Kamana (Wild Passport)/ Science
Kamana – from the Hawaiian word for ‘power’ – is a weekly half-day outdoor lesson with activities mapped to the Australian Curriculum: Science. It’s a chance for positive authentic learning that encourages and develops student wonderings, inquisitiveness and curiosity, experimentation and outdoor skills. The WILD Passport and journal, adapted to the local context of our school, records student competencies and accomplishments in Kamana’s 7 focus areas:
- The Senses
Kamana also provides an opportunity for exploring the General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum – in particular Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking and Intercultural Understanding.
Students progress through a range of activities that not only equip them skills to draw on for life but promote wellbeing and ignite a ‘spark’ that contributes to enhanced learning outcomes.
Our unique natural environment allows us to successfully deliver the Kamana program. Students have access to a range of outdoor learning environments including Bush Village, Food Forest and Market Garden, Heritage Bushland, Fire Pit Circle and Reconciliation Garden. Being close to the Belair National Park and Sturt River allows for local excursions, walks and further exploration of our local environs.
We’ve developed a risk benefit assessment booklet – in partnership with children – to address risks associated with many of the activities. This also forms a vital part of the learning process.
Kamana facilitates connection with nature and a deep understanding of Country – our school sits on the land of the Kaurna people – and the customs and practices of the traditional owners.
Our students learn through targeted and authentic learning experiences to support their development of deep literacy knowledge, understanding and skills. Through active participation in literacy education, our teachers promote a growth mindset with a focus on personal best and continuous improvement, celebrating students as they progress.
Literacy learning at Upper Sturt Primary School means listening, reading, viewing, speaking and writing, as well as creating and understanding texts across all curriculum areas. Our approach aims to support students in the early years to ‘learn to read’ so that they are successfully able to ‘read to learn’. This is underpinned by the Wellbeing for Learning and Life framework, maximising students’ wellbeing and self-esteem through accomplishment and feelings of competence and confidence.
Literacy encompasses the knowledge and skills students need to:
- access, understand, analyse and evaluate information
- make meaning and express thoughts and emotions
- present ideas and opinions
- interact with others
- participate in activities at school and in their lives beyond school.
We also give the students the opportunity to apply their learnt literacy skills and knowledge into context within our outdoor environment.
Throughout the school year, our students will engage in intentional and authentic learning experiences to support their development of deep numeracy knowledge, understanding and skills. Through active participation in numeracy learning, students will show positive mathematical mindsets with a focus on personal best, continuous improvement, and celebration of progress. They will become confident and competent users of mathematics, investigating, representing and interpreting real life situations as active numerate citizens.
Students will be given the tools to problem solve and reason in number and algebra, measurement and geometry, statistics and probability. They will learn the connection between numeracy and other disciplines and appreciate mathematics as accessible and enjoyable. They will also learn how to apply and contextualise their numeracy skills and knowledge into our outdoor environment.
Project Based Learning
We develop project-based learning to align with an area of personal interest for each child within an agreed whole school topic. These topics allow for cross-curricula and deep, authentic learning. It not only engages children in their choice of inquiry discovery but is an effective way to improve independent learning. It requires responsibility, time management, research and presentation skills. Teachers work with each student through conferencing and planning sessions to map out the project, then support each child to achieve their planned outcome. These projects are sometimes completed in groups and sometimes individually.
One of the key goals of our Reconciliation Action Plan is to have Kaurna language be an integral part of daily life at our school, including in the classroom, during ceremonies and school events.
To that end, our weekly Kaurna language and cultural lessons support our students’ intercultural understanding, encourages an empathy for the goals of reconciliation and further enhances their connection to Country.
Working closely with Kaurna members and elders, especially our close relationship with Uncle Tamaru, provides authenticity and a richness to our program.
The students enjoy excursions and both on- and off-site special events, and are involved in the ongoing care, maintenance and development of our Aboriginal Reconciliation Garden, where they learn about native plants, bush tucker and bush medicine.
Students can connect their Kaurna language and knowledge to Country as the school, with its unique natural environment, sits on Kaurna land. We continue to acknowledge and respect the Kaurna people as the traditional owners of this land.
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