The Better Beginnings Indigenous Program takes a two-ways approach to bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of learning with ways of teaching and learning in Australian schools.
Many activities that Indigenous families do together can already do this, such as;
- Yarning and storytelling are important to help bub learn and can be done in any language from the time they are born
- Listening to and recreating stories as they get older can help little ones feel confident in telling their own stories
- Drawing, weaving, singing and rhyming can help children learn more words, use their hands for writing, and practice reading and counting
- Even playing games like “Follow the Leader” and joining in group sport can help children get ready for school by developing their social skills for talking and working with others.
It can be hard on Indigenous children when they start at schools that don’t share their culture, values or ways of learning. Having an oral culture of learning at home in language and a written culture in English at school can really affect a child’s confidence when reading and writing in the classroom.
Better Beginnings believes that Indigenous children have strengths that can be built on to become confident readers, helping them be ready for school. The strong storytelling, “code-switching”, and big-picture learning that Indigenous cultures have are great for building up literacy. Sharing Better Beginnings books and activities with your child can help them feel like they can tell stories, switch between cultures and languages, and be a great reader.
WA Aboriginal Languages
The Better Beginnings Indigenous Program knows how important it is to be sharing and using our WA Aboriginal languages. We are working with Aboriginal language centres, linguists, and speakers to translate resources and include traditional stories in language.
If you would like to connect with our Noongar digital resources, please see our Better Beginnings YouTube channel for some fun stories, rhymes and counting in Noongar.
As part of The Walmajarri Language Stories Project, we have digitised books in Walmajarri, Kriol and English from Kadjina Aboriginal Community. Check it out on the State Library of Western Australia’s catalogue.