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 in any language from birth to help bub learn about the world around them
- Listening to and recreating stories as they get older to help little ones feel confident in telling their own stories
- Drawing, weaving, singing and rhyming to help children learn more words, get their little fingers ready for writing, and practice reading and counting
- Playing games like “Follow the Leader” and joining in group sport to help children get ready for school by developing their social and language 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.