At Gowrie Victoria we have a strong belief that children should be active citizens in the community, to help broaden their sense of belonging and self-empowerment. After two years of COVID lockdowns in Melbourne, we are excited to start exploring our city once more.
An extensive Out & About program has always been an integral part of our practice, especially at The Harbour, where there are daily trips to the park, library, primary school and even the supermarket. This year, we’re beginning to expand our horizons once more as we look at interesting ways to re-discover the broader city of Melbourne as it emerges from a lengthy period of lockdown.
Educational Leader Sam Fernandez said there had been some hesitancy to venture beyond the Docklands as the city slowly re-opened. “We had a lot of discussions though and the focus was to get us back out there,” Sam said. “It was simply a matter of regaining confidence, because the educators know they can do it. And once they got their feet out the door, knowing they were not just going to the park, they were fine, because they know what to do and they have the trust of the children.”
For the first major excursion, The Harbour set its sights on the moon, with a trip to the Museum of the Moon exhibit at Federation Square. “The children had been exploring space and all its wonders for a few weeks, with each child intrigued and connecting in their own individual way,” Sam said. “There had been discussions about astronauts and the children worked together as a team to create a cardboard rocket.”
The children were in awe when they saw the giant replica of the moon at the Museum of the Moon, describing it as “humongous”. The replica is made from detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, printed at a scale of 1:500,000.
“Together the children learnt about the phases of the moon and were able to view it from underneath, at a distance and up above,” Sam said “The many perspectives prompted more and more questions and the building of knowledge and collaboration opportunities with each other. The educators planned the whole thing and took a different group each day. It was phenomenal.”
The Out & About program is an integral part of Gowrie Victoria’s programs. It strengthens our connections to community and helps develop a sense of belonging, identity and independence. Children learn to work as a team, follow instructions, problem solve and build leadership skills.
The visit to Federation Square was quickly followed up with the kinder children from The Harbour enjoying their first picnic at Gowrie Carlton North, and there will be many more Out & About excursions planned throughout the year.