National Portrait Gallery Excursions

Last week, both of our GAP classes embarked on a very exciting and fun excursion to the National Portrait Gallery. After the children had been dropped off by their parents, we enjoyed our morning tea out in the sunshine and our picnic rug provided a good spot to fuel our energy for the upcoming 1-hour tour through the National Portrait Gallery.

In the foyer, the children were warmly greeted by Kate and her team, before the class was split into two groups. The educational program was tailored to children aged 3-5 years and offered lots of information about the selected portraits in a fun, engaging and interactive way which our little students enjoyed a lot.

The children especially enjoyed drawing and crafting their own art pieces. For instance, the groups got very creative when it came to designing their own crowns or when ‘decorating’ their pop-up bedrooms.

After the excursion the classes had some time to play around and to let the impressions settle in, before we made our way back to GAP by bus.

The bus ride got the children all excited which might have been the main highlight of the excursion.

All in all, everyone had a fantastic time at the National Portrait Gallery.

Special thanks to our Teachers, but also to our parent volunteers, as without their support and dedication this excursion wouldn’t have taken place. Also, thank you to Kate and her team at the NPG.

Our young people get active in democracy

The Spielwelt committee recently supported some of our children and young people to have their voices heard in Parliament.

Children as young as four and up to 19 years old from GAP and Pfadfinder contributed to a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications.

The senate committee is considering the Climate Change Bill 2022, and we wanted the children’s voices to be heard.

Here’s the text of Spielwelt’s submission:

Spielwelt welcomes the opportunity to contribute the voices of our children to the Senate Environment and Committee’s inquiry into the Climate Change Bill 2022.  We are heartened by the new government’s willingness to look properly at addressing climate change. 

As parents, teachers and leaders, we are deeply troubled by the latest IPCC report and news reports about the devastating global climate crisis. In particular, we hold grave concerns for our children’s future. 

The children are also rightfully anxious. Some are frustrated, desperate, depressed or angry. Some want to help but feel helpless. Here follows some comments made by children aged between 4 and 19 years enrolled in our programs, for your kind consideration.

“We are too young to vote so we are relying on you with our lives to do the right thing. We urge you to please take the boldest possible action on climate change that you can. Our very lives depend on your decision. Literally.

“I want to grow up in a nice world. I don’t want to fight for water or food, fight fires or droughts, lose my friends in heat waves, eat poisoned fish or be choked in smoke. Please aim for the absolute best possible standards that you can and make laws and get an environment police to enforce them.”

Please listen hard to the scientists and do your best to just do what they say. Please don’t let climate action be confused for a political issue or a money issue.“

“I want my Australia to be a leader, not bludging off other countries’ efforts.  Please take responsibility and do the right thing.”

“I think people should stop being allowed to mine and use fossil fuels. Australia should behave properly and not pollute by mining and using fossil fuels.”

“I would like to see more renewable energy everywhere with solar on every rooftop and solar farms.”

“Please move Australia from the bottom to the top in research for renewable energy. I would like to work in a world leading industry (renewable energy) in Australia when I grow up.” 

“I would like to get a great ATAR and study at university. My mind churns on whether it is worthwhile studying if my home is going to burn down and my water supply will dry up. My school time is sometimes taken up attending school strike climate rallies. Please help us by being strong. Set strong bold targets and police them so we have a chance to survive.”

“Remember that with every passing minute, natural environments like the Great Barrier Reef and bushland are deteriorating, causing endangerment to our beautiful Australian wildlife. Please protect our unique ecosystems by ensuring net ZERO carbon emissions as soon as possible.” 

“Please don’t forget that there can not be climate justice without justice for the First Nations people of Australia. Please ask them to help us make decisions that are right for their land and our people.”

“Invest in more sustainability research. Invest in making and doing green and clever science and technology that will help slow and stop climate change.”

“Everyone is being impacted by climate change and you are the only people with enough power to actually do anything serious about it, so what are you waiting for?” 

Finally, our youngest contributor is four years old. He asks, “Are you going to save the environment for us?”  After a pause, he adds thoughtfully, “Can I help you?

We support the Schools Strike 4 Climate’s priorities, wanting:

  1. Net zero by 2030 which means no new coal, oil or gas projects including the Adani mine
  2. 100% renewable energy generations and exports by 2030
  3. Fund a just transition and job creation for all fossil-fuel workers and their communities

We urge the government to stick closely to the IPCC recommendations, remembering this is far more than economic or political: this is existential. Nothing is more important. Nothing. 

Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.

Two later contributions from Venturer scouts missed our cut-off time but are worth transcribing here:

“I feel the government [policymakers] would care more if they would actually be alive when heat waves, bush fires, storms, floods, droughts and food shortages make living the Australian dream impossible. They worry if things like the economy, their power and personal gain are actually under threat, while we [young people] worry whether we should have our own children knowing what the future will be like.”

“While passing this environmental bill is a guarantee of some action on climate change, the focus should be on actual investments in sustainable infrastructure and a reduction in consumption and production of unsustainable products.”

We are proud of our young people for standing up and contributing to this democratic process on such an important issue. You can see all the other submissions to the senate committee here (Spielwelt’s is #164).

What’s happening at GAP in Term 3

This term our lovely Teaching Team has lined up great incursions for our Mon/Tue and Thu/Fri classes, including fabulous music lessons with our wonderful educator Michelle, who specifically designs the lessons for children aged 3-5 years.

Furthermore, we had our lovely Anke Maria from the Ginninderra Catchment Group visit the GAP. As part of their highly engaging educational program ‘FrogWatch’, Anke Maria captivated the young audience by telling stories about the frogs’ habitat and development whilst also offering plenty of hands-on activities which the children thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you Anke Maria for your visit and the fun that you brought to GAP.  

Turner Scout Hall Playground Update 2.0

In addition to our playground make-over which took place in February this year, the Turner Scout Hall has recently seen a transformation of the sandpit, which has been a complete redesign of the existing one, very much to the children’s delight.

Children and teachers were involved in the design last year, testing out different configurations using boxes and wooden planks as a mock-up to see what they liked best and what worked well.

Many thanks to the talented carpenter and early educator Aaron Knudsen from Pallet Play for this amazing and delightful addition to our outdoor space. The sandpit now functions as a modern outdoor kitchen with heaps of counter top space for children to cook and bake delicious “Pizza”, “Sandkuchen” and serve up tasty “Cappuccinos”.

In addition to its functionality of keeping the sand more contained now, the sandbox also hosts a range of dinosaur fossils which are keenly excavated by our young explorers. This beautiful play area makes our outdoor space an even more fun and engaging place which the children truly appreciate.

***JOB VACANCY AT GAP***

We are looking for:

  • A passionate educator to be one of our Head Teachers  for our bilingual class and to join a small team of dedicated professionals at one of the best Playschools in Canberra. The German-Australian Playschool (GAP) offers a fantastic program in German in a loving and caring environment. 

What we offer: 

  • A permanent part-time role, with an immediate start.
  • Great work-life balance with hours from 9:05am to 3:45pm during ACT school terms and open for limited days during school term breaks. The Playschool is closed each Wednesday.
  • In addition, teachers are paid for preparation time; uniform is provided; laundry allowance as well as regulated entitlements such as Superannuation, Long Service Leave, 17.5% Annual Leave Loading, and Personal Care Leave.
  • Spielwelt pays above Award rates and is an exceptionally encouraging and inclusive employer supporting staff development.
  • Free onsite parking.
  • We are a non-toxic, environmentally friendly, sun smart, healthy-habits playschool, where children enjoy their activities and experience joy in learning.
  • Free German language lessons during work hours 

 The minimum requirements:

  • Be great with children aged 3-5 years old
  • Have or be eligible for a Working with Vulnerable People Card
  • Have a valid work permit, Permanent Residency or Australian Citizenship
  • Hold a Diploma or Degree qualification in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Children’s services, Sozialpädagogik, or similar.
  • Impress us with an inspiring session delivered at our morning circle (as part of your interview process)

Ideally the candidate will also:

  • Have prior Children’s services or early childhood teaching experience, but not a requirement
  • Be fluent in German, but not a requirement 

For more information, please see our website https://spielwelt.org.au/

If you would like to be part of our wonderful team, please send all enquiries and CVs to Katrin on gap.director@spielwelt.org.au or call us on 0481 590 656

Lantern Walk 2022 – Plan Your Visit

The Turner Scout Hall and surrounding Haig Park will come alive with bobbing lanterns, excited children, traditional lantern walk songs, families socialising and delicious food on Saturday 18 June 2022, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

Bring cash for food and drinks: $5.00 per German sausage; $3.00 for a baked potato; $2.00 for each mug of Gluehwein, Kinderpunsch or soup; and gold coin donations for each serving of the other delicious foods. Water is free. (Participants are encouraged to bring a plate of finger-foods to contribute to the tables. Members: see the volunteer sign up list.)

Dress warmly and wear footwear suitable for walking on wet grass.

Covid safety rules apply: Stay home if you are unwell. Distancing of 1.5m between different families at the event.

The order of events are:

4:30pm Arrive, socialise, browse the children’s clothing swap table. Food tables and BBQs begin to serve.

5:00pm MC gives official welcome while folk enjoy food, drink and each other’s company.

5:25pm All gather to sing lantern walk songs, as food tables and BBQs start packing up.

5:45pm The parade commences.

5:55pm Parade forms a circle amongst the trees; young children’s parade inside the protective circle of adults.

6:10pm When the children’s parade finishes, adults should STAY IN THEIR CIRCLE FORMATION until we have reunited all children with their parents.

6:15pm Parade arrives back at the scout hall and assembles at the stage (behind the scout hall) to watch the Scouts’ play about Sankt Martin (who is associated with the lantern walk in Germany).

6:30pm Pack up and head home. If everyone tidies up at least three items, the job will soon be done.

6:30-8:30pm For those people with older children who want to stay on for the “after party” (and help with the clean up) we will keep our little bonfire going.

Read more about the lantern walk event here!

Over 3000 Volunteer Hours

Pfadfinder Scout Group will be presenting a special Certificate of Appreciation to the parents and families of Spielwelt this week.

Since 2008, Spielwelt parents have contributed over 3000 hours of volunteer work to improve the Turner Scout Hall, and the number of hours keeps growing.

The hours include time spent planning, fundraising, managing capital works projects, and attending annual working bees to perform routine maintenance and contribute to major improvements.

Spielwelt and Pfadfinder enjoy a close relationship, with each helping the other to create a wonderful experience in our programs and a safe and friendly space at the Turner Scout Hall for all our children and their families.

Danke schoen!

Used Clothing Drive

Keen to be green?

Give your used textiles another life

Textile waste is a massive problem in Australia. On average, we each send around 23kg of textiles into landfill each year!

As our next ‘Keen to be Green’ activity, the Spielwelt committee are organising a bulk collection of used clothes and other textiles to send to Upparel for re-using, repurposing and recycling.

If you have old clothes, shoes or other textiles that aren’t suitable for donating to charities, this is your chance to free up some space in your cupboard and make a little contribution to a more sustainable future 😊

Just bring your old textiles to the hall on or before Federweisser Fest on 19 March 2022 and the committee will do the packing and shipping.

To cover the small collection fee charged by Upparel, we’re asking for donations of $2.50 for each kg of textiles you bring (it doesn’t have to be exact, but this gives you a rough idea of what we’ll need to cover costs).

For each kg we send to Upparel, we’ll prevent 3–4 kg of greenhouse gases from polluting our atmosphere!

One lucky contributor will win a $25 credit to purchase some awesome socks made of recycled materials.

What you can bring:

Clothing items (jeans, shirts, coats, etc)
Hats
Wireless Bras
Swimwear
Socks and stockings
Shoes
Linen (bedding, towels, tea towels, etc)
Fabric mattress protectors (not waterproof/plastic)
Fabric off-cuts and sewing scraps
Fabric couch covers and curtains
Bathers & Swimwear
Wetsuits

What you can’t bring:

Unwashed tems
Underwear
Carpet
Duvets/Doonas
Pillows/Cushions
Bags (handbags, duffel bags, etc)
Soft Toys
Wired Bras

Please make sure that everything you bring is washed! (Shoes should be brushed clean).

If you have empty boxes to donate (ideal size 46 x 42 x 41cm), that would also be much appreciated.

If you have kids clothes that are still in good shape, save them up for our next clothing swap.

Any questions? Contact Emily on keen.to.be.green.coordinator@spielwelt.org.au

Turner Scout Hall playground mural

The children returned to their programs to see that their playground had been completely transformed by the addition of a beautiful mural.

Many thanks to Byrd & Hoon for this amazing and delightful addition to our hall. The Fachwerkhaus theme (from the west and south sides of the building) now carries on into the playground side… with the addition of ivy and a lot of birds and tiny critters.

The birds all feature in popular German children’s songs and rhymes. It is a lot of fun to try to find them all hiding in the ivy.

Our shed has been transformed into a barn.

There is a rainbow pan pipe which makes different sounds when you tap on the holes at the bottom. Out of the pan pipe, float a few magical mirror bubbles. The lower-level mirror bubbles are big enough for children to see themselves (especially helpful when rubbing in their sunscreen).

There is also, of course, der kleine Onkel (the horse from Pippi Langstrumpf), who looks like he lives in the scout hall!

The playground is an especially beautiful space to play in now.

This wonderful mural is the work of local muralists and artists, Byrd and Hanna Hoyne. We are very grateful to them for really transforming the building for us all.

It looks like one of our groups who hire the hall, All Round Good Hounds, also heartily approve of the new look for the hall…

Working Bees 2022

Many thanks to the GAP parents who came out in numbers to the working bees in January. We accomplished a lot, cleaned, cleaned, cleaned, inventoried, sorted toys, repaired equipment, maintained the buildlng, designed and planned. It is an exciting time of the year when a lot of the dreams on the teachers and committee wish lists come true!

Parents also help assemble a big set of Schultueten for the incoming GAP class, with lots of useful and fun items inside, including these beautiful bees wax wraps made especially for GAP (carefully folded by one of the children).

Thank you everyone! Many hands make light work, and your input is highly appreciated.

Spielwelt