We teach both Indonesian and Noongar language and culture
Spirit of Play has always prided ourselves in playing a strong role in supporting the promotion of Aboriginal culture and language – specifically that held by the Noongar peoples from the South Coast of Western Australia. Our school site is located on the boundary of the Minang and Bibbulmen tribes and we regularly invite elders from both of these peoples to come and share their culture with us.
Children of all ages are taught Noongar language through songs and stories and the exploration of the rich bush tucker that surrounds the school.
We celebrate the six Noongar seasons and teach the children how to observe the changes around them at each time of year.Children are assigned into “seasonal groups” based on the season in which they were born and these groupings act as factional groups for our sporting carnivals and multi-age weekly gatherings.
Studying Cultures and Languages at Spirit of Play, children learn about diversity and interconnection.
Through the presentation and exploration of different languages, songs, stories and traditions, the children learn to appreciate and respect cultural diversity, as well as to recognise and celebrate cultural interconnection.
In particular, we look at how our custodianship over the natural world, and our needs and abilities to observe and commemorate seasonal change. Both of these aspects of cultural expression, connect us, as humans, across boundaries.
We understand that the learning of a new language is the doorway to another way of viewing the world, as each culture has a unique viewpoint and way of expressing the human experience.
We are fortunate in having multilingual staff who are able to integrate their languages into the everyday experience of learning at the school. Specific languages that the children are exposed to include, Swiss German, Italian, French and Japanese.
I was fascinated by how the children learned through nature, making the most of Denmark’s dynamic environment, and impressed by the school’s emphasis on aboriginal culture.
-Kanea Jones, Playgroup Parent 2010, (Educational Assistant, 2014).
Like much of Denmark, we have a strong contingent of parents who have migrated here from the four corners of the globe. We regularly invite our families to share language and culture with the whole school, focusing on a particular region for a period of three weeks or more. We are also developing a multilingual library with books, from simple word and pictures to novels, in a range of languages.