BATEMANS BAY POST

MAY 30 2018 

Moruya mud cubby breaks new ground

by Kate Lockley

Moruya Public opens new play space

 

Moruya Public School is celebrating a groundbreaking success after the official opening of a mudbrick cubby house and inclusive play area. School captains Tilly Shorter and Ryan O’Meley cut the ribbon to the new playground feature on May 21 in front of their excited classmates.The space incorporates an obstacle course and musical instruments, designed to bring children of all abilities together to play – all thanks to the P&C, Uniting’s Ability Links and Mud Fun Australia. Principal Peter Johnson said students were quick to make the most of their new playground. “It is becoming a classroom and it’s like a safe, calm, relaxing, meditative place that kids can learn from,” Mr Johnson said. “It’s quite fascinating how it’s being used creatively by the kids and teachers.” Mr Johnson said incorporating play into children’s learning was essential. “Play, we don’t take seriously enough,” he said.
“Just being a child, right through to 12 years of age, having play – healthy, constructive play – like this area is here, all those areas help kids to learn, to get on with each other, to play happily and to learn about life through play. It’s vital.” Helping bring the project to life was artistic director David Mitsak of Mud Fun Australia. Work on the project began back in October 2017, when the first bricks were made at a musical mud stomp. Mr Mitsak said the Moruya cubby marked the first time such a project had taken place in a school.
“It’s really groundbreaking for the principal to get behind it and try something completely new, which is blending the construction sciences with the performing arts,” Mr Mitsak said.
“We want to take the successes of this and share it with other schools and other communities.” Uniting’s Ability Links provided more than half the funding for the project. Ability Linker Ann Murphy said the project was about community and learning, right from construction to completion. “(The space) is about imaginative play and feeling comfortable to explore and be yourself,” Ms Murphy said. “By having four new playground areas, it’s a chance to find your own space at your own time. “Some students who are told they don’t engage so much, you’d see them day after day down here very happy and saying ‘I could be a builder’, ‘I could be a designer’, “I could be a musician’. “That’s the whole ethos of what an inclusive playground should be.” Builder Dane Wilmott said it was an amazing experience involving construction students from Narooma in the project."

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