression and mental fatigue. Children who are involved in regular outdoor play benefit from increased flexibility and gross motor skills. More outdoor time also improves vision and reduces body inflammation.
- Promotes ‘smartness’
It’s already proven that nature provides children with a buffer from stress. One 2015 study in California, involving 60 participants, showed how walking in nature can eliminate stress. It can also promote ‘smartness’ in children.
Spending time in nature and outdoors improves children’s ability to focus and concentrate. Studies in the US show that schools that use outdoor classrooms, and other forms of nature-based experiential education, support significant student gains in social studies, science, language, arts and mathematics. Students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27 per cent (American Institutes for Research, 2005).
- Improves self confidence
Real confidence is not about winning in a video game. Accidentally or not, you can help with your children’s confidence by letting them connect with nature—where your children can be face-to-face with the real world.
Nature can act as a great healing tool for children who suffer from low self-esteem. Children who are exposed to the natural world experience a greater degree of self-control, peace and discipline. Armed with such gifts, a person’s confidence level is sure to elevate to the next level.
- Improves nutrition, reduces obesity
Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables (Bell & Dyment, 2008), and to show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition (Waliczek & Zajicek, 2006). They are also more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives (Morris & Zidenberg-Cherr, 2002).
- Improves health and reduces illness
Children who play more in the natural world fall sick less often than those children who restrict themselves to indoor spaces. Regular exposure to the outside world boosts one’s immune system. As a result, a child is able to combat illness better. It also specifically improves eyesight (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011).
- Reduces stress
Green plants and vistas reduce stress among highly stressed children. Locations with a greater number of plants, greener views and access to natural play areas show more significant results (Wells & Evans, 2003).
National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence Friday 15th March 2019
The NDA gives schools the chance to take action and empower young people to be part of the solution when addressing bullying in their school community. It provides an opportunity to focus on bullying and the big changes we can make to create safer communities for everyone.
The school is pleased to be supporting this initiative and we are looking forward to everyone enjoying the movie that we have selected with a strong anti-bullying message.
THIS Friday 15th March 2019 is wear your PYJAMAS day with a gold donation. All money raised will go to Radio Lollipop.
Week 7 – “I initiate and respond to greetings”
Week 8 – “I am responsible for my actions, even when I make mistakes”
We are having a special visit from author and illustrator Matt Cosgrove.
Matt’s book Alpacas with Maracas has been chosen this year for National Simultaneous storytime. This is a beautiful story about friendship, and finding success in participation.
Matt Cosgrove will be will be doing a presentation for the children followed by a book signing. Click here for book order form. Book orders to be returned with permission slips
When: Tuesday 26th March 2019
Where: Leeming Primary School
Cost: $1.50 per student
Permission slips will be sent home by the end of the week.