At Southern Stars we use our natural environment and assets in our community as an integral part of our program. One way we do this is by providing opportunities for the eight oldest children (in two different sessions) in our care (some conditions apply) to explore our beautiful surroundings of Fiordland. These twice weekly outings to the community are called ‘Southern Adventures’.
Our remote majestic setting makes us unique in being able to offer a rich bank of experiences in which children can learn about the community and environment around them. Southern Adventures outings have included visits to Manapouri Airport, farm visits, checking out local landmarks like the Water Tower and the "Water Park", and spending time at the lake having a sausage sizzle and toasted marshmellows on a VERY windy day!
Walking on the Kepler Track is also a popular option and it a great opportunity to introduce the children to this wonderful track and the beauty of Fiordland National Park. There is plenty of time to talk about conservation and our native plants and birds and the issues they face (pests such as possums and stoats) as we walk along the track. This instils in the children a sense of pride and appreciation of our natural surroundings and builds on Southern Stars ELC's participation in "Kids Restore the Kepler", a project that seeks to restore birdsong on the Kepler, aiming to "help Fiordland's young people from pre-school through to College develop the knowledge, values and skills so they can be confident, connected and actively involved in caring for their environment". For more information on "Kids Restore the Kepler" go to www.kidsrestorethekepler.co.nz
Southern Adventures builds on, and makes links with, the everyday activities and local community that children might explore with their families out of Southern Stars.
During this time teachers and children are joint in decision making and sharing knowledge (Ako). The children and teachers involved look forward to Southern Adventures mornings, a highlight of the week for these children.