Menu
News

Learning circle opens at Clunes school

CIRCLE OF TRUST: Riley Battistuzzi, 7, Clunes Primary School teacher Malcolm Sky and Tony Taylor, 10, stand in front of the new Aboriginal learning circle at the school, which will be used as an outdoor teaching area.
CIRCLE OF TRUST: Riley Battistuzzi, 7, Clunes Primary School teacher Malcolm Sky and Tony Taylor, 10, stand in front of the new Aboriginal learning circle at the school, which will be used as an outdoor teaching area. Marc Stapelberg

A CHANCE to experience an ancient way of learning - or just play with a bit of maths - is the promise of a new Aboriginal learning circle at Clunes Public School.

Opened yesterday, the circle was a joint project of the school's P&C and Clunes school teacher of Aboriginal ancestry Malcolm Sky.

The roughly three by three metre circle features eight eye-catching circular symbols which stand out thanks to their gleaming black stones.

It was built gradually over two terms, thanks to efforts from students, staff, and parents, with all the materials used donated by Steve Battistuzzi from the Corndale Quarry.

Local Bundjalung elders were also consulted during the project, whose input was invaluable to ensure the circle was genuine, according to acting principal Michelle Slee.

"It's been a real community effort," Ms Slee said.

Mr Sky, who is descended from the Anaiwan mob of New England, said the circle offered students the chance to learn in new innovative ways in what was an essentially an "outdoor classroom".

"The circle has eight ways of learning which can be directly linked to Western education," Mr Sky said.

It could be used as a place to discuss an English text, or as an impromptu performance space for a drama class.

"Or it could also be as simple as practicing our maths and drawing in the stones," Mr Sky said.

It was also a place to discuss and refine learning habits, or "habits of mind", such as concentration, stillness, and patience.

Aboriginal culture and history is now a part of the NSW Department of Education curriculum.

Public schools director John Lynch, who spoke at the opening, said it was worth acknowledging how far the appreciation of Aboriginal culture had come since his youth.

Mr Lynch recalled going to school in Western NSW with Aboriginal children who grew up in corrugated iron sheds with no power or water.

Aboriginal culture and language teacher Glen Rhodes said the circle was a "job well done", recalling his youth being taught by elders on Cabbage Tree Island.

"It's something you as a community should be proud of."



Floods cause decrease in sales and land value in Lismore

STILL VERY VALUABLE: Land values in Lismore held their own or increased despite the flood last March.

There is a growing desire to live in smaller villages close to town

Vanpackers are forced to pay fines: Council

Byron Shire Council is concerned about the spike in illegal camping at Scarabolittis Lookout at St Helena.

There is no getting out of paying fines for illegal camping.

Bitcoin and crypto currency craze taking off in Nimbin

The cryptocurrency, which allows anonymous transactions unrestricted by global borders, is popular with tech heads, people suspicious of government and those seeking to launder money.

Enter into the crypto currency world in Nimbin

Local Partners