Learning Stone Project
 

Toora Primary School has been part of the Learning Stone Project from its inception in 2011/2012. We have been pleased to work with John Murray, our school community and network schools and kindergartens to continually expand a shared understanding and appreciation of the project and embed its aims and goals within the school’s learning environment and curriculum.

Purpose:

To create a special meeting and safe place within our school ground and in the grounds of other connected schools that:

  • Celebrate Koori culture and traditions and help develop an indigenous understanding of connection to the land
  •  Provide a space for outdoor learning and other forms of more diverse cultural engagement
  • Serve as a connecting point between Koori culture and other cultures within the school and community
  • Provide a collaborative focus for various students, agencies, community groups and schools to interconnect both on a daily basis and for special cultural events
  • Will be used as a spiritual, safe, harmonious space for all students and our school community.

Aims and Goals:

  • Create a special safe place in each of the various schools and kindergartens involved in the project
  • Create an outdoor learning space for environmental and cultural engagement, learning activities and events
  • Provide a connecting point / meeting place between Koori culture and other existing cultures within the various schools
  • Have selected students involved in the creation of individual, family and school totemic elements of each special place
  • Involve the wider Koori community in the establishment of the special pace and invite elders from Koori communities to be involved in the selection, creation and sanctification of each space
  • Promote an understanding of local Koori history and culture
  • Connect Koori and school culture in an agreed special, safe, learning space
  • Connect each of the involved schools in the development of a collaborative ‘track’ between the communities
  • Involve the local community and the wider Koori community in the planning for each respective school space with a central symbolic ‘learning stone’
  • Develop each space as a place for all students to use that is respected by all as a calm place of spiritual significance for reflection and understanding.

Achievements:

  • The Learning Stone has been positioned as a focal point
  • The fence area was cleared for visibility and to provide space for moving and extending hardwood sleeper seating in a semi-circle facing the stone
  • Students designed targets and painted these on the face of the sports stadium using Koori art styles and techniques
  • Recycled football goal posts were transformed into totem poles to encompass the Learning Stone area
  • Some bush tucker plants have been planted near the Learning Stone
  • A fire pit has been established between the Learning Stone and the seating for welcoming ceremonies, outdoor cooking and special events
  • Student handprints and a student designed lizard hopscotch were painted on a path leading to the Learning Stone
  • The Toora Primary School community works with members from their partner organisations so that Koori cultural and curriculum learning remains a focus.

Our official opening was held on the 19th September 2012

Resources:
Mana-Moonda 2012-2016: Early childhood providers and government schools in Gippsland partnering in heart, hand and mind with Koori children, young people, their families and community to improve the learning and education outcomes for Koori children and young Koori people.
Indigenous Plants of Bass Coast Shire
Aboriginal Australia Culture and Society: Carving and Sculpture; Fibre Crafts; Bush Food
Meerreeng-An Here Is My Country The Story of Aboriginal Art Victoria Told Through Art – Koori Heritage Trust 2010
Living Aboriginal History of Victoria Stories in the Oral Traditions by Alick Jackomos and Derek Fowell, Museum of Victoria
Indigenous Service A Resource for Primary Schools; Investigating the wartime experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the First World War to the present. Commonwealth of Australia 2013
Picture Story Books:

- Kutju Australia An Australian Translatoin of Advance Australia Fair (includes DVD)

- Bronwyn Bancroft

 

Learning Stone Assembly

Learning Stone Invitation

Official opening of our Learning Stone Project