Educators have regularly found opportunities to include the goanna, a spiritual totem of the Wiradjuri people who live in and around Gilgandra, into areas of the curriculum including road safety education. To create an opportunity for meaningful road safety learning, the Kids and Traffic version of the ‘Five Little Monkeys’ rhyme was adapted to include the goanna along with the local Aboriginal language. After consultation with local Aboriginal Elders and families at the centre, a painting of a goanna was chosen to make props for the new rhyme ‘Five Little Girrawaa’ (Girrawaa is a Wiradjuri word for goanna). This rhyme also provided opportunities to link to early numeracy through counting and making connections between quantity, number and numerals.
Another resource used by educators was the Kids and Traffic dominoes, which educators chose to adapt by adding Aboriginal artwork and images to reflect more of the local Aboriginal culture. Using these with the children, educators were able to promote discussion about the Key Road Safety Messages and to help develop mathematical skills such as matching, categorising and sorting.
The preschool’s bike track includes a pedestrian crossing and large road signs. Educators regularly talk with children about safe pedestrian behaviours and the road signs provide great opportunities to support children’s understandings of how symbols and pattern systems work.
Educators and management have developed a policy to guide the maintenance, use and supervision of wheeled toys. When riding at preschool, children follow important safe riding rules. Information about safe places to ride and about always wearing a correctly fitted helmet is shared regularly with families.