It was exciting to see the children’s faces as they stepped into their new Buran environment on Tuesday morning. Buran, means Stringybark in Wannangini (Guringal) language. Uncle Neil, a local Elder advised us on all the naming of our environments.
Our new children’s House has been part of our strategic plan to refresh and redevelop our facilities. The brief began with the words from Maria Montessori:
‘The child should live in an environment of beauty.”
The opening of Buran now brings our three Children’s Houses into a shared space, with interconnected areas for movement, social interaction, practical life, gardening, play and a celebration of community. We can’t wait to see this environment evolve as the children take ownership of their new space and the staff continue to develop the prepared environment.
We wanted to design a space that incorporated all the key elements of the Montessori approach. From every window and door, the children can look out to nature and have access to our beautiful gardens.
“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature. That the child may better understand and participate in the marvellous things which civilisation creates.”
Independent self-care is nurtured by the provision of toilets which are easily accessible by the children from both inside Buran and the deck. Their personal belongings are also stored in a specially designed nook away attached but separate to the main environment. The children and adult kitchen spaces provide for cooking, cleaning up and serving meals.
The layout allows for flexible furniture arrangements, large open floor space and an area for ‘Walking the Line’.
“The prepared environment should bring the world at large and thus the adult world, within reach of the child at whatever stage of development it is, at the given moment.” Maria Montessori