The National English Literary Museum celebrated Spring Day on Friday 1 September by inviting school children from various schools to learn about nature in its gardens.
Learners from PJ Olivier, Victoria Primary School and Kuyasa Special School enjoyed an educational visit to the museum. Basil Mills, NELM’s Senior Technical and Education Officer, took learners on a tour of the grounds, showing them a variety of indigenous plant life. Mills told traditional and spiritual stories to teach children how the beginning of spring is celebrated in different cultures, and showed children the importance of conserving the environment.
The grade 0 (ages 3-4) and R (ages 5-6) classes of PJ Olivier had all their questions about Grahamstown’s flora answered, and got to hold the plants that they learned about. Isa Hurter, a teacher at PJ Olivier, says it was great for the learners to know about plants, especially on Spring Day. The children learned about the museum’s water systems and how plants grow over the seasons.
Skills-level (ages 18 and up) learners from Kuyasa special school painted portraits of flowers to hang up in the museum before touring several exhibitions.”When we have this kind of opportunity, I grab it,” says Elisma Hallier-Groenewald, a teacher at Kuyasa. She says that taking her learners on outings helps them absorb knowledge through experience.
Mills says that the best thing about having learners at the event is the creativity and imagination they bring. “I love to see how they express themselves. It’s nice to hear their side of the story,” he says. Mills encourages everyone to visit the museum and its garden.