We believe that children learn best by having real, hands-on experiences. In Lewisham, we love going out and about exploring our local community and creating links with the people and resources in our area. We have been lucky enough to have made some amazing relationships with our local aged care facility, the children went up to see the residents and sat with them to have morning tea. We took along some colouring sheets and books to engage with our elderly community, but our favourite thing to do with them was to sit and chat, listening to their stories about their jobs and families and how they reminisced about playing when they were children. We also done a little performance of our care for country songs, which was met with a big round of applause. This experience has been enlightening and enriching for both the young and old as the children experienced the importance of caring for our older generation and preserving their wisdom and stories.

We got the opportunity to take our pet chicken, Coco, to the vets, for her checkup. The vet got the children to help check Coco’s heartbeat and had a wonderful time getting to see all the behind-the-scenes action. We got to seeing the cattery and had some cuddles and pats with their in-house pet, Nala the kitten. This experience demonstrated to the children how we take care of our pets and the role of a vet in our community.

Our centre had the local police and fire fighters come and see them also. Officer William Kim came into the centre to see our Senior preschool children and talk with the children about his role in the community and being safe. The children listened with such interest as he spoke and asked in-depth questions like “do you catch monsters” to “what do you eat for your lunch”.

With great excitement we then got to go and see the police car up close, and Office Kim even had some police hats and hi-vis vests for the children to try on as they sat and explored the police car.

The fire fighters from Ashfield station came and spoke to the children another week and got them to practice some fire safety drills, showed them some of their high tec equipment and special uniform to protect them when putting fires out. The level of joy the children got when they when inside the fire truck and got to turn the siren on what beyond our expectations. The most fun was had when fire fighter Dean gave the children the opportunity to spray the water hose with him.

Fire visit at Lewisham centre

From these experiences the children were eager to do their own room set ups and implement all the learning they have gained. The seniors have set up a hospital and fire/ police station, another room gathered materials to make a vet surgery in their room. These spaces reflect the children’s interest in these experiences and allows them to explore the concept of these roles in our community in a fun and play based environment.