Nurturing Connection: Beach Kinder Excursions at Nido Early School Iluka

At Nido Early School Iluka, by the beautiful coast of Iluka, Western Australia, something special is happening: The first outing for their Beach Kinder Program. In a conversation with the Curriculum Leader, Selena, and Executive Service Manager, Denise, we delved into the heart of this endeavour and their commitment to making learning fun and bringing families together.

Whilst chatting, Denise candidly shared the school’s prior struggles, acknowledging they’d gone through a period of significant challenge. However, they had an idea that they were sure would turn things around: returning the children to the beach, a cherished place for many families in the area.

In the reception area at Nido Iluka, they have a large photo of the children sitting by the beach. Their dream was to return the children to the beach and recreate this image, while reinforcing to families their commitment to tailoring experiences for them and the local community.

The Beach Kinder program emerged as the perfect opportunity to make this happen. To ensure water safety, Denise insisted a lifeguard be present on the excursion. After initially being unable to secure one, she reached out to the mother of a child she taught many years ago, who is now a lifesaver.

Trent was thrilled to participate, imparting lessons on water safety, sun safety, signals and flags, the role of lifesavers, and the importance of adult supervision when around the water.

The excursion itself was a combination of education with exploration. Kinder 2 students joined in activities ranging from chasing the flag, discovering ocean life and keeping the beach clean by picking up litter. Amidst the fun, the important lessons fostered a deeper understanding of the ocean.

The excursion featured a heart-warming moment that illustrates the transformative power of support and encouragement.

A boy from Kinder 2 was initially hesitant about change and faced a challenge in wearing his hi-vis vest for the excursion. However, the dedicated staff at Nido Iluka invested time and effort in preparing him, encouraging him to customise his vest at home.

Overcoming his initial reluctance, he went on to embrace the experience, participating wholeheartedly, even taking on the role of traffic officer. To celebrate his achievement, the team crafted a special photo book, showcasing moments from the day and expressing their pride in his journey of growth.

Central to the excursion’s success was its seamless integration into the curriculum. Denise explained that since swimming lessons weren’t possible, they chose to focus on building a deeper connection to the ocean.

Selena added that the team at Nido Iluka have been exploring sea animals in their classrooms, and, with the involvement of families, have named each room after different ones, using Noongar names; Bamba, Kwila, Maamong, Kwilena, and Kalkada.

Through language lessons on marine life and immersive projects, such as the exploration of sea animals, the children embarked on a journey of discovery, enriching their understanding of the natural world.

The feedback from parents echoed the sentiment of delight and appreciation, underscoring the excursion’s resonance within the community. Happy with its success, Nido Early School Iluka plan to continue these excursions, aligning them with school holidays so Trent can continue to join them.

Reflecting on their journey, Denise noted a remarkable transformation within the school. From past challenges with staff turnover, Nido Iluka now has a dedicated and loyal team in place.

Importantly, they were able to fulfil their goal of capturing a new beach photo for their reception, serving as a visual testament to this evolution, capturing the spirit of resilience and renewal.