The YPS Council maintain a list of priority projects and allocate fundraising efforts to these projects. If you have any ideas for new projects please raise them with School Council for inclusion on the list.
We are currently fundraising for our "Dry Creek Bed Inclusive Play Space" to improve our educational outdoor environment by providing a high-quality, inclusive and accessible nature based sensory play space that supports the learning needs of every student.
The project aims to:
- provide students with an appreciation of their natural environment;
- build awareness of their local history;
- strengthen their sense of belonging and identity; and
- contribute to their physical and mental development and wellbeing.
The play space design is based on a dry creek bed concept and incorporates the following key elements:
- Creek bed: A clay-lined swale would be created using local river pebbles to collect runoff from sloping site and direct it to a collection pit where it can be connected to stormwater.
- Accessible paths: An entry point from the public footpath focusing on access for all members of the community. In addition providing a gently sloping gravel path allowing for access from within the school for all students, including those with a disability requiring the use of a wheelchair (in accordance with Australian Standards).
- Optional circulation routes: The provision of gentle rock steps to encourage challenge and develop balance and coordination.
- Gathering circle: A meeting place with informal seating for storytelling, imaginary play, outside eating, quiet activities and outdoor classroom teaching.
- Hand water pump: An artistic area designed by a local sculptor to allow students to control water flow and reflect on the historical significance of gold mining within the township. The pump will be easy to operate and grasp, ensuring accessibility for all. The water will reticulate back into the system allowing students to reflect and appreciate the importance of our natural resources. (This element may be deferred to Stage 2 due to the costs involved).
- Granite boulders and mounds: A number of boulders and mounds to reinforce the natural creek environment, stimulate sensory awareness, provide physical challenge and provide linkages to the cultural heritage of the word “Yackandandah” which is understood to represent two boulders on top of each other in the local indigenous languages.
- Balance circuit: The inclusion of play elements such as balance logs and sleepers at differing heights to promote balance, agility, co-ordination and strength.
- Bush tucker corner: An indigenous food garden to promote awareness of our local indigenous culture and encourage a sense of belonging and community.
- Timber cubby: A simple permanent accessible play element to stimulate imaginary play with open sides for visual connection.
- Australian native plantings: A naturalistic, drought tolerant landscape of Australian native plants that will survive in a busy area where nothing is out of bounds. Small native trees will provide height and shady nooks for solo play. Planted areas will be covered in soft fall-approved organic mulch.
Unfortunately we were unsuccessful in securing funds via the Victorian Schools Building Authority Inclusive Schools Grant in 2019. However we have raised:
- $2500 kindly donated by the Yackandandah Community Centre
- $5000+ raised by the 2019 Barrowthon team!
We will continue to seek grant opportunities and look to stage the implementation of the play space to commence development as soon as possible.
The following image is a draft concept design of the play space. This intiial design does not include feedback received from the students and teachers, for example shade provision over the gathering circle. An updated version would be produced prior to implmeentation.